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The Lost Boy's Gift



by
Kimberly Willis Holt

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Macmillan
Imprint
Henry Holt and Company, Inc.
ISBN
9781627793261
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
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Ten-year-old Daniel moves across the country in the wake of his parents’ divorce. He’s leaving behind his dad and his friends, but taking his anger with him. Little does Daniel know what awaits on While-a-Way Lane, his quirky new neighborhood. There he meets Tilda Butter who is gifted with the ability to communicate with animals. Though Daniel’s reluctant to let Tilda in at first, he ultimately opens up to a special friendship and the hope of a new start.

Black-and-white illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

208

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 7"

Dewey

F

AR

4.7: points 4

Lexile

710L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

8

JLG Release

Aug 2019

Book Genres


Topics

Moving households. Neighborhoods. Human-animal communication. Schools. Theater. Family problems. Friendship. Intergenerational friendship. Divorce.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews*, The Horn Book Magazine

Horn Book

Nine-year-old Daniel is unenthusiastic about moving with his mother to Whilea- Way Lane after his parents’ divorce, but middle-aged Tilda Butter is delighted to have a child move in next door. With most of the neighborhood families away for spring break, Tilda—whose main companions are the animals she talks with (she’s had the ability to converse with animals since childhood)—takes an interest in Daniel while his mother puts in long hours at a new job. Once school starts, Daniel slowly develops friends among his classmates. But he is so trapped in his loneliness (“He’sss sssuch a sssad little fellow when he isssn’t annoying,” Isabella, a green grass snake, observes) that he is slow to realize how much Tilda’s friendship means to him until a heartwarming resolution shows Daniel the value of the relationships he has made on While-a-Way Lane. Holt makes the unusual choice to bring the reader into grown-up Tilda’s thoughts just as much as Daniel’s, making her a co-protagonist of the story. A broad cast of well-defined secondary characters reinforces the book’s sense of community, while the talking animals provide both occasional profundity and frequent comic relief. The book’s quirkiness and the sometimes-fey voice of the omniscient narrator (“It was not a straight path, but one that wove around tree trunks and under low branches. She followed it obediently, for she was an obedient child”) may not appeal to all readers, but fans of Natalie Babbitt and Anne Ursu will appreciate the blend of emotional resonance and magic.

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

Nine-year-old Daniel is unenthusiastic about moving with his mother to Whilea- Way Lane after his parents’ divorce, but middle-aged Tilda Butter is delighted to have a child move in next door. With most of the neighborhood families away for spring break, Tilda—whose main companions are the animals she talks with (she’s had the ability to converse with animals since childhood)—takes an interest in Daniel while his mother puts in long hours at a new job. Once school starts, Daniel slowly develops friends among his classmates. But he is so trapped in his loneliness (“He’sss sssuch a sssad little fellow when he isssn’t annoying,” Isabella, a green grass snake, observes) that he is slow to realize how much Tilda’s friendship means to him until a heartwarming resolution shows Daniel the value of the relationships he has made on While-a-Way Lane. Holt makes the unusual choice to bring the reader into grown-up Tilda’s thoughts just as much as Daniel’s, making her a co-protagonist of the story. A broad cast of well-defined secondary characters reinforces the book’s sense of community, while the talking animals provide both occasional profundity and frequent comic relief. The book’s quirkiness and the sometimes-fey voice of the omniscient narrator (“It was not a straight path, but one that wove around tree trunks and under low branches. She followed it obediently, for she was an obedient child”) may not appeal to all readers, but fans of Natalie Babbitt and Anne Ursu will appreciate the blend of emotional resonance and magic.

Grades 3-5
Intermediate Readers
For Grades 3-5

A wide variety of novels and accessible nonfiction for younger elementary readers who love a good story comprise this category of 12 books per year. The focus in these titles is primarily on the text, though some novels may feature illustration.

12 books per Year
$195.60 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books,Fiction,Transitional Readers
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Grades 3-5
Intermediate Readers
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