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The Lost Children

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Josephine Russing owns 387 pairs of gloves. She's given a new pair every week by her father, a sullen man known best for his insistence that the citizens in town wear gloves at all times. A world away, the children of Gulm have been taken. No one knows where they might be, except the mysterious and terrifying leader of the land: The Master. He rules with an iron fist, us Josephine Russing owns 387 pairs of gloves. She's given a new pair every week by her father, a sullen man known best for his insistence that the citizens in town wear gloves at all times. A world away, the children of Gulm have been taken. No one knows where they might be, except the mysterious and terrifying leader of the land: The Master. He rules with an iron fist, using two grotesque creatures to enforce his terrible reign. When a peculiar boy named Fargus shows up on Josephine's property and then disappears soon afterward, she follows him without a second thought and finds herself magically transported to Gulm. After Fargus introduces her to his tough-as-nails friend Ida, the three of them set off on an adventure that will test everything Josephine has ever thought about the rules of the universe, leading to a revelation about the truth of the land of Gulm, and of Josephine's own life back home.


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Josephine Russing owns 387 pairs of gloves. She's given a new pair every week by her father, a sullen man known best for his insistence that the citizens in town wear gloves at all times. A world away, the children of Gulm have been taken. No one knows where they might be, except the mysterious and terrifying leader of the land: The Master. He rules with an iron fist, us Josephine Russing owns 387 pairs of gloves. She's given a new pair every week by her father, a sullen man known best for his insistence that the citizens in town wear gloves at all times. A world away, the children of Gulm have been taken. No one knows where they might be, except the mysterious and terrifying leader of the land: The Master. He rules with an iron fist, using two grotesque creatures to enforce his terrible reign. When a peculiar boy named Fargus shows up on Josephine's property and then disappears soon afterward, she follows him without a second thought and finds herself magically transported to Gulm. After Fargus introduces her to his tough-as-nails friend Ida, the three of them set off on an adventure that will test everything Josephine has ever thought about the rules of the universe, leading to a revelation about the truth of the land of Gulm, and of Josephine's own life back home.

30 review for The Lost Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    MY VERY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME!!!! I WANT TO GIVE IT LIKE 20 MILLION STARS!!!!! Please write another!!!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Chung

