The Lost Soul Atlas
from Hachette Australia..
Loyalty is tested, and a cruel twist of fate leads to an act of ultimate betrayal in this epic story that spans a city, a decade, and the divide between life and death itself.
Twig is all alone after his dad goes missing. But when he meets Flea, a cheerful pickpocket, the pair become fast friends. Together, Twig and Flea raise themselves on the crime-ridden streets, taking what they need and giving the rest to the even-poorer. Life is good, as long as they have each other.
But then Twig wakes up in the Afterlife. With just a handful of vague memories, a key, a raven, and a mysterious atlas to guide him, he tries to piece together what happened, and to find his way home . . .
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The Lost Soul Atlas is an enchanting book written by Zana Fraillon. It follows Twig embarking on a mission in the Afterlife to return the lost souls with the help of his witty raven soul guardian, Krruk. Before the Afterlife, Twig lived in a city and after losing his father he joins the Wilds City Beasts (a group of homeless families). There he befriends Flea, and throughout the novel, their friendship and loyalty are tested.
Zana Fraillon effortlessly entwines fantasy and realism to explore highly relevant topics in our society including youth homelessness, discrimination and criminal activity and its interactions with the law and justice.
What I enjoyed about the book was how it hooks you from the very beginning. The writing is structured so that slowly more is revealed about Twig’s character and the sprinkling of puzzles and riddles here contributes to its overall engagement. It is the little things like the chapter illustrations used to establish the world, that really shows the thought that was put in the creation of the piece.
I would recommend this book to 10+ year-olds as it is easy to read for people without an advanced vocabulary and as it features a heroic main character who inspires us to take risks and be brave for a good cause. All in all, The Lost Soul Atlas is a heart-warming book weaved with wonder and mystery sure to keep any audience captivated.
Vivandi, age 15