Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles De Lint

littlegrrl_vikingLittle (Grrl) Lost by Charles De Lint
271 Pages
2007
4.5/5

T.J. is a girl who was forced to move to the suburbs when her father takes a job in the city after being raised on a farm. She’s had to give up her beloved horse, Red, and all of her friends and now lives in a place where she just doesn’t feel like she fits in. While laying in her bed one night, she hears some squeaking or scratching behind her wall. Whenever she turns her light on, the sound goes away. So she decides to leave the lights off and sleep on the floor closer to the sound. The sound comes again and she starts to notice that it sounds like voices. And her suspicions are confirmed when the baseboard opens up like a door and an angry girl about six inches tall walks out.

Meet Elizabeth. She’s a “little”. Littles are tiny folk who inhabit our world in secret. Elizabeth also feels like she doesn’t fit in as she doesn’t follow her family’s ideals. And she’s sure to not fit in with them now once they move after learning that Elizabeth has been discovered by a human. Elizabeth makes all of her clothes, prefering clothes that are short, revealing, full of safety pins and make a statement. And her hair is blue and worn in pigtails. Total opposite of T.J. Once Elizabeth is abandoned by her family, she has no choice but to make nice with T.J. and the two quickly become friends.

T.J. does some research on littles and learns of a local author who seems to know of them. She also learns that littles are descended from birds and there’s a way for them to change back into birds. This interests Elizabeth. Sheri Piper, the aforementioned author is doing a signing nearby and Elizabeth and T.J