    I really liked this book. It wasn't without flaws, but I definitely recommend! Giving this middle grade a solid 4 stars! The Lost Children starts off a bit slow. It's about a girl named Josephine who lives in a town where everyone has to wear gloves. Her father owns a glove factory and MAKES everyone in the town wear gloves too. People hate him and the kids hate Josephine because of the gloves. Now this beginning sounds super dopey, but it comes back around eventually. One day Josephine is in her I really liked this book. It wasn't without flaws, but I definitely recommend! Giving this middle grade a solid 4 stars! The Lost Children starts off a bit slow. It's about a girl named Josephine who lives in a town where everyone has to wear gloves. Her father owns a glove factory and MAKES everyone in the town wear gloves too. People hate him and the kids hate Josephine because of the gloves. Now this beginning sounds super dopey, but it comes back around eventually. One day Josephine is in her backyard planting a tomato for a class project when she sees a small boy standing in her backyard. He looked dirty and lost and had no shoes! Josephine felt bad for the boy and decided to invite him inside her house for some food. This is the beginning of a weird friendship. The boy comes again the next day and this time Josephine invites him up to her room. He seemed so tired. She hears her father come home and rushes downstairs to meet him. When she gets back to her room the boy is gone. She asked him where he had come from earlier in the day and he pointed toward the shed. She heads toward the shed. While inside the shed looking for the boy, she trips and finds her self somewhere else. Definitely not her shed. She is confused and frightened. It turns out when she tripped she fell into a different world. The boy is from this world. His name is Fargus and he is an orphan. I read this book to my boys, a chapter a night. It was slow going. Each chapter is around 3 to 4 pages. I should have read a few chapters a night, but we were reading 3 different books ;) I think because we read the book so slowly that the beginning seemed to take forever to get to some action. This isn't a swashbuckling action packed story. It's a slow burn adventure with three kids as the main characters, all on a journey. It's like a mix of Wizard of Oz and Narnia. Each kid needs something and like Dorothy, all Josephine wants is to find her way home. What she finds on her journey is so much more. She found out that she was strong, brave, tough and fearless. She found true friends. There is a twist at the end that definitely caught me off guard and of course like a sap I got choked up and teary eyed. My 13 year old really enjoyed this one and wanted to continue talking to me about it. His critique is that some of the plot points were a little too convenient and didn't make any sense. He wished the book was either longer or had a sequel so that some of the "magic" could have been fleshed out more. I love it. Teaching the boy right :D If you like middle grade or your kids do, I'd definitely pick this one up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Why I read this: It looked like a fun time-travel middle grade fiction, so I thought I'd give it a read. :) Plot: I have to say, I really like time-travel plots, especially in children's novels. You get the best of both worlds, adventure and usually some glances into different cultures. This plot had some great adventure, some very cool worlds to explore, and a bad guy that I would have never thought up in a million years. Characters: I'm going to start with the bad guy on this one. Definitely an Why I read this: It looked like a fun time-travel middle grade fiction, so I thought I'd give it a read. :) Plot: I have to say, I really like time-travel plots, especially in children's novels. You get the best of both worlds, adventure and usually some glances into different cultures. This plot had some great adventure, some very cool worlds to explore, and a bad guy that I would have never thought up in a million years. Characters: I'm going to start with the bad guy on this one. Definitely an inventive bad guy and the creatures he harnesses are something you do not want to mess with. I love the unusual bad guy, makes the story a lot more interesting. Josephine, the main character, takes every plot turn in stride, trying her best to make the most of what is going on and keep going so she can get back to her world. Fargus is the silent sidekick, having lost his ability to speak after he ruined his family's lives, he cannot seem to communicate with his voice. He makes for an interesting character and definitely one that feels guilty for his foolish mistake. Ida is quite a spitfire, the other companion that has known Fargus growing up and can understand him better than anyone. She definitely is the tough one in the group and keeps them moving at different points in the novel. Relatability: If you've ever been a child or have an imagination, this book is for you. There's nothing more fun than believing another world exists and there is a doorway to it in your shed. I definitely think this will appeal to all types of kids thanks to the wonderful way it is written. Cover Commentary: Love it. Definitely portrays something ominous but adventurous.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bridget R. Wilson

    Twelve-year-old Josephine Russing has accepted certain circumstances in her life. She must always wear gloves. (It's a law!) Her father ignores her. She doesn't have any friends. But that all changes one day with the arrival of a mute boy called Fargus. When searching for him, Josephine finds herself transported into a parallel universe where children are scarce and everyone fears the "Master." With Fargus and his friend Ida by her side, Josephine intends to solve the mystery of the "Master" and Twelve-year-old Josephine Russing has accepted certain circumstances in her life. She must always wear gloves. (It's a law!) Her father ignores her. She doesn't have any friends. But that all changes one day with the arrival of a mute boy called Fargus. When searching for him, Josephine finds herself transported into a parallel universe where children are scarce and everyone fears the "Master." With Fargus and his friend Ida by her side, Josephine intends to solve the mystery of the "Master" and return home. What I thought: What a magical book! It had me hooked from the first paragraph. Though the best genre word to describe The Lost Children would be fantasy, I also appreciate the mystery elements in the story. It had a twist at the end that even I wasn't expecting. The blurb likens the book to Alice in Wonderland and I agree. However, I wold also name The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as similar. This book with its enchanting, adventurous story, believable characters, dastardly villain, and strong friend has the makings of a classic fantasy for children.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I was drawn to this book while at the library. I didn't really read the synopsis so I had no expectations going into it. So I was pleasantly surprised with a plot that involved time travel and travel to other worlds. Josephine Honestly, I wasn't sure if I liked this character at times. She seemed too weak and indecisive. She didn't seem to have that inner voice that told her that things were off or wrong. She would rather blindly hope things and people were good. Ida Now Ida was the strong heroine I was drawn to this book while at the library. I didn't really read the synopsis so I had no expectations going into it. So I was pleasantly surprised with a plot that involved time travel and travel to other worlds. Josephine Honestly, I wasn't sure if I liked this character at times. She seemed too weak and indecisive. She didn't seem to have that inner voice that told her that things were off or wrong. She would rather blindly hope things and people were good. Ida Now Ida was the strong heroine that I wanted. She was determined to save herself and her friends. She was skeptical when things were too good to be true and would try to find out people's real motives. Fargas Poor Fargas learned to get by without talking after what he had been through. He was harder to decide if I liked him or not. However, I decided that he was sweet and just took time to like him. Ned Ned seemed to be a strong character. He was determined to help others and do the right thing. I really liked him and was glad that he had a decent part in the story. Leopold Reginald Russing Now this was an odd little characters. Nobody liked him and he was determined to keep things that way. He forced people to do what he wanted and he cared about no one else. The lost children I felt bad for them. The reader doesn't really get to know them but you get the impression that they are suffering more than anyone. The Ending Yeah, I totally wasn't expecting that ending. It explained so much. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely read another book by this author.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    One of the more confused plots I've ever read. The setting could do with some grounding, and the confusion isn't helped by the fact that the back blurb is wrong. Gulm is a town, not a world. Who even knows what's going on with the world setting. Is this an alternate world? For sure? Why don't we know for sure right from the get-go? Since we have no basis for what's "normal" in the book, we don't even necessarily know what's abnormal. Which is something we need, since that would build suspense, l One of the more confused plots I've ever read. The setting could do with some grounding, and the confusion isn't helped by the fact that the back blurb is wrong. Gulm is a town, not a world. Who even knows what's going on with the world setting. Is this an alternate world? For sure? Why don't we know for sure right from the get-go? Since we have no basis for what's "normal" in the book, we don't even necessarily know what's abnormal. Which is something we need, since that would build suspense, lessen the overwhelming confusion, and overall make a more coherent novel. I'm not quite certain what the point of the novel was, though I understood the plot. There's a lot of violence and angst that seems to be there just for there to be violence and angst, and there are no happy endings. Overall, a very strange novel which I will not be rereading.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Coralie Loon

