Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
Raised in a polygamous community, Jon starts to question the rules of his faith. After he is caught kissing a girl, he is forced to flee his town and the only life he knows. He finds a community of other Lost Boys, or "polygs," but is utterly unprepared for life outside his community of Unity. He spirals into a life of numbing booze, drugs and homelessness. When he hits rock bottom, someone from his past enters his new life and helps him find his way.
Jon and several of the novel’s other characters were introduced in Shelley Hrdlitschka's earlier novel Sister Wife.
About the author
Shelley Hrdlitschka discovered her love for children's literature while teaching school. She decided to try writing her own books, and is now the award-winning author of nine novels for teens, all published by Orca Book Publishers.
Shelley offers school and library presentations on the value of perseverance. She describes the pitfalls she encountered on her path to becoming a published author and discusses where ideas come from using examples from her books. She touches on numerous literary devices, tailored to the age of the audience. Shelley also reads from some of her many rejection letters-the part of the presentation that students seem to like most. She is also available for writing workshops.
Shelley lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia, with her three daughters and an assortment of animals. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking, snowshoeing, practicing yoga or hidden away with a book and some good music. More information can be found at http://shelleyhrdlitschka.wordpress.com.
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
"Jon's voice gives readers the opportunities to explore what it can be like adjusting to a different way of life."
"What sets it apart from much of the teen literature available is its sensitive subject nature…Lost Boy can be used as tool to understanding other ways of life and the practice of polygamy…Themes of poverty, perseverance, new beginnings and family are all overarching themes present in this novel. Recommended"
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"Hrdlitschka provides a satisfying conclusion that is hopeful yet realistic and leaves readers with no doubt that Jon still has a lot of work ahead of him. Well written and thoroughly researched, Lost Boy offers a brief but thorough look into religious polygamy and cult dynamics in a realistic and matter-of-fact way."
Quill & Quire
"The story propels readers and gives them insight into the appeal of lives where decisions are made for you."
"Teens will appreciate the surprising and satisfying ending. A great addition to libraries looking to add some standalone titles."
School Library Journal