Book Title: The Lost Soul Atlas (available here)
Author: Zana Fraillon
Publication Date: July 2020
Most Suitable for: Years 5-6+
Reviewed By: Caroline Relf
Not your usual kind of quest story, The Lost Soul Atlas is a wonderfully tender tale of a boy’s life, death, the people he has loved and his heartbreaking journey to try and recover what he has lost.
The book opens in the Afterlife. Twig has only very vague memories of what has happened and he is quickly forgetting. Gods, guardians and The Gatherer all have advice for Twig but he will do whatever it takes to remember. There are strange creatures, forbidden paths, mysterious shadows and confusing riddles in the Afterlife. Twig must complete a dangerous and challenging quest if he is to see his Da again. Twig’s guardian, a raven named Kruuk and tiny stick people, called meeple, accompany him on his incredible journey.
The story brilliantly weaves together Twig’s Afterlife adventures with his life ‘before’. This is not only a story about being lost but it is also about trying to get back what you have lost, about the importance of family and the strength of love. Twig has to relive painful memories in order to fight against forgetting and ensure he will always remember. He must put together the pieces of the puzzle to remember what (and who) is truly important. This is a story of loyalty, betrayal and hope: of remembering and forgetting; truths and lies; soul and spirit.
A quest story with a social conscience, The Lost Soul Atlas brings into focus the plight of street children, poverty, corruption and homelessness around the world. Author Zana Fraillon also points readers towards Amnesty International and UNICEF to learn more.
Fans of The Bone Sparrow will not be disappointed with Fraillon’s new tale.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Caroline for reviewing it. For more about the book, follow the other stops on the blog tour.
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