    Honestly, this is one of my favorite books of all time. It is filled with adventure, friendship, and a little humor. There was not a single page where I became bored or ever wanted to put the book down. If you start reading this, you have to read the entire thing because the ending is priceless! I highly recommend this book. It is the perfect length and is one of my favorite genres. 5 stars all the way!

  8. 5 out of 5

    James Maxon

    This review is from my 8-year-old daughter: "My teacher read this book to my third grade class. I gave it 5-starts because it was interesting and cool how the author put some of her life experiences into her book. Also because it was creative and she put a lot of thought into the story. My favorite character was Ida because she was super funny. I was surprised at the ending, never bored with the story, and look forward to the second book when it comes out."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cat8

    I read this in like 5th or 6th grade and it is still my favorite book. I love it so much. If I had to read 1 book over and over again, it would be this one. I hope you give it a read, yes you, the person reading this right now.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julia Drake

    From the first page The Lost Children takes you into a world, so rich with texture, emotion, and suspense, you never want to leave. I'm so glad that there will be a sequel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Cronyn

    Currently, I am on page one hundred. There are many scenarios where I completely relate to Josephine Russing. In the beginning, she talks about how she is picked on for her dad making the law that they all always have to wear gloves. Giving that I am roughly her age and many people who are reading this novel probably are, I'm sure it isn't just me who could relate to being embarrassed by people you are affiliated with. One thing I appreciate about young Josephine is how she is sad but she can st Currently, I am on page one hundred. There are many scenarios where I completely relate to Josephine Russing. In the beginning, she talks about how she is picked on for her dad making the law that they all always have to wear gloves. Giving that I am roughly her age and many people who are reading this novel probably are, I'm sure it isn't just me who could relate to being embarrassed by people you are affiliated with. One thing I appreciate about young Josephine is how she is sad but she can still be creative and loves to dream through books. Everything about Josephine that I've noticed so far shows that she is such a relatable person, and yet she has a special creative spark to her. Since she is going to a new place where things are different, I wonder how her attitude and creativity will be in her favor and be held against her.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Megan K

