The Museum of Lost and Found

Abrams/Amulet. May 2023. 304p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419754517.
Gr 3-7–Vanessa is an 11-year-old Jewish middle grade student from Ohio with an absent military father and a mother who works all the time. She and Bailey are best friends but are beginning to drift apart. As Vanessa is out exploring one day, she stumbles upon an abandoned museum and decides to make an exhibit showcasing her friendship with Bailey. Slowly Vanessa starts to see that friendship in a new light. This book is geared towards middle grades but has wide appeal for its relatable themes. Readers will witness Vanessa deal with her dwindling friendship as she changes each exhibit, a creative way to express how relationships are affected as friends grow and change. Many readers will see themselves in Vanessa as she matures and deals with life issues; the process of watching her make new friends is heartwarming and relatable for anyone in middle school. Readers will learn to value memories of the past, but also to look forward to what is to come.
VERDICT This is an outstanding book for its unique and wonderful approach to relatable themes surrounding the notion of coming of age.

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