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The Lost Library

The Lost Library

Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

The New York Times bestselling authors of Bob, Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass, introduce readers to a little free library guarded by a cat and a boy who takes on the mystery it keeps.

When a mysterious little free library (guarded by a large orange cat) appears overnight in the small town of Martinville, eleven-year-old Evan plucks two weathered books from its shelves, never suspecting that his life is about to change.

Evan and his best friend Rafe quickly discover a link between one of the old books and a long-ago event that none of the grown-ups want to talk about. The two boys start asking questions whose answers will transform not only their own futures, but the town itself.

Told in turn by a ghost librarian named Al, an ageing (but beautiful) cat named Mortimer, and Evan himself, The Lost Library is a timeless story from award-winning authors Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass. It’s about owning your truth, choosing the life you want, and the power of a good book (and, of course, the librarian who gave it to you).


Buzz Words    
Cosy Dragon   
GLAM Adelaide   
Kirkus Reviews     
NZ Booklovers    
Paperbark Words    
Publishers Weekly     
Readings: Best junior and middle grade books of 2023   
Readings: Middle grade fantasy that captured our imagination this year   
Sunshine House    
West Australian    
Your Kids’ Next Read podcast     

About the Authors
Wendy Mass

Wendy Mass is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-two novels for young readers including THE CANDYMAKERS. Wendy lives in New Jersey.

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Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead is the author of the children’s novels First Light and the Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.

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Text publication date:
3 October 2023
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Praise for Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead
andThe Lost Library

‘Pure enchantment.’

‘A tribute to the power of storytelling.’

‘An unusual fantasy with simplicity, immediacy, and wit.’

‘A perfectly paced plot, supported by secondary characters to whom readers will relate.’

‘A boy who visits a little free library gets more than he bargained for when he becomes a sleuth caught up in the middle of his town’s most enduring mystery…. A page-turner with striking characters and a satisfying puzzle at its heart.’

‘Mass and Stead employ a rich cast of characters—including ghost librarians, graduating fifth-graders, mice, and a cat—to dive into the heart of Martinville…Full of heart, sly narration, and Stead’s expected air of mystery, this is well suited for lovers of books and libraries and novels featuring ensemble casts.‘

‘There are ghosts and magic and plenty of community spirit…An engaging mystery.’

‘Such a cute, quick read…Who wouldn’t love a cat, a lost library and a ghost? The writing is lovely and light…I’d highly recommend this for any of the young readers in your life.’

‘A beautiful imprint on my imagination…I would highly recommend this book.’

‘[The Lost Library] will delight its young readers as well as older lovers of books and libraries…An uplifting story that will leave readers feeling happy.’

‘This is a book about books, and how they can change people’s lives…A great class novel…About stories, and love, and secrets.‘

‘With its optimistic tone, quirky characters, and subtle life lessons, The Lost Library casts a magical spell…Mystery-loving bibliophiles of any age will find something timeless in this heartwarming tale. It serves as a reminder that books have the power to transport us to new worlds and change our own.’

‘This intricately woven story unfolds seamlessly, keeping the reader charmed by the quirky characters and involved in unravelling the several mysteries…This story is rich in themes—the power of reading, of fame, being kind to animals, and being yourself and navigating change, all of which sit lightly on the plot, adding depth and flavour to the mix…Even people who don’t normally frequent libraries will enjoy this charming and engrossing story.’

‘Absolutely had me at the title…Classic middle-grade…Is there one single thing about this book that we don’t love? You’re in unbelievably safe hands…It’s a winner.’

The Lost Library was probably one of the best books I’ve ever read…It was amazing and I didn’t want it to end.’

‘Whenever I read a page, it made me super excited to read the next…I loved it a lot and I will give it a 5 star rating.’

‘Absolutely charming, with just enough mystery to keep young minds guessing.’

‘An absolute treasure…This is a magical mystery about the power of stories.’

‘Perfect for lovers of books and cosy mysteries! A timeless mystery.’

‘This is a delightful read about the importance of books, libraries and how they can heal and bring people together, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.’

‘Stead and Mass have penned a real page-turner in this novel…A wonderful story about finding your “people” and taking the path you want in life…The power of libraries to transform and give a sense of belonging to anyone who embraces them is a key message in this book, and a very timely one.’

Other editions ofThe Lost Library
  • The Lost Library
    ISBN: 9781922791603
    3 October 2023
    Buy ebook
Other Titles byWendy Mass