The Lost Things Club

Little, Brown. Aug. 2021. 304p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780759556133.
Gr 3-7–In the aftermath of a school shooting that killed an elementary student, TJ, a kindergarten survivor with post-traumatic stress disorder, seeks out companionship and finds support in an unlikely place. TJ’s 12-year-old cousin Leah comes to stay with his family for the summer and discovers firsthand how a community heals. TJ has gone mute and sneaks out of the house to meet a friend named Michelle at a laundromat, where they sort through lost items. When Leah discovers TJ’s whereabouts, she joins in on the imaginary world by creating a puppet show called the Land of Lost Things, which she films and posts on YouTube. In the process, Leah unknowingly helps herself heal from her parents’ divorce years ago. Puller illuminates ways children can teach adults about using art to express their emotions and share their stories. This novel shows young readers and educators alike that while traditional therapy is essential, especially in a crisis, therapy can also develop organically as people share similar experiences.
VERDICT A must-read for starting conversations and opening up dialogue about trauma of any kind. An important title for social workers, parents, and educators about the critical role art and imagination can play in healing and bringing people together.

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