Posted 20 hours ago

The Book of Lost and Found: Sweeping, captivating, perfect summer reading

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Friend is a difficult word - it can conceal so much. Who was she, really, to the young man who sat down and sketched her one afternoon, with the spoils of their picnic beside them? This is an unusual love story disrupted by the conventions of the times, careers and by war. The writing is very assured for a debut novel and the characters are well drawn, particularly the central women, Alice and Kate and artist Thomas Stafford. It makes for a fascinating tale, spanning three generations, continents and time periods seamlessly.

Lost and Found - Oliver Jeffers Primary Resources - Twinkl Lost and Found - Oliver Jeffers Primary Resources - Twinkl

The year is 1986 and Kate Darling has recently lost her mother June a world class ballerina in a tragic accident. Kate is struggling with her grief for the woman who she considered her best friend as well as her mother and she seeks solace in her mother’s saviour, Evie. Following one of their frequent meetings it becomes clear that Evie has been keeping a secret for many years and gives Kate a painting that had been sent to June. Kate senses a mystery and as a means of distraction from her unfulfilling life follows its lead. Read this book if 'cozy' novels are not sufficient for you and you enjoy fiction but need it to be a superb story. This book is very grounded in the tragedy of life but really does a great job of making you feel the sliver linings of the dark clouds. Other themes of the book that may interest someone would be mothers, daughters, grandparents, family that is 'chosen' but not family by blood, art, dance, photography, Italy, London, Paris, WWII.

We have also included a cloze style activity and your class must add in the words or pictures to complete the sentences from the story. EXCERPT: She hangs in the National Portrait Gallery now. Her smile has not faltered through the years, and her hair still falls just above her jaw, as sleek as cat's fur. She sits awkwardly: the pose of a moment held for eternity. Her eyes squint slightly, shielded from an invisible sun by her hand.

The Book of Lost and Found: Sweeping, captivating, perfect

It then jumps forward to Kate who is trying to come to grips with the death of her mother and best friend. Lovely to see a mother and daughter relationship portrayed so positively, instead of the negative representations of the mother /daughter relationship we often get in books. I really related to Kate and to her grief for her mother. Kate’s mother was a famous ballet dancer. It isn’t until her adopted grandmother Evie dies and Kate is going through her things that Kate finds there was a lot more to her mother’s and her real grandmother’s story than she ever knew.We have included sounds from different phases and a blank copy to give your class the opportunity to choose sounds they know. As with all books in this genre the continuing story through the decades depends on a number of coincidences and tortured decisions to keep both the mystery element alive so although there were times that I desperately wished that the protagonists would say, or do, something different, perhaps for once take the sensible option, it wasn’t to be! And nor could it be. Again with books of this type I often prefer either the past or the present and as is often the case, the past was more engaging but I did enjoy the way that Kate was far from irrelevant to the story, she did have a stronger part to play than simply being the narrator of the events of previous years. Kate’s journey to find the woman in the portrait would take her to many places – from her home in London, to Corsica, Paris and New York. When she was finally able to arrange a meeting with the reclusive but famous artist, Thomas Stafford on the island of Corsica, she had no idea what the future would be. She was nervous, scared and sure she had made the wrong decision. But a determination she’d inherited from her famous ballerina mother kept her moving forward. And as she gradually learned about the past, Kate came to realise there was a deep and romantic love story which had spanned decades unfolding in front of her.

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