Lost

Publisher: Scholastic

Alfie used to love football, and he had a talent for it. That was before his mother died of cancer. Her death destroyed his life like a wave washing away a sandcastle. Now football seems as meaningless as everything else. His friends have changed the way they behave around him, and he cannot connect with his father. It seems as if Alfie can’t get away from grief, until he meets mysterious Alice – who has her own troubles. Perhaps they can help each other get over the hurdles life has put in their way.

Lost is a moving, convincing story about the delicate relationships between father, son and friend in the wake of a terrible tragedy. The football theme provides a new twist on a classic story of emotional healing after the death of a loved one. It also acts as a much-needed window on the struggles faced by the many children and teenagers living in precarious, insecure, unfit housing in 21st-century Britain.

It is particularly refreshing to read a book that shows a platonic friendship between a teenage boy and girl, and which sympathetically explores ways towards positive father-son relationships and fatherhood, despite obstacles.

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