The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things

Book - 2013
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"When Max's parents leave the country without him, he must rely on his wits to get by, and before long he is running his own--rather unusual--business"--
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307976819
Branch Call Number: J VOIGT
Characteristics: 367 pages : illustrations, map ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Bruno, Iacopo


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Jun 28, 2019

Great book, but it’s a little predictable.

Jan 07, 2017

a really well written book with great characters.

Oct 30, 2016

I enjoyed this book, especially because of the theatrical nature of the characters. I am probably a little older than the target audience, but I liked the book and read the whole thing in one sitting. One thing I really liked was that Max wasn't perfect. He struggled with decisions and missed his parents. However, he works for a living and uses his common sense to solve mysteries. That said, there were a couple drawbacks. I could see part of the conclusion coming from before the middle of the book, and whenever Max met someone, there was always a description of what his eyes reminded them of. Overall, a well written book with a likable protagonist and an exciting story.

Jun 07, 2015

SUMMARY: This story takes place in early 1900s. Almost thirteen year old Max Starling is the son of theatrical parents. They receive an invitation to create a theater company in India. Max, who regularly joins them on their theatrical travels, is to join them. But when Max leaves his art lessons to join the ship in time, the ship is gone, never seemed to exist, and his parents have disappeared. Max at first stays with his grandmother, but then decides to live in his house alone and to become independent. In order to do this, he must find a job. Before long, he discovers that he is good at finding lost things. People come to him and pay him to solve their lost item mysteries. Along the way, Max meets many new and interesting people. While trying to keep himself together, Max, along with his grandmother, attempt to solve the mystery about what happened to his parents.

ILLUSTRATIONS: There are detailed and lovely drawings throughout the book that help interest to the story.

THE GOOD: This a complex book with mysteries within a mystery and plots within plots. I enjoyed every one of the characters, each being quirky in his or her own way. Through his difficulty of being left alone by his parents (and not knowing if it was deliberate or not), Max begins to grow and mature as a person by doing what comes naturally to him--acting. He impulsively makes up disguises and "lines" to deal with people in a way that makes them believe he is older and more mature. Max also has a mind that sees solutions to problems. Even though, at first, Max does quite a bit of moping, he eventually puts this mind to work successfully. For some reason, Max thinks he only needs himself in the beginning, but slowly he realizes that having others in his life makes things better. Each mystery Max solves is simple, but the way he deals with them is complex and mature adding interest. The mysteries may be quickly solved, but there are no easy answers. I enjoyed the theatrical aspect of the book and how his cases were solved in "acts." I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
THE NOT AS GOOD: The pacing, especially in the beginning of the book is a bit slow. This is partly due to a lot of heavy description. This is the kind of book that is best read in chunks, a bit at a time. I listened to it on an audio CD as well over several days and found this to be delightful.


forbesrachel Dec 10, 2014

Theatrical! When his parents go missing, young Max must take up the mantle of responsibility and live independently. With his Grammie there for support, he sets out to find a job, and along the way discovers his calling. He is a solver of problems. Each case he comes across connects to the others in an unexpected way. From the reader's perspective these are fairly obvious, but the larger mystery of his parents' disappearance is not as easily solved. Clues are either too subtle for us to understand, or are omitted, for as we near the end of the book we realize that this is just the beginning of Max's adventures. The tone, characters, actions, and even the structure all have theatrical qualities. Max has many talents, including a logical way of thinking, a knack for problem solving, and the ability to don any role and blend in just like a chameleon. All children like to pretend to be other people, but Max takes it to the next level, and it is this which young readers will especially be attracted to.

ChristchurchLib Oct 22, 2013

"Twelve-year-old Max isn't sure whether or not his actor parents meant to leave him behind when they sailed for India, but now that they're gone, he's got to support himself. Encouraged by his grandmother, Max cleverly uses his parents' theatrical costumes and his own ability for finding lost things to set himself up as a professional "solutioneer," helping people recover things they've lost. But can his problem-solving skills help him discover what really happened to his parents? Mystery fans will relish this intriguing 1st book in a new trilogy from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Voigt. For another 19th-century detective in disguise, check out the Enola Holmes mysteries by Nancy Springer." Kids' Books October 2013 newsletter


Add Age Suitability
Jun 28, 2019

Monarch_47 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 14

navy_shark_215 Dec 04, 2014

navy_shark_215 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 12


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Jun 28, 2019

“What happened next was......nothing happened. Max waited for mail, and none arrived.”


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