The Ostrich and Other Lost Things is a new book by Beth Hautala, author of Waiting for Unicorns. The book tells the story of eleven-year-old Olivia Grant who, despite being extraordinarily good at finding lost things, can’t find her brother’s toy ostrich—a comfort item she believes helps manage his autism.
So, when summer break begins, and the local community theater announces auditions for an all children’s production of her favorite show, Peter Pan, Olivia jumps at the chance to claim something for herself. But what begins as a promising opportunity and a wonderful escape quickly becomes pure chaos.
The visiting zoo with an odd assortment of animals–including an ostrich that causes even more trouble than Jacob’s missing toy–only make matters worse, as Olivia’s summer is shaping up to be just as consumed by Jacob’s needs as the rest of her life has been. In time, and with the help of some unlikely alliances, Olivia must learn what it means to be separate from her brother and still love him, how to love herself in spite of her own flaws, and that not all lost things are meant to be found.
Olivia has feelings that will be very relatable to anyone growing up with a special needs sibling. Sometimes the stress is almost too much and Olivia wonders why can’t things be more normal. Dealing with Jacob’s meltdowns, doctor’s appointments, rituals and more can wear on a tween trying to find her own way. If Olivia could just find her brother’s Ostrich, things might get better instead of worse.
Vetted by healthcare professionals and inspired by the author’s experiences, Beth Hautala writes with sensitivity and authority as she explores the larger impact of autism on the family of the individual diagnosed. The Ostrich and Other Lost Things is a timely, universal message of understanding and tolerance. The bonds and challenges of caring for a sibling with autism are bravely explored, along with the pain and power that comes from self-discovery in this beautifully written novel.
Listen to me read the prologue and chapter 1 of the this great book:
Praise for The Ostrich and Other Lost Things:
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