The Train of Lost Things

The Train of Lost Things by Ammi-Joan Paquette

Have you ever lost something precious and wondered what happened to it? Has your treasure been found? Marty Torphil feels like he is losing so many things. Mostly he feels like he might be losing his dad, who has cancer and is very sick. And then his favorite jacket is stolen. He is desperate to find it because he got the jacket from Dad on his birthday.

Since before Marty can remember, his dad has told him stories about the magical Train of Lost Things and the egg whistle he lost when he was a boy. Marty makes a brave decision to leave at midnight to catch this train and find his precious jacket.

This train sounds like the Polar Express or the Hogwarts’ Express at Platform 9 ¾. But this is no old-fashioned train. It is a silver bullet train that speeds through the midnight sky. When Marty manages to be caught by the train, he realizes that all kinds of things are being lost every day.

Marty isn’t the only one on the train on this night. He finds a new friend named Dina who is searching for a special locket that belonged to her mother. Together they go from car to car finding many other things lost by other children.

As the night wears on, the children realize that it isn’t the searching they enjoy but the finding, and that “there are some things in life that you can never find until you are well and truly lost.”

Paquette’s story is magical, to be sure. But it is rooted in her own family’s story of loss. Perhaps that is what makes it all so true and believable and poignant. An excellent read-aloud with much to talk about. Ages 8 and up. (Philomel Books)

About the Author

Jenny de Groot is a teacher/librarian in Langley, British Columbia.

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