Monday, April 12, 2010

New Release: The Lost Children

I forget where I saw The Lost Children by Carolyn Cohagan mentioned but from the beautiful cover and the fantasy-based jacket summary, I wanted to read this grade school novel.  I'll admit that I'm now coming away from it with mixed feelings.  It's definitely an inventive book but I also feel that it could have been polished a bit more.

Josephine Russing is a young girl who is ignored by her distant father (her mother is no longer alive) and is despised by the children at school because of a law her father was able to have passed in the town -- that all citizens wear gloves at all times.  We find no coincidence in the fact that he also owns the town's only glove factory.  Josephine is sad and lonely and finds solace in books.  One day, a young boy appears in her yard, tired and dirty.  He doesn't seem able to speak and he's very hungry.  She feeds him and lets him nap but when her father comes home, he disappears again.  When she goes looking for the boy, she comes to the conclusion that he could only have come out of the dark, spooky shed.  When Josephine skips school to investigate, she is pulled through some sort of wormhole into a different world where fear rules and the children have gone missing.

This is a very ambitious book for an elementary level novel.  I think some of the ideas could have been fleshed out a bit more to make this a YA novel.  When scientific concepts needed to be explained, I felt that the author struggled a bit in translating them to a young audience.  Also, some of her characters were well-formed but others were extremely one-dimensional.  I would have liked to see more consistency in this.  Still, the story was imaginative and different and, seeing as how this is Cohagan's first novel, I would definitely give her second one a chance.

With not enough time to travel in my own world much less others,

Support our site and buy The Lost Children on Amazon or find it at your local library. We borrowed our copy from the library.


  1. That does sound very ambitious indeed!!!

    And I wonder if the father was related to Maud in "Fingersmith"? (This will be lost on you if you didn't read it ... but I thought that you had.)

  2. Jenners - It's in my stacks but I haven't gotten to it yet. I will try to remember this comment when I do read it though! ;)