once was lost

October 2009 - original hardcover and paperback cover Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

October 2009 - original hardcover and paperback cover

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Also re-published briefly as What We Lost in paperback only. Both are still out there in the world; content of the book is the same in each!

Also re-published briefly as What We Lost in paperback only. Both are still out there in the world; content of the book is the same in each!

Honors

Utah Book Award Winner

INSPY Award Winner

A Kirkus Best Book of 2009

Reading the West Pick, 2009, Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association

National Book Festival Great Read

An ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults book

Tayshas High School Reading List

 

Editions

hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook

translations: German, Dutch

 

about

When thirteen-year-old Jody goes missing, the national spotlight turns to Samara Taylor’s small town of Pineview. With few clues for investigators to follow, everyone is a suspect, including Jody’s older brother, Nick. But even as the town rallies in solidarity, Sam feels more alone than ever. Her mother is drifting farther and farther away while her father grows increasingly preoccupied as he steps in to help Jody’s family in the wake of the disappearance. During the tense, uncomfortable days that follow, Sam draws closer to Nick as the local tragedy intersects with her personal one.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr delivers a powerful novel about community, family, faith, and one girl’s realization that sometimes you have to lose everything to find what’s been missing all along.

SELECT QUOTES

★ “Beyond delivering a gripping story, Zarr has a knack for exposing human weakness in the ordinary." Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ ” This rare combination of in-depth character study and gripping mystery relies on a strong sense of emotional truth to do justice to some tough subject matter without graphic or violent scenes. Riveting.” – Kirkus, starred review

★ “Zarr sets a hard task for herself here: interweaving a number of strong story strands and giving them equal weight, even as she tightens the whole with questions about faith and God. ... Comes together as an impressive whole.” – Booklist, starred review

“Zarr's fans will not be disappointed by this beautifully crafted novel about a teen coping with a loss of faith.” – VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

“I wanted to cry from happiness as I read the kind, nuanced portrayal of Sam's mother. It's easy to make an alcoholic parent the bad guy; we've all read tons of books where drinking = abuse = evil. But the reality is more complex than that. ... it's on my list of favorite books read in 2009. ” – A Chair, a Fireplace, a Tea Cozy blog at School Library Journal

“The exploration of faith is quiet and thoughtful, and even those readers with more secular interest will relate to Sam's longing to be found by her distant and other-focused family.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books