The Lost Girl
The Lost Girl
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Annotation: When they are separated--sent to different fifth-grade classrooms--for the firsttime since birth, identical twins Iris and Lark struggle with insecurities at the same time that things begin to go missing around town.
Catalog Number: #173240
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 355 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-227509-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-227509-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018954201
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
How will identical twins survive separation for the first time, especially when there's a monster in their Minneapolis neighborhood?Fifth grade is full of big changes for white identical twins Iris and Lark when they discover they will not only have different teachers, but different after-school activities. A third-person—although not omniscient—narrator recounts the twins' story. Identifying this narrator is the start of many mysteries. And although the plot revolves around the girls' burgeoning independence, Ursu focuses most on the separation's effect on Iris. Having watched her sister face multiple illnesses, she's become Lark's protector and remains reluctant to give up this role. Grounded in spot-on twin truths, the mysterious story is also a modern-day fantasy with myriad components: local art heists and an antiques store with cryptic signs; the store owner's magical experiments and missing sister; Lark's own missing items and fondness for crows; Iris' Pied Piper dreams and folktale musings; Iris' after-school program at the library and its diverse group of girls, who explore self-esteem and feminism. The details are astounding, but the overall effect is overly ambitious. When the monster finally appears, the finale feels rushed as the girls work to defeat him. But the process allows the twins to realize that growing up doesn't mean growing apart. Charming illustrations throughout reflect both the girls' subtle physical differences and larger adventures.Ursu's fans will find much to love. (Fantasy. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
Twin sisters Iris and Lark are -identical, but not the same.- Iris is down-to-earth; Lark has her head in the clouds. The girls have always looked after each other, and when they are placed in different classrooms and after-school activities (art camp for Lark, a library girls- group for Iris) during fifth grade, they are devastated. Nothing feels right to Iris, whose dismay is exacerbated by a series of unsettling events: meeting the peculiar owner of an antique shop who claims he-s doing magic, noticing objects gone missing from the twins- home, and being followed by a giant crow. The occurrences connect to a dark secret that proves dangerous to Iris and could separate the twins forever. As intriguing as it is eerie, this imaginative tale by Ursu (The Real Boy) is told from the point of view of the crow, who observes Iris-s actions and emotions as she faces life and peril, for the first time without her sister. This suspenseful mystery offers a story of empowerment, showing how one girl with the help of others can triumph. Ages 8-12. Agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. (Feb.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 36 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. Erin Reilly-Sanders, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Iris and Lark are identical twins whose differing personalities and styles fit together perfectly. Iris is practical, logical, and outspoken. Lark is a dreamer, artistic, and shy. Their inseparable status is threatened, however, when they are assigned to different fifth-grade classrooms. Iris is sure it's a mistake, but the girls' parents and principal are resolute that separating Iris and Lark will help them grow as individuals. Narrated by a nameless third party, the story belongs primarily to Iris, who believes it is her job to protect Lark, and she works herself into knots over being suddenly unable to do so. For the first time, she finds herself keeping secrets and telling Lark lies, hoping to shield her sensitive other half from unpleasantness. Meanwhile, Iris finds refuge in an antique shop with a cryptic sign and even more curious owner, whose empathy with Iris' situation is revealed to be unspeakably sinister. Anger, confusion, and loneliness muddle together as Iris realizes she can only escape her dire predicament by letting Lark take charge. National Book Award nominee Ursu laces her story with fairy-tale elements and real-life monsters, while taking great care to cast girls in an empowering light and as authors (and heroes) of their own stories. It is a layered, mysterious tale that will speak to many and brushes the world with magic.
Word Count: 68,974
Reading Level: 5.3
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.3 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 500551 / grade: Middle Grades

Anne Ursu, author of the National Book Award nominee The Real Boy, returns with a story of the power of fantasy, the limits of love, and the struggles inherent in growing up.

When you’re an identical twin, your story always starts with someone else. For Iris, that means her story starts with Lark.

Iris has always been the grounded, capable, and rational one; Lark has been inventive, dreamy, and brilliant—and from their first moments in the world together, they’ve never left each other’s side. Everyone around them realized early on what the two sisters already knew: they had better outcomes when they were together.

When fifth grade arrives, however, it's decided that Iris and Lark should be split into different classrooms, and something breaks in them both.

Iris is no longer so confident; Lark retreats into herself as she deals with challenges at school. And at the same time, something strange is happening in the city around them, things both great and small going missing without a trace.

As Iris begins to understand that anything can be lost in the blink of an eye, she decides it’s up to her to find a way to keep her sister safe.


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