Fun new middle-grade book to tell you about today!
Keep reading to learn more and to see some times in history I wouldn't mind being a part of!
This enchanting middle-grade adventure follows twelve-year-old Gertie Milk, who washes up on the island of Skuldark, and finds that all of her memories are gone. Home to helpful Slug Lamps, delicious moonberries, and a ferocious Guard Worm, the island is full of oddities, including a cozy cottage containing artifacts from every corner of history.
It is there that Gertie discovers she has been chosen as the next Keeper of Lost Things, tasked with the mission of returning objects to history’s most important figures right when they need them most. With the help of a time machine disguised as a vintage sports car and the guidance of her fellow Keeper, Kolt, Gertie dodges an elephant army in ancient Alexandria, crashes a 1920s flapper party, and battles a ruthless Zhou Dynasty king.
But soon, Gertie encounters an enemy that threatens everything the Keepers stand for: The Losers, villains who don’t want to keep order but destroy it. Now, Gertie must uncover the truth of her own past if she wants to stop the Losers and set history back in place.
Simon Van Booy is the best-selling author of seven books of fiction, and three anthologies of philosophy. He has written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, NPR, and the BBC. He enjoys building robots, model airplanes, and off-road vehicles—which he likes to crash. He has an impressive umbrella collection, a Bowler hat, and carries a green thermos of tea everywhere. His books have been translated into many languages. In 2013, he founded Writers for Children, a project which helps young people build confidence in their literary abilities through annual awards. Raised in rural Wales and England, Simon currently lives between Brooklyn and Miami with his wife, daughter, Robot Rabbit Boy, and a fully-grown sheep
With Gertie Milk and the Keeper of Lost Things, author Simon Van Booy introduces readers to a whimsical and mysterious world with fun and fascinating characters.
Young Gertie awakens on an island where she discovers that she literally has forgotten everything. From her name to what she looks like and even the meaning of simple words and the names of random objects, her memories are all gone. Not long after her arrival on this strange island she encounters Kolt, who informs her that she is now a Keeper of Lost Things.
As Keepers, it is Kolt and Gertie’s responsibility to return random objects (or things…such as voices) that have been lost to important figures in history just as they need them most. The job isn't always easy as the pair run into trouble quite a bit, but it takes Gertie on some fun and fascinating adventures throughout time as she and her companion work keep order and save history.
But there are those who wish to prevent the Keepers from doing their job, the Losers, and they’ll try anything keep the important objects lost. Things take an interesting and unexpected turn when Gertie must face the Losers to stop them from destroying the Keeper’s hard work.
The entire concept of this book is fascinating to me and one I fell in love with. Think about it…a simple lost object has the power to change the course of history, but there is some mysterious group preventing that from happening with the help of a time machine. There are so many ways this story could go and I love the choices the author made in this one.
And the descriptions of the island of Skuldark and its inhabitants are so well done. I appreciated the authors attention to detail as he described the creatures that call the island home and as he had Kolt show Gertie the ropes to being a Keeper and her new home. The Shoe Closet, where clothes from every time period are stored, definitely caught my attention and I wouldn't mind exploring one of those in real life.
At first I wasn't sure where the author was taking Gertie and her personal story but I enjoyed reading as she struggles to adjust to her new life and discovers some unsettling news along the way.
This is an entertaining middle grade read that people of all ages should enjoy. I look forward to more of Gertie’s adventures so hopefully more are on the way.
*I received a complimentary ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Moments in Time I Wouldn't Mind Visiting
In the book, Gertie is a Keeper of Lost Things who returns lost objects to famous historical figures just when they're needed most so historical events take place as they should…what’s meant to happen has to happen. So I thought, what famous people or places would I like to visit and help make sure they happen as they are meant to? And what object(s) would I like to return? Here are just a few.
- The Beatles, their instruments
Perhaps I could visit The Beatles and return their instruments just in time for their famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
- the set of The Wizard of Oz, the Ruby Slippers
Maybe it’s the day of the big “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” scene and no one can find the famous footwear until I show up and save the day.
- the day of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, maybe his voice
So I just really wanted to hear this one in person and couldn't think of something he could lose. But in Gertie’s world Keepers also take care of lost voices, so why not?
- the day man first walked on the moon, some technological doodad
Perhaps NASA had an issue allowing this moment to happen or broadcasting this famous moment to the millions that watched and I brought the lost item in just in time for history to be made.
- Jane Austen, paper and ink
Maybe the day she decided to write she could not find her paper and ink and was going to give up until I brought it to her.
So are there any people, times, or places in history you’d want to visit?