Cover Image: The Labyrinth of Lost and Found

The Labyrinth of Lost and Found

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Member Reviews

*Thank you to Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for letting me read an ARC of this book through NetGalley!*

The Labyrinth of Lost and Found
Overall Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (3/5) or 6.57/10 overall

Characters - 6
The characters in this book were fine, but not especially standout. While each of them did have a rather clear motivation, all of the side characters fit into mostly stereotypical boxes like "evil rich lady", "old man who became an outcast", or "that guy who helps the main characters once but oops, he's actually evil?!?!" which did not help this story to become less predictable. :/

Atmosphere - 7
I did find myself enjoying the spooky vibes of the Wreathenwold and found the background and lore of this other reality to be quite refreshing and unique. (mild spoilers and speculation) ||However, having the addition of a navigational device to help the main characters felt a bit cheeky, I must say. We learn that others are searching for Ariadne, but we never learn the how and why behind her creation. Like, wouldn't everyone just create their own personal magic thread if they could?||

Writing - 7
The writing was decent, though it felt a bit contrived at points. All of the twists felt bland and mediocre at best, personally. Some of the time I was like "oh, this seems cool and unique" and then it would go back to "oh, this the spooky, creepy world has spooky, creepy woods. Who would've thought?"

Plot - 5
The plot was a steady decline into gobbledygook and overdone tropes. The real twist of the book was how it tricked me into thinking there was a unique plot. :)))))))

Intrigue - 7
Despite my initial reservations about Benjamiah being an annoying know-it-all in the first chapter or two, the intrigue of figuring out what happened to Edwid was a strong pull to continue the story.

Logic - 7
This book was reasonably logical. Nothing stood out as an obvious plothole or anything, but there were a few parts that I thought could've been explained better.

Enjoyment - 6
I enjoyed parts of this book. Some elements felt similar to other spooky horror/thriller MG books that I've enjoyed, but others were not nearly so terrific. I think overall the overuse of tropes ruined this for me. :/

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I loved this book so much that I bought a copy before I even finished reading my e-ARC.
The Whisperwicks is exactly what a middle grade read should be. It's magical and mysterious while also being extremely real and relatable. The world is vivid, brought to life with beautiful writing that doesn't pull punches with vocabulary. The story never talks down to its reader, and, in many ways, challenges them.
The illustrations are beautiful and occasionally eerie, and really help set the tone of the book.
I truly adored The Whisperwicks and hope to see more in the world of Wreathenwold one day.

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In Wreathenwold, one morning, Edwid Cotton discovers a crack on his bedroom wall. He thinks it must had appear during the night while he was sleeping. He walks over the craft to investigate it. He hears faint voices. Edwid asks is anyone there. He gets a voice that explains his dilemma of being stuck in the wall.edwid asks how he can help him (the voice). The voice replies that he is trapped in the wall and can’t leave until he gets a key. An old author knows where it is but won’t tell anyone. Edwid goes to see the old author to ask about the key and where it is. At first the author won’t tell but in the end he dies. Edwid tells the voice and dies Eleven years old Benjaminiah works in his dad’s bookshop in the village of Wyvern-on-the Water. His parents are having marital problems and left Benjamin at the bookshop with his Grandma. Grandma is his dad’s mom.. Benjamiah cont on Grandma being his “bedrock.” She is kind patient and loving. His father and mother are opposites in what they like to read. Benjamin takes after his mom who likes reading facts, truths and practical information. When Benjamiah gets a mysterious package with no return address and no stamp, he wonders what it is. He opens the package to find a doll. Grandma tells him it looks like a poppet used for witchcraft. The doll turned into a bird to get Benjamiah’s attention but was unsuccessful. When thre bird does get his attention, Benjamiah is led into an impossible, magical Wreathenwold. It is dangerous and holds many secrets within its labyrinthine walls—Hanged Men stalk (they are the “police”), and at the center of its shifting streets lurks the Minotaur, a monstrous creature and object of terror. In no time at all, Benjamiah is swept into a dangerous adventure with the angry and brilliant Elizabella, a girl determined to solve the disappearance of her missing brother Edwid, who may be caught up in a conspiracy that could doom them all. Will it? Will Benjamiah get home?

