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Found Things

Review

Found Things

Marilyn Hilton's debut novel FOUND THINGS is the story of a little girl learning how to grow up. Although it's a slim book, it covers an impressive array of topics including depression, bullying, hope and the nature of friendship.

Hilton's heroine is a young girl named River whose beloved older brother, Theron, disappeared a few months before the novel starts. While the kids at school spread rumors about Theron's disappearance, River struggles with the changes her family goes through: her mother stops humming happily in the kitchen, River begins speaking with an unfamiliar accent and no one discusses Theron. As River comes to terms with her brother's disappearance and the secrets her parents seem to be keeling, she tentatively befriends a new student named Meadow Lark, a confident young girl who doesn't let her physical disabilities affect her life. Together, the girls send wishes down the river, discover what they think is an angel, rescue and lose a pigeon and learn how to be best friends.

At its core, FOUND THINGS is the story of a young girl understanding how to sing her song in her own tune

Over the course of the book, River finds a quiet strength within herself to make her own wishes come true, understand what she is feeling and to draw her family back together. I was particularly impressed with the treatment of River's feelings about being adopted, which are complex, heartfelt and very real. Towards the end of the book, River remarks that she has always felt like a song in the wrong key, and Marilyn Hilton's debut novel FOUND THINGS is the story of a little girl learning how to grow up. Although it's a slim book, it covers an impressive array of topics including depression, bullying, hope and the nature of friendship.

Hilton's heroine is a young girl named River whose beloved older brother, Theron, disappeared a few months before the novel starts. While the kids at school spread rumors about Theron's disappearance, River struggles with the changes her family goes through: her mother stops humming happily in the kitchen, River begins speaking with an unfamiliar accent and no one discusses Theron. As River comes to terms with her brother's disappearance and the secrets her parents seem to be keeling, she tentatively befriends a new student named Meadow Lark, a confident young girl who doesn't let her physical disabilities affect her life. Together, the girls send wishes down the river, discover what they think is an angel, rescue and lose a pigeon and learn how to be best friends.

Over the course of the book, River finds a quiet strength within herself to make her own wishes come true, understand what she is feeling and to draw her family back together. I was particularly impressed with the treatment of River's feelings about being adopted, which are complex, heartfelt and very real. Towards the end of the book, River remarks that she has always felt like a song in the wrong key, and at its core, FOUND THINGS is the story of a young girl understanding how to sing her song in her own tune.

Reviewed by Lily Philpott on July 16, 2014

Found Things
by Marilyn Hilton

  • Publication Date: July 15, 2014
  • Genres: Mystery, Supernatural
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1442460873
  • ISBN-13: 9781442460874