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Kimberly Willis Holt explores themes of divorce, acceptance, intergenerational friendship, and the power that comes with noticing in The Lost Boy's Gift, an insightful middle-grade novel.
There are places where you want to go and places where you want to leave. There are also places where you want to stay.
Nine-year-old Daniel must move across the county with his mom after his parents’ divorce. He’s leaving behind his whole life—everything—and he’s taking a suitcase of anger with him. But Daniel is in for a surprise when he settles into While-a-Way Lane and meets his new neighbors—the Lemonade Girl, the hopscotching mailman, the tiny creatures, and especially Tilda Butter. Tilda knows how to look and listen closely, and it's that gift that helps Daniel find his way in that curious placed called While-a-Way Lane.
This title has Common Core connections.
Christy Ottaviano Books
Twenty three years ago Kimberly Willis Holt stopped talking about wanting to be a writer and started to pursue her dream. Because of her family's Louisiana roots she considers herself a southerner, but her father's military career took her to places beyond the South, including Paris and Guam.
She's the author of more than fifteen books for a wide range of ages, many of which have won awards and honors. Her third novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. She writes and gardens in Texas.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"The dull and seemingly ordinary neighborhood in which Daniel fetches up with his newly divorced mom turns out to be anything but. Daniel's first impressions of While-a-Way Lane aren't good . . . Wondrous things that happen. . . After Daniel's experiences, readers will want to move there too."—Kirkus, starred review
"Holt applies her talent for writing quiet, heartfelt stories to this study of Daniel, a lonely boy struggling with his parents’ recent divorce. . .Quirky neighborhood characters occupy the idyllic town, and this serene backdrop gives Daniel and Tilda much-needed opportunities for uninterrupted personal reflection and positive steps forward."—Booklist
"Fans of Natalie Babbitt and Anne Ursu will appreciate the blend of emotional resonance and magic."—The Horn Book
"Touches of the fantastic augment accessible, straightforward prose, which permeates the neighborhood personalities’ lives and motivations, lending this novel a gently bustling yet intimate atmosphere." —Publishers Weekly
"Holt’s whimsical narrative moves between Daniel’s struggles in his new life, Tilda’s reflections on her old one, and the critters and community that surround them both. . . A smart, hopeful perspective of life on any lane."—The Bulletin