The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass


The Lost Library, published in 2023, is a charming junior fiction book, part fantasy, part realistic fiction, and mostly mystery. Evan, a fifth-grader who lives in Martinville, is trying to figure out how the town library burned down, leaving behind a few ghosts of dear souls, the librarian, and her gentleman friend.

Outside the remains of the library, a Little Free Library has been set up by AL, Assistant Librarian, who survived the fire. It continues to grow into many ‘rooms’, thanks to the benevolent citizens of Martinville. Guarding the Little Free Library is a cat named Mortimer…or Goldie, or Buffy, or Sunshine, or Dear Cat.

Mortimer…or Goldie, or Buffy, or Sunshine, or Dear Cat…also survived the fire.

Evan selects a book from The Little Free Library, ‘How to Write a Mystery Novel’, by an author using a pseudonym (fake name). He wonders why an author would hide behind a fake name. What was the author trying to conceal? Evan hopes the book will help him solve the mystery of how the library fire started years ago. Why is this so important to him? Because his dear father is a suspect.

Read this twisted tale to find out what steps Evan uses from ‘How to Write a Mystery‘ in his investigation. Does he solve the mystery, and if so, how did the fire start?  Was Evan’s father truly the culprit, or not? And what about the author using a fake name? Evan does find out who the real author is, and what he or she is hiding, but you will have to read The Lost Library to find out.

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