    I absolutely loved this book. The characters are vibrant, and Cohagan transports you along with them for a journey through a mysterious and fascinating world full of creatures and stories you'd never imagine. It was hard to put this book down, and I looked forward to the next time I would get the chance to pick it up again. When it came to that sad time when a book is nearing its end, I was pleased to find that it had a beautiful ending, with a heartfelt and meaningful message. Brilliant and a m I absolutely loved this book. The characters are vibrant, and Cohagan transports you along with them for a journey through a mysterious and fascinating world full of creatures and stories you'd never imagine. It was hard to put this book down, and I looked forward to the next time I would get the chance to pick it up again. When it came to that sad time when a book is nearing its end, I was pleased to find that it had a beautiful ending, with a heartfelt and meaningful message. Brilliant and a must read for children, parents, or any person with a love for children's literature.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Golembiewski

    Josephine is a girl who lives with only her dad, away from everyone else. Her dad is the most hated man in town because he made the ridiculous law that you have to wear gloves all the time. Josephine's life was pretty boring until a strange little boy walked into her life. he lead her to her scary shed that magically teleported her to another place. If you liked the book, "Chronicles of Narnia", you'll love this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Victory

    this is my favorite book I ever read. It's kind of twisted but the story about Josephine's father gets untangled and it really makes sense better. I couldn't stop reading this book!! It was one of my candidate for MCBA voting!! If you didn't read it, I think you should! Or else, I'm pretty sure you'll regret it!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Noemi

    This book is a good inspiration for us kids to start reading. When I saw this book,I had started reading it and I had told myself that this is one of the best books that I had ever read. I like the plot and the dialogue because it gives lots of details and I am able to understand what is going on in the story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gecy O.

    I have read this book twice. The first time was when I first brought it, and a second time a few years later to fully understand the story. It was very magical, and it had a few plot twists. I loved this book, and I suggest you read this is you love fantasy/magical books! 5 stars from me!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I thought this book was a fun read. I liked the characters and story. The only reason I didn't give it a higher rating was because I still had a few questions and they didn't get answered at the end.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Powell

    A great premise and most of the book was fantastic.... However, the ending left me rather confused and disappointed. It felt too rushed and contrived. I enjoyed most of the story very much.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Dear Ms. Cohagan, Thank you for visiting my class last week. I really enjoyed it. I loved reading The Lost Children. My favorite part was when we found out some surprises about the characters. My favorite character is Ida, because she is strong, brave and courageous. I recommend this book because it's an amazing book with a lot of action.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    The book The Lost Children by Carolyn Cohagan was a long book. I liked this book but sometimes i got confused of where the girl was. My favorite character was the girl that was going through these different places. Her name is Josephine Russing. I liked her because she never gave up on trying to get home. “And when you grow up one day," her mother would always add, "you might be lucky enough to be shot by someone you love.” I like it because it was something that i always wanted and this was jus The book The Lost Children by Carolyn Cohagan was a long book. I liked this book but sometimes i got confused of where the girl was. My favorite character was the girl that was going through these different places. Her name is Josephine Russing. I liked her because she never gave up on trying to get home. “And when you grow up one day," her mother would always add, "you might be lucky enough to be shot by someone you love.” I like it because it was something that i always wanted and this was just true for me. I don't remember what page but i pretty sure the narrator said it or she thought it to herself. I like her because she went on so many adventures and she could of been tooken but she kept trying and trying.

  21. 5 out of 5

    LobsterQuadrille

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This story concerns a girl named Josephine, who lives with her distant, glove-obsessed father. One day she meets Fargus, a boy from another world, and then ends up there herself. The town of Gulm in this strange dimension is held in the iron grip of "The Master", who takes the townspeople's children away for some nefarious purpose. Josephine and her new friends Fargus and Ida must find a way to defeat the Master. This book was a fairly quick, fun read, but probably not something I'd read again This story concerns a girl named Josephine, who lives with her distant, glove-obsessed father. One day she meets Fargus, a boy from another world, and then ends up there herself. The town of Gulm in this strange dimension is held in the iron grip of "The Master", who takes the townspeople's children away for some nefarious purpose. Josephine and her new friends Fargus and Ida must find a way to defeat the Master. This book was a fairly quick, fun read, but probably not something I'd read again. The plot, with its setting in different worlds, was quite confusing, since many of the important elements, such as why the Master was taking away children, weren't even explained until quite late in the book. There were also some small unanswered questions that were bugging me(spoiler alert here!): - If the "lost children" are eternally young, what happens after their parents gradually die of old age? Could the kids properly care for themselves? Are they mentally and emotionally adults, or are their minds eternally young too? - If Josephine met her father in the other world when he was a boy, and he later named his daughter after her(so Josephine was named after herself), did he suddenly just realize someday that his daughter looked an awful lot like that girl? Did he figure the whole confusing mess out then? Wow, I just confused myself so much that I can't even phrase these questions properly! That's just how mind-bending this book is. A nice story with likeable(if rather indistinct) characters, but one that will give you a headache if you think about it too much.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Savannah S.

