The Lost Soul Atlas
Zana Fraillon
Publisher: Hachette Australia
ISBN: 9780734419934
Awards Year: 2021
Category: Book of the Year: Older Readers
The publisher says...

A powerful story of hope and friendship, from the author of The Bone Sparrow. 

Loyalty is tested, and a cruel twist of fate leads to an act of ultimate betrayal in this epic story that spans a city, a decade, and the divide between life and death itself. 

Twig is all alone after his dad goes missing. But when he meets Flea, a cheerful pickpocket, the pair become fast friends. Together, Twig and Flea raise themselves on the crime-ridden streets, taking what they need and giving the rest to the even-poorer. Life is good, as long as they have each other. But then Twig wakes up in the Afterlife. With just a handful of vague memories, a key, a raven, and a mysterious atlas to guide him, he tries to piece together what happened, and to find his way home.

The author says...

Click on the icon below to watch a video where Zana Fraillon talks about The Lost Soul Atlas and shares the inspiration for the story and characters.

Click on the icon below to watch a video where Zana Fraillon invites us into her writing space and talks about her creative process.

Click on the icon below to watch a video tutorial by Zana Fraillon on how to make a magic map.

The CBCA judges say...

This touching story about family, love, homelessness and poverty in society is written through a perfect blend of fantasy and the realities of children living on the streets. An unusual and unlikely mix, the surreal aspects of the exploitation and hardships embed the reader in the setting and help develop a certain amount of empathy and an agency to act on this social injustice. While in many aspects this will appeal to middle age readers, the surrealism transcends a reality most will never really understand. It is through this that the author is able to jump back and forth in time to create an array of interesting, exciting and complex characters. The relationships between Twig and his father, and Twig and Leaf, are the heart and soul of the novel. Characters such as the menacing Hoblin are unique and their non-binary nature is treated without fuss, making the story all the more compelling. The novel's deeper themes include loyalty, betrayal, and the importance of memories and how they shape who we are.

The Reading Time reviewers say...

Click here to read the Reading Time review.

Teaching Notes for this book...

The publisher has generously made teaching notes available for this book. Click on the icon below to view these resources.