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The book of lost things
John Connolly
Adult Fiction CONNOLL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Crossley provides a smooth, professional reading of this heartfelt story of loss and discovery. Connolly's fairy tale for adults chronicles the adventures of David, a 12-year-old boy growing up in WWII England. Still mourning the loss of his mother to cancer, David is desperately trying to adjust to life with a new stepmother, a new half-brother and a father who, because of the war, is never around. But everything changes when David stumbles through a magical gateway and into a realm of familiar, yet decidedly different, representations of classic fairy tales. Searching for a way home, he is pursued by the Crooked Man, an evil troll who must strip David of his innocence in order to retain his power over the kingdom. David learns lessons of bravery, loyalty, acceptance, sacrifice and, finally, the power of love and family. Crossley's narration is articulate and measured, bringing a respectful dignity to the author's prose. He takes the same care with the book's multitude of characters, whether it is David, the Crooked Man or a hilariously funny band of anti-capitalist dwarfs. A lovely tale, skillfully told. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

After the death of his mother, 12-year-old David mourns her loss alone in his attic bedroom, with only his books to keep him company. As his anger at her death grows with each day, the books begin to speak to him, telling their wild tales of dragons, princes, and knights. Soon reality and fantasy collide, and David finds himself in a land unlike his own, a world where monsters, evil sorceresses, and half-human wolves dwell. With the help of friends he meets in this strange land, David goes on a search for the King, who is said to have The Book of Lost Things; this book will help David find his way home. Along the way, David encounters many challenges that transform the boy into a man. In an intriguing change of pace from his crime novels (Bad Men; Every Dead Thing), Connolly's book takes readers back into the imaginations they once held as children, reminding them of the time when they created fantasy worlds before adulthood changed them forever. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/06; see the interview with Connolly, p. 37.-Ed.]-Erin J. Miller, Middletown, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters David
Age: 12
Mother died after a long illness; turns to books for comfort; father remarries; stepmother is pregnant; competes with everyone to find a place in his father's life; enters a portal to another world; undertakes a quest in order to earn his way back home.

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