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Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff

Lost in the Sun

by Lisa Graff

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This was a well-done realistic fiction novel with difficult themes: guilt, anger issues, and depression. It may not be for ever reader, but I think most kids who got into Wonder would appreciate the main character, Trent's complex nature. Or at least they would get it.

I had some issues with characterizations that read cliche or forced: the teacher was such a parody of herself. I eventually liked that she and Trent hit it off but it felt an obligatory plot device at moments. Also, the fathers ( both seemed like repressed alpha - males ), especially Trent's dad, were strangely aloof and characters who I didn't feel like I really got to know. Maybe if they were more central, I would have felt better about them overall.
I did enjoy the brother relationships, and their dynamic was believable. At times I could have sworn the author was projecting Holden Caulfield's voice on Trent, and that felt strained. Also, would Annie truly want to be near this family after what happened. That character motivation was unclear. Good read for fans of young characters surmounting difficult times and navigating their own emotional self- awareness in overcoming obstacles and personal conflict.

Overall, a good solid realistic fiction read. ( )
  libheroine | Jun 5, 2017 |
Seven and one half months earlier, 12-year-old Trent Zimmerman accidentally contributed to the death of his teammate Jared during a hockey game, after nailing him with a puck (Jared had a “bad heart”). Already prone to overthinking, Trent is overwhelmed by disturbing thoughts, which he draws in a closely guarded journal of his thoughts and drawings. Trent is also very angry. He backs away from his best friend, acts out at school, and clashes with his family.He encounters Fallon one day when she stands up for him in an altercation. Trent does not appreciate this and lets her know. Fallon for whatever reason is persistent in befriending Trent. Fallon is known for the large scar on her face, and her weird outfits. Also in Trent's life is a dedicated teacher who Trent, "hates" and refers to her as "a wrinkled old crone." Trent is gradually able to let go of his intense guilt and regain his confidence. Trent’s barely constrained rage is visceral, and the moments when he lashes out, verbally and physically, are as frightening as they are realistic. The story covers a lot of emotional ground, empathically tracing Trent’s efforts to deal with a horrible, inexplicable accident and to heal the relationships that have become collateral damage along the way. Ages 10–up. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
The ending of this book was touching and satisfying, but it seemed like it took a while to get there. Trent is carrying around a lot of guilt and anger. His relationship with his dad is down the toilet. He can't shake the guilt he feels about a pick-up hockey game gone wrong where another kid died. He's convinced its his fault and how can he be happy or have fun if someone is dead because of him? He has to navigate his way through troubled times and no one seems to know he needs help or how to help him. He meets a new friend, Fallon. His crusty teacher seems to hate him. But then something starts to turn... ( )
  ewyatt | Nov 30, 2016 |
This book is covers issues about dealing with ones past and figuring out how to move on. Going a bit deeper, the main protagonist accidentally kills a fellow kid. In order to deal with this he draws in his journal (always about other ways the kid could have died) to deal with the situation at hand. Later on he finds guidance from an unexpected teacher and gains friendship from a girl also having issues.
  CNealon | Nov 24, 2016 |
I really wanted to love this book. I thought it was ok. I think I was expecting more revelations from it but it fell kind of flat. The main character is very angry and bonds with a young girl who sports a huge scar. I really did want to know how she got her scar. I did know why the main character is angry. Curricular connections: point of view, differences, divorce. ( )
  amyruotsala | Mar 13, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399164065, Hardcover)

From the author of A Tangle of Knots and Absolutely Almost, a touching story about a boy who won't let one tragic accident define him.

Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can't get rid of. Trent’s pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he's not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is. 
If only Trent could make that fresh start happen.
It isn’t until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little—the girl with the mysterious scar across her face—that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren’t always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to find it.

Advance praise for Lost in the Sun:
* "Graff writes with stunning insight into boyhood and humanity, allowing Trent to speak for himself in a pained, honest narration. Investing Trent with all the tragic frailty of Holden Caulfield, Graff tackles issues of loss, isolation, and rage without apology. Graff consistently demonstrates why character-driven novels can live from generation to generation, and here she offers a story that can survive for many school years to come."--Kirkus Reviews  *STARRED*

* "Graff creates layered, vulnerable characters that are worth getting to know and routing for. Narrated by the moody, sarcastic Trent, the story never buckles beneath his troubles, and it finds wings once he can see beyond them. Pranks, The Sandlot reenactments, sports talk, and donuts are in plentiful supply, adding dashes of levity at the right moments. The book’s real magic is found in simple acts like watering plants and learning when to listen and when to just tip your head back and scream at the sky."--Booklist *STARRED*

* "In an ambitious and gracefully executed story, Graff covers a lot of emotional ground, empathically tracing Trent’s efforts to deal with a horrible, inexplicable accident and to heal the relationships that have become collateral damage along the way."--Publishers Weekly *STARRED*
“In Lost in the Sun, Trent decides that he will speak the truth: that pain and anger and loss are not the final words, that goodness can find us after all—even when we hide from it.  This is a novel that speaks powerfully, honestly, almost shockingly about our human pain and our human redemption.  This book will change you.”—Gary Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
“Lisa Graff crafts a compelling story about a boy touched with tragedy and the world of people he cares about.  And like all the best stories, it ends at a new beginning.”—Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author of A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way From Chicago
Lisa Graff's Awards and Reviews:
Lisa Graff's books have been named to 30 state award lists, and A Tangle of Knots was long-listed for the National Book Award.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:15:18 -0400)

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