Having just seen Parasite, I was shocked by how much a children’s book could remind me of some of the themes. Lost deals with the issue of class divisions in a way that is both accessible and thoroughly moving.

Lost is an adventure story, a coming of age tale, a book about family strife and a novel about friendship – but mostly Lost is about Lola and how much she learns.

Nothing I learnt at school feels any use to me now. No one teaches you what to do when everything you care about has been taken away. Every time I think I have nothing more to lose, another little piece of Lola falls away…

The above quote from Lost struck me as a great synopsis for the book itself. Lola is 13 and begins the book with no more worries than a long journey to school and not having a mobile phone. However, things start to get bizarre for Lola when her father doesn’t come back from a business trip. The question of where is Lola’s dad? is one that keeps you guessing throughout.

Slowly, Lola’s world begins to dissolve, she loses her home, can’t turn to her friends and realises that her and her younger brother Amit are all alone in the world.

Then, just as they are starting to get used to their new lives, Lola and Amit get separated.

Lola needs to find the means to survive and begins to search for Amit. With the aid of unlikely friends, including Rafi, a “street rat”, Lola learns how to get by and finds strength she didn’t know she had.

I love how the novel could be set almost anywhere – yes the weather gives you an indication, but even here in the UK I could imagine it clearly. Lost is such an apt title – I was lost in Lola’s world – I almost missed my train stop as I was finishing it.

Perfect for mid-grade, 8 – 13, but also everyone who loves children’s books. Don’t be shy – embrace your inner Lola.

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