Review: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

December 13, 2013 Book Review, DNF 6 DNF

the book of lost things

Max Starling’s theatrical father likes to say that at twelve a boy is independent. He also likes to boast (about his acting skills, his wife’s acting skills, a fortune only his family knows is metaphorical), but more than anything he likes to have adventures. Max Starling’s equally theatrical mother is not a boaster but she enjoys a good adventure as much as her husband. When these two disappear, what can sort-of-theatrical Max and his not-at-all theatrical grandmother do? They have to wait to find out something, anything, and to worry, and, in Max’s case, to figure out how to earn a living at the same time as he maintains his independence. This is the first of three books, all featuring the mysterious Mister Max.


The premise given for The Book of Lost Things sounded so promising I couldn’t resist swooping up this middle grade title. As expected with a number of MG books I had to suspend belief / disbelief and just roll with things no matter how silly I felt things were​ getting. In this respect, I definitely believe this one a title for children, and not one that would work well as a cross over. At least not for me personally. When I read middle grade fiction I approach it trying to put myself into a preteen mindset of – will my nephews enjoy this? Will I enjoy reading this with my child? In this case I would say kids would likely enjoy this, but an adult would be less likely to.

Unfortunately, The Book of Lost Things falls into the very small realm of books I can’t bring myself to continue. We start off with Max’s parents getting kidnapped and he is determined to save them. But he gets so completely sidetracked constantly that it makes me wonder what was really the main point. Finally I decided it just wasn’t for me because I found myself not caring.​

But here are a few people that I know either loved or seriously enjoyed the book. So you don’t have to take my word for it.

 Tiffing @ Mostly YA Lit gave it 4Stars

Beth @ Beth’s Book Reviews gave it 4 stars

The Book of Lost Things

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• This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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6 Responses to “Review: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt”

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I think I probably read at least one Middle grade book every month or every other month. My love of them of course started with Harry Potter. haha. Plus amazingly enough some of them can be REALLY good. One of my favorite books is now a MG title called THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani. Its such a great one I tell you.

  1. Troubled Scribe

    The cover has a sort of Lemony Snicket appeal, but the way the blurb is worded, I find a tad confusing. I can’t imagine a Middle Grade student having any clue what the book is about.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I really adored the cover! I agree things might not be perfect for a MG reader as well. I was so sad I didn’t like this more but eh…what can you do. You can’t love em all.

  2. Pamela D

    I have a hard time reading MG books, even if it is to see if I would recommend a book to my niece and nephew. Yea for reading it for the rest of us. 🙂

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Some MG books I really like. The School for Good and Evil is considered MG but it felt like YA to me. I loved it. Its one I think you would enjoy also! But yes alot of MG books fall far from the mark of enjoyable for me.