    A girl named Josephine is forced to live by her fathers laws. Yes laws. Everyone in town must wear gloves. Every week she is given a new pair of gloves by her father. He's a cold-hearted man who barely even makes the effort to make sure Josephine is alive. Then one day before her father came home a boy named Fargus is found in her yard. But there's a difficulty, he can't talk. Or just doesn't. Not one single word ever. Josephine is determined to find this boy once more so she follows him into he A girl named Josephine is forced to live by her fathers laws. Yes laws. Everyone in town must wear gloves. Every week she is given a new pair of gloves by her father. He's a cold-hearted man who barely even makes the effort to make sure Josephine is alive. Then one day before her father came home a boy named Fargus is found in her yard. But there's a difficulty, he can't talk. Or just doesn't. Not one single word ever. Josephine is determined to find this boy once more so she follows him into her shed. Where did he go? He was just in her a second ago? Josephine searches the shed then falls. To where exactly? She ends up in an odd place called Gulm. Here she meets Fargus once more and his self absorbed, rude friend Ida. Ida, Fargus, and Josephine are the only ones left in this orphanage or Institute. Why? Because the 2 owners need to give children every week to these mouth less creatures called "The Brothers" to take to the Master. The Master is dangerous. He controls these evil creatures. Ida, Fargus, and Josephine escape the Institute and are now going where ever their legs will take them. But when the Master kidnaps Ida and Fargus, Josephine is forced to face the biggest feared man in all of Gulm. What will she learn about her past? Or even her future? Will The Brothers get to her before she gets to the Master? If you liked the book Something Borrowed by: Paul Magrs you may like this book except this book is a little more for kids than Something Borrowed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    A

    The story line is a little strange & gets to be difficult to follow later on in the book. Uses a good bit of imagination and the idea of time traveling. Not a good book for kids that struggle with monsters getting them. I didn’t care for "the brothers" who were monsters in the book. Has a relatively happy ending. Some violence & murder. Not my favorite read, but it was ok. Lexile 740 - Reading Counts 14 points The story line is a little strange & gets to be difficult to follow later on in the book. Uses a good bit of imagination and the idea of time traveling. Not a good book for kids that struggle with monsters getting them. I didn’t care for "the brothers" who were monsters in the book. Has a relatively happy ending. Some violence & murder. Not my favorite read, but it was ok. Lexile 740 - Reading Counts 14 points

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I was lucky enough to read this book before it is officially published and I can't wait for it to arrive in bookstores. It is beautifully written and just as captivating for adults with a love of a great story as it is children. Carolyn Cohagan is a wonderful writer and I can't wait to read more from her, especially more about Josephine, Ida and Fargus.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily Klein

    I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this and it was such a delicious pleasure! It brought me back to those late childhood/early adolescent kind of reads - Madeleine L'Engle, CS Lewis, etc. I felt completely immersed in her world. I wanted to hang out with her characters and keep hanging out with them when the book ended. A magical first novel.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tani

    This book is well suited for the interests and understanding of its proposed audience (8-12). I wish it had gone into greater detail about the "master's" fate and how it could have possibly been applied to maybe save the other "lost children." So I thought it ended a little too quickly. Very sweet, with light humor and horror this book is quick paced and holds the reader's interest.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ryleigh Sturman

    To be honest, that book, out of all I have read over the years, was my all-time favorite! The detail the author, "Carolyn Cohagan," put into the book was just so impressive. She sucked me right in as soon as my eyes hit the page. I just want to say, "Don't stop writing, you have such great talent!"

  28. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    The part in the country put me in a really good mood.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz Taylor

    Pretty good - read this with my daughter.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Winterlyn

    I LOVE this book to pieces. It about a girl named Josephine who find her way her a portal to another land and she and two friends she made back home. BTW twist ending

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