A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Spellbook of the Lost and Found, by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (The Accident Season), is a twisting, mysterious, dark story about secrets and promises made. After a handful of teens in an Irish town realize their things have gone missing, they find a spellbook that promises to return what they lost -- but perhaps they should be careful what they wish for, because "not all lost things should be found." The writing is very lyrical and sensual, and there's a diverse cast of characters, including two bisexual teens, one of whom is deaf in one ear. Teens and adults drink and smoke. ("My parents ... well, they mostly just drink and disappear. That's kinda what they're good at.") There are references to consensual sex and frequent swearing, including "s--t" and its variations and "f--k."
What's the story?
In SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND, a few teen girls (Olive, Rose, Hazel) who live in a small Irish town start losing things, and as the scenes unravel, two more groups of teens show up and deal with their own losses. A total of six narrators enter the story with different voices and points of view. Their lives connect at home, in the forest, and in an abandoned house, and the overarching refrain twists around this theme: "If you're not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you've lost."
Is it any good?
This is a story for teens who love magic and mystery. Readers will get pulled in to Moïra Fowley-Doyle's lyricism and the cadence of her writing: "I search the whole house. Between bedsheets, in the shower drain, under couches, in the back of the fridge. The dogs follow me, sniffing around as if they know what I'm looking for."
But it's challenging to follow the storyline as the narrative shifts into so many different first-person voices, especially when the narrative jumps between the past and the present. In the end, everything connects, as the characters face their shame and betrayal -- and the pain that goes along with it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how loss is portrayed in Spellbook of the Lost and Found. Does it seem realistic? How have you faced the loss of loved ones or things that were important to you? How did you move on?
Do you write in a journal or a diary, or have a way of expressing your feelings? If so, does it help you? If not, do you think it would?
How do you think keeping secrets affects others in your life, like friends and/or family members?
- Author: Moira Fowley-Doyle
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
- Publication date: August 8, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 18
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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