cover image Where the Lost Ones Go

Where the Lost Ones Go

Akemi Dawn Bowman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-374-31377-7

Roseheart, Maine, is the fresh start that Eliot Katayama’s parents seek after the death of Eliot’s grandmother, Babung. Twelve-year-old Eliot, cued as queer and of Japanese descent, grieves the loss of her confidante, and worries that Babung’s dementia means she “has no idea how much she was loved,” and may be existing in the afterlife without memories. When Eliot accepts a summer gardening job at imposing Honeyfield Hall, rumored to be haunted, she meets Hazel, a girl her own age, and finds a key whose lock reveals ghosts trapped in the house. To get a message to her grandmother, Eliot agrees to help the ghosts solve a riddle, find their lost memories, and perhaps move on. But Eliot is stymied by a shadowy creature who seems intent on destroying the ghosts’ chances. Bowman (the Infinity Courts series) harmoniously splices real-world and otherworldly elements as Eliot moves between realms. Despite repeatedly hollow dictums on grief (“Rainbows come after a storm. Maybe it’s like that when you’re sad, too”), Eliot’s thought processes (“Sometimes I just have so many thoughts in my head that it’s hard to separate them into words”) and difficulty making friends are handled with sensitivity, and the central theme—being appreciated for who one is—rings true. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Penny Moore, Aevitas Creative Management. (Oct.) [/em]