Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Obert Skye
Illustrator: Keith Thompson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
While lost in their Marvin-mindset, Tobias and Charlotte are attacked in their room by a creature who supposedly protects the Witherwood grounds. Soon after Charlotte is whisked off to the girls’ dormitory leaving Tobias imprisoned in his confining cot accommodations. However, Tobias stumbles upon his secret notations and injuries himself out of Marvin’s mental hold. With a clear head, Tobias searches for his sister and a way out. During his explorations, he meets three sane students who also want to escape: Keith, Meghan, and Patrick. Meghan shocks Charlotte out of her hypnotic state and Charlotte joins their group in planning a getaway. While searching the grounds, Tobias and Keith uncover the frightening truth that Marvin is turning young students into sickly senior citizens. The purpose behind this transformation isn’t known, but the kids realize they may be next. Gaining Fiddle’s aid, Tobias sets a campus barn ablaze to bring outside help inside Witherwood. However, the oppressive hand of Witherwood’s staff keep the kids from revealing their true desperation. Their only hope lies in a note Charlotte flipped into a firefighter’s boot.
Lost & Found in Skye’s Witherwood trilogy will have readers rolling on the floors with laughter but glued to their seats in nail-biting suspense. Skye’s brilliantly quirky narration at chapter beginnings may be hilarious, but these nuggets of insight do two things: foreshadow events for Tobias and Charlotte and give empowering advice to young readers. Skye exacerbates the story’s tension by making Tobias and Charlotte pretend to be submissively clueless kids as they secretly gather clues to comprehend Marvin’s demonic scheme. But behind the humor and adventure, there is also real heart to Skye’s story regarding the Eggers family. Anger, loss, and misbehavior may have driven them to fall apart in Book 1, but the foundational love of being a united family drives each to find one another again, no matter the odds. A magnificently written series no reader should pass up.