The Lost Girl

368p. HarperCollins/Walden Pond Pr. Feb. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062275097.
RedReviewStarGr 3–6—Ursu's latest novel follows the story of Iris and Lark as they start fifth grade. Iris prides herself on her knowledge, rationality, and assertiveness while Lark is more dreamy and artistic. When they find out that they have been assigned different teachers for the first time ever, their world is shaken. Lark's shyness and anxiety seem to make her wilt and Iris has difficulty connecting to her new classmates while worrying about her twin. Meanwhile, a new store called "Treasure Hunters" sets up shop in their Minneapolis neighborhood. The odd messages on the sign intrigue the sisters, setting Iris on the trail of an ominous mystery as Lark retreats inside herself. Although the sisters initially seem to be too purposely disparate in character, the characterization is not all that it seems. In fact, the magical realism of the book allows an almost metaphoric view of the world as Iris grapples with both supernatural and psychological threats. The style of the novel echoes the mysteriousness of the plot: the viewpoint shifts between Iris, an unnamed observer, and the omniscient chronicler of the disappearance of state treasures. The prose is lovely, unafraid to echo the mysterious questions posed or Iris's comforting refrain that she and Lark have better outcomes when they are together. The sense of adventure and mystery make this appealing to a wide audience.
VERDICT A beautiful, timeless tale of love conquering darkness in the midst of mystery and the angst of change. A must-have for any middle grade collection.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing