Lost and Found – Orson Scott Card – Blackstone – Published 10 September 2019
“Are you really a thief?”
That’s the question that has haunted fourteen-year-old Ezekiel Blast all his life. But he’s not a thief, he just has a talent for finding things. Not a superpower–a micropower. Because what good is finding lost bicycles and hair scrunchies, especially when you return them to their owners and everyone thinks you must have stolen them in the first place? If only there were some way to use Ezekiel’s micropower for good, to turn a curse into a blessing. His friend Beth thinks there must be, and so does a police detective investigating the disappearance of a little girl. When tragedy strikes, it’s up to Ezekiel to use his talent to find what matters most.
Orson Scott Card has a fantastic writing style that provides such a compelling and put-together story. Lost and Found had me hooked – I didn’t want to put it down and I just had to know what would happen next, all while loving every moment of this fun and unique story.
Ezekiel can find lost things. He’s not sure why he has this usual talent and it has certainly made his life hard, especially when everyone – from his classmates to the police- think he is a thief when he returns the lost items to their owners. His new friend Beth, a girl with her own reasons for staying away from other people, tries to convince him that his talent has the power to help people and encourages him to experiment with it. Then Ezekiel is approached by a police detective who thinks Ezekiel may be the key to solving a little girl’s kidnapping.
I love YA mystery novels, yet sometimes the reason for the teen to be involved in the detective work is a stretch at best or seems a little unlikely. Not so in Lost and Found. Yes, perhaps Ezekiel’s micropower stretches the boundaries of reality but the world that is built around the story makes complete sense. Ezekiel is not the only one with a micropower and the sections of the book devoted to him meeting others with similar but unique seemingly useless powers are fantastic additions to the story. As Ezekiel discovers more about the possibility of the existence of mircopowers, comes to accept that his ability to locate and rehome lost items is a micropower and starts to experiment with this ability, he earns his place as a junior detective. And it turns out he is pretty good at it.
I loved Ezekiel’s voice. Loved his sense of humour and self-depreciation. Having been labeled by the police, by teachers and peers, he expects little from those around him. Ezekiel has a colourful and unique way of viewing his world, or labelling and spinning the details he sees, and he tells the hell out of his story, with his own unique twist. It also makes him an unreliable narrator – there were a few times I had to do a double take at some of the names of streets, for example, only to realise later that Ezekiel has a thing about renaming things and people.
I loved, loved, loved Ezekiel’s relationship with his dad. I loved the relationship his dad had with Ezekiel. It is a solid relationship, only made more so by the events of the book. It is a pleasure to read such a positive father-son relationship in YA fiction.
While Lost and Found has a young tone to its storytelling, I would recommend this book to mature YA readers due to the reasons given behind the kidnapping, and while most details are spared, there is enough detail given and very serious themes raised that make this book more appropriate for older teen readers.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: Kidnapping, detective, friendship, lost items, family, superpowers.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: References to child pornography and kidnapping, death, injury and sexual assault.
Published: 10 September 2019 by Blackstone.
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook. pages.