For the past 13 years, John (Jack) Buckles has lived an ordinary life, with an ordinary family. Except for one thing. Jack sees things differently from other people. He can even see things that other people can’t, like ghosts and the past.

Jack’s father goes missing and is pronounced dead on a “business trip.” Jack, his mother, and his 8-year-old sister, Sadie, rush to London searching for him. When Jack and Sadie are left alone in their hotel room and Sadie runs off, Jack follows her. The two end up in a mysterious building called, The Lost Property Office. The suspenseful, action-packed story that ensues is about friendship and never giving up hope.

This book made me think of The Hunger Games Trilogy because of its unlikely heroes and strong-willed characters. It also reminded me of I am Malala, because no matter how many times Malala Yousafzai was told she couldn’t do something or was in danger, she never backed down. Now Malala is a huge role model to people everywhere.

I like to run, and I do cross country at my school. I’m not amazing at it, and I can’t run 4 minutes miles, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. A couple months ago, I had a really big meet. I was a little nervous because I was running with kids that were older than me. I was tired, and about to just give up, but I heard my coach yelling, telling me to keep going. Despite the pain,I ran as hard as I could. I finished in 10th place, and beat almost 80 girls. Best of all, I got my first medal! What I experienced then reminded me of what the characters in the story were going through.

If you feel like you don’t fit in, or like you don’t have the power to change anything, this beautifully written book will prove you wrong. Filled to the brim with clever plot twists and compelling characters, this story is sure to change the way you view the world, and how you see yourself. Although this book was written for young readers, I think that many adults would take something away from it as well. I would rate this book a solid five, and I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for an engaging novel that will have you eager to turn every page.

The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal. Simon & Schuster, 2016. Buy the book here and support Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup in the process!

Have you read this book? Or do you plan on reading it? If so, comment below!

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