The Space Between Lost and Found
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published April 28, 2020
About The Space Between Lost and Found
Cassie’s always looked up to her mom, a vivacious woman with big ideas and a mischievous smile. Together they planned to check off every item on a big-dream bucket list, no matter how far the adventure would take them. But then Mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and everything changed.
Now, Cassie tries to keep Mom happy, and to understand some of Dad’s restrictive new rules. She tries to focus on math lessons and struggles to come up with art ideas that used to just burst off her pen. When Mom’s memories started to fade, so did Cassie’s inspiration. And even worse, she’s accidentally pushed away Bailey, the one friend who could make it all okay.
After the worst Mom day yet, the day she forgets Cassie’s name, Cassie decides to take action. It’s time for one last adventure, even if it means lying and taking a big risk to get there. Sandy Stark-McGinnis, acclaimed author of Extraordinary Birds, explores big questions – the kind that don’t always have answers – in a powerful story about family, friendship, and the memories that will always be part of us.
This was such an emotional book for me.
My grandmother passed away after a battle with Lewy Body dimentia, which acts a little bit like Alzheimers. It happened so quickly that almost as soon as we realized something was wrong, it felt like we’d lost our connection to her, and her connection to us.
I know that it’s very different losing a grandparent compared to losing a parent, but I had so many of the thoughts and reactions to my grandmother’s illness that Cassie had to her mother’s. I remember that I kept expecting her to wake up and be herself again at any moment sometimes. I remember trying to come up with ways to help her reconstruct memories or watching for any spark of recognition in her face. I’m grateful that she wasn’t in physical pain, I truly am. But I couldn’t wish the crushing emotional pain of watching your loved one lose their memories on even my worst enemies. Even now I find it hard to talk about.
Anyway. All that to say that I found THE SPACE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND to have deep echoes of my own grief at losing someone to dimentia. I loved Cassie and her grief and her struggle with its impact on her friendships and her creativity felt real and raw but not without hope.
There’s a strong message of community and of the strength of being able to lean on one another rather than becoming isolated. Cassie has a great support system, but it takes her some time to figure out how to connect with them in the midst of her grief.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Major characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Some mildly scary descriptions– at one point Cassie’s mom dangles her feet off the edge of a canyon.
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