Review: LOST IN THE SUN / by Lisa Graff

Lost in the Sun, / by Lisa Graff
Philomel           ISBN 9780399164064
MS (Grades 5-8)     Rating:   4
Pre-publication copy reviewed

lost in the sun

Prolific author Lisa Graff pens a middle school novel about a boy who can’t get past an tragic accident that happened in fifth grade, that is until he meets an unusual girl.

In Lost in the Sun, Trent Zimmerman’s mind can’t let go of his part in an accident that happened seven months ago. He has a panic attack whenever he thinks of playing sports again. On that fateful day, he hit a hockey puck, which accidentally struck a boy with an unknown heart condition, causing the other boy’s death. Convinced everyone hates him, Trent’s thoughts make him feel like a horrible screw-up. His counselor convinces him to draw pictures in his Book of Thoughts to help him handle his anger.

Hoping for a fresh start in middle school, it isn’t until Trent meets sixth grader Fallon Little, the girl with a mysterious scar on her face, that things start to change. Fallon likes spending time with him and becomes his friend, though never telling him (or anyone) the truth behind her scar. Trent gradually comes to terms with his thoughts. He still is impulsive and makes bad choices, but he makes a good friend in Fallon. Encouraged by Fallon, Trent decided to speak the truth, even if it is filled with pain, anger, and loss.

Graff writes vulnerable characters in her novels that speak about our human pain. The friendship between Fallon and Trent changes them both in a positive way. Trent’s pictures in his Book of Thoughts grow more positive as his friendship with Fallon grows.

Recommended for upper elementary and middle school readers. Fans Graff’s earlier books, A Tangle of Knots and Absolutely Almost will also enjoy this book.

Carol R. Gehringer

—reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2015.

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

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