The author has written a fantastic novel. It has twists and turns that I did not expect. The author has made Wreathenwold a place where one can only go on two or three streets. If one goes beyond that number of streets they will not be able to find their home and may also lose their name and who they are. It’s interesting that the author has two worlds in the novel. It has me wanting to read the next book in this new series!

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Everything about this for me was just okay. Story, characters, world building. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't great and pull me in so I can't put it down.

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Often students in the middle grade age group are looking for suspense and scary books, which this delivers. Full of whimsy and magic that will keep readers guessing as they follow Benjamiah Creek on his journey back home from a magical land he has found himself in. The vocabulary used gives students the opportunity to expand theirs as they read.

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"The Whisperwicks: The Labyrinth of Lost and Found" is a new fantasy in which readers can truly get lost. In Jordon Lees debut novel, a young child steps through a door and suddenly discovers himself far from home where the whole world is a labyrinth. The sensible bookworm who cherishes logic and science enters a world where magic is commonplace. The only constant is that his family owns a bookstore and he finds himself befriended by a bookseller. In the adventure story, he sets out with a young girl to find her missing brother. They must escape corrupt officials and battle Magi and mythical creatures, but their bravery and belief in each other help them survive. Although an adventure, the story is really about coming to accept things which can not be changed and learning to voice one's feelings. It is also a love letter to books. Vivienne To's line pen and ink illustrations help the reader envision Lees' dark world. I received a temporary digital review copy from the publisher. However I can honestly recommend this book to any middle grade or fantasy lover. Sure to be a success, this book is part of a three book deal and has been published in over 12 languages. Although it is evidently part of a series, the book has a satisfactory ending. It does not leave the reader in the middle of a story, the ending merely leaves open the possibility of more to come. I can't wait to read the next book.

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I saw the hardcover edition from Puffin and absolutely loved the colors and atmosphere it gave off. I love a good YA/ Middle grade read and this one certainly did not disappoint. Not only was it cute and clever, there were some incredibly touching moments towards the end.

Benjamiah is sent a doll in the mail and believes it to be from his parents. However, he would prefer to spend time with his parents and his angry and upset by the doll because he feels as though they do not know him at all. He is a lover of reading books about chess theory and science. What he doesn't enjoy is magic and fantastical thinking, He doesn't like the whimsy of what it means to be a child.

Soon after the poppet enters his life, fantastical things start to happen and he is drawn into a world where anything is possible, magic is real, and playing cards are used as currency. Now he must help Elizabella find out what happened to her brother and put together the pieces of his mysterious disappearance.

There were a couple of moments I felt a bit confused about how we got from point A to point B. However the narrative is rich with imagination, darkness, and light. Certainly an impressive debut novel and an author I may have to start watching. I hope there is more to come from this world, it seems we could wander this world endlessly with the way it is described,

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The world building for the hazy city of Wreathenwold was well done. The adventure was not lacking in mystery, thrills, or heartbreak. I anticipate a second installment and very much look forward to Benjamiah’s and Elizabella’s next adventure.

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Elizabella's twin brother disappears and shortly after, Benjamiah Creek appears in Wreathenwold. While her father welcomes Benjamiah, Elizabella sees him as a poor substitute for her brother who is missing. However, the two form an uneasy alliance searching for clues that Elizabella's brother may have left behind. Benjamiah just wants to go home, where life is normal, not filled with danger and the constant risk of being lost forever in the labyrinth that is Wreathenwold!

This novel starts very slowly. I often tell my students to read 30 pages of a book before they give up on it. It took 60 pages before I was committed to the story. From that point on, excitement abounds!! Elizabella and Ben have to turn to theft and deception to wrestle clues from Wreathenwold, outwitting mythical beast and deadly enemies. My concern is whether kids will slog through the first part of the book to reach the dynamic middle and ending!

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Such a fun middle grade read. The characters were well written and the story flowed seamlessly. This is a book you find yourself immersed in. The story starts slow but picks up quickly. The names of the main characters are a small distraction as well. I was tripping over them while reading aloud. Probably easier to flow over while reading to yourself though.

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me review this book. This books reminds me of The Wayward Children series with a door opening to another world. Benjamiah is thrust into a whole new world and finds an unlikely friend in Elizabella. They go on an adventure and find more than they bargained for.

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