Award-winning author Leila Sales’s The Museum of Lost and Found is a warm, relatable middle-grade story about a friendship falling apart and the abandoned museum that becomes a shrine to lost connections—featuring black-and-white illustrations by Jacqueline Li.
Vanessa isn’t sure which happened first: finding the abandoned museum or losing her best friend, Bailey. She doesn’t know what to do with herself now that Bailey has left her behind—but when she stumbles upon an empty, forgotten museum, her purpose becomes clear. Vanessa starts filling the museum with her own artifacts and memories, hoping that perhaps if she can find the right way to tell the story of her broken friendship, she can figure out how to make it whole again.
As Vanessa’s museum grows, it seems like the place might have the answers to other questions, too. Like why a mysterious work of art was left behind. Or how to deal with a military dad who’s trying to parent from thousands of miles away. Or why Vanessa’s bad habit is getting harder and harder to quit. Or even, maybe, how to set the past to rest and find a way to move forward.
Moving and charming, The Museum of Lost and Found is about how we grow apart from some people as we grow up—and how sometimes we can find new pieces of ourselves in the aftermath.