The Train of Lost Things Review

Synopsis from Penguin Young Readers:

A magical story about a boy’s love for his dying father and his journey to the mythic Train of Lost Things, where beloved lost objects are rescued and protected until they can be returned. Perfect for fans of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Bridge to Terabithia, and Lost in the Sun.

Marty cherishes the extra-special birthday present his dad gave him — a jean jacket on which he’s afixed numerous buttons — because it’s a tie to his father, who is sick and doesn’t have much time left. So when his jacket goes missing, Marty is devastated. When his dad tells him the story of the Train of Lost Things, a magical train that flies through the air collecting objects lost by kids, Marty is sure that the train must be real, and that if he can just find the train and get his jacket back, he can make his dad better as well.

It turns out that the train is real — and it’s gone out of control! Instead of just collecting things that have been accidentally lost, the train has been stealing things. Along with Dina and Star, the girls he meets aboard the train, Marty needs to figure out what’s going on and help set it right. As he searches for his jacket, and for a way to fix the train, Marty begins to wonder whether he’s looking for the right things after all. And he realizes that sometimes you need to escape reality in order to let it sink in.

In this achingly beautiful adventure, it is the power of memories, and the love between a father and son, that ultimately save the day.

About: The Train of Lost Things is a middle-grade fantasy written by Ammi-Joan Paquette. It was recently published on 3/20/18 by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, hardcover, 208 pages. The genres are middle-grade, fantasy, chapter books, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 8 to 12, grades 3 to 7. According to the publisher’s website, “Philomel was created in the early 1980s as part of World Publishing Books for Young People, by Editor and Publisher Ann Beneduce. The imprint’s name, which literally means “lover of song,” implied that these books would be lyrical, beautiful in concept and form, and fine enough to be celebrated as gifts.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.

My Experience: I started reading The Train of Lost Things for my 6 years old son as a bedtime story on 4/21/18 and we stopped it on 4/24/18. I resumed the read on my own starting 5/1/18 and finished it on 5/11/18. This book starts with a dying dad and my son doesn’t want to hear it anymore. I agreed that he may be too young for this topic. Maybe when he’s older I will invite him to read this book again because I love Marty’s special bond with his dad. I love Marty’s capabilities of being on his own and the progress he goes through to deal with loss. I like how he comes up with strategies on how to search and what it takes to make a difference.

In this book, told in the third person point of view, readers will follow Marty as he learns that his dad, sick with cancer, will only have days with him. Marty is close to his dad. They share a bond where memories are created for just between them. Marty’s dad gave Marty a jean jacket for his birthday. They started collecting pins/picture buttons to put on Marty’s jacket that contains their shared memories together. Marty likes his dad’s stories, especially one called The Train of Lost Things. His dad also likes telling Marty that story because he personally experienced losing his favorite egg-shaped whistle and The Train of Lost Things’ story was then introduced to him by his mom, Marty’s grandmother. Marty feels this story connects to him somehow because he lost his favorite jean jacket and now he may be losing his dad. Inspired by his dad’s story, Marty decides that he must find the Train of Lost Things, but when he’s aboard the train, he notices something is wrong.

A well written book, The Train of Lost Things is a wonderful read for kids dealing with losing something they loved, a “heart’s possession”. I like the fantasy portion of the book with how the train fly around in the sky. I like the mini movie played out on someone’s heart possession if you hold on to it long enough to watch. I like how Marty figures out about friendship and enjoy reading his strategies. This book is definitely a great present for Father’s Day (with a focus on losing a loved one) because Marty and his dad is close and they would laugh with just a wiggle of an eyebrow and they would still be happy in silence as long as they are together. I love the ending. Marty is a good character to read about and I highly recommend this book to everyone ages 8 and above!

Pro: father and son relationship, magical train, actions and adventures, friendships, diversity

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository or Penguin’s Website

About the Author:

Ammi-Joan Paquette has spent much of her life with her nose in a book—whether reading or writing. She is the author of several books for young readers, including Princess Juniper of the Anju, Princess Juniper of the Hourglass, Nowhere Girl, Rules for Ghosting, and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies. She lives near Boston with her husband and two daughters, where she sometimes dreams of a queendom of her own, far away in a secluded mountain range. Follow her on Twitter @joanpaq (Info obtained from Penguin’s website and photo obtained from the author’s website).

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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Penguin Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


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