THE SPACE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND, by Sandy Stark-McGinnis, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, April 28, 2020, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 8-12)
Sandy Stark-McGinnis explores life in The Space Between Lost and Found in her new novel for middle readers.
Cassie’s always looked up to her mom, a vibrant woman bursting with grand ideas. Together they planned to check off every dream on their think-big bucket list, no matter how far the adventures took them. The future seemed unlimited.
But then came the diagnosis, and Mom started to lose her memories. Even the ones Cassie thought she’d never forget. Even Cassie’s name.
Cassie tries her hardest to keep Mom happy . . . to focus on math lessons and come up with art ideas that used to burst off her pen. But as Mom’s memories dimmed, so did Cassie’s inspiration. She’s even pushed away Bailey, the one friend who could help make things okay.
So, Cassie decides to take action. It’s time for one last adventure… even if it means taking a big risk to get there. —Synopsis provided by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
I finished reading The Space Between Lost and Found two days ago, and I’m still collecting my thoughts. It’s one of those “Wow!” books that just sits with you. It’s an emotionally intelligent read that looks at incremental loss in an honest and accessible way.
Cassie is mature for her age. The circumstances have forced her to grow up quickly in so many ways. And yet, all she wants is her mom to hold her; to call her by her name.
There’s a couple of interesting parent-child dynamics that play out in The Space Between Lost and Found. More and more, Cassie finds herself becoming the mother to her own mom. At the same time, Cassie’s dad doesn’t give Cassie the ability to make the decisions that come with being a parent. He’s focused on keeping Mom safe while Cassie is focused on quality experiences. In the end, they realize than not only are both important, but they are better when they coexist.
While The Space Between Lost and Found is specifically about Alzheimer’s disease, Cassie’s experiences and her feelings will ring true to any reader who has had a family member experience a physical or mental illness. The unpredictability of the changes and the toll they take on everyone are particularly tangible.
The Space Between Lost and Found is a beautiful read that will lead to good conversation between children and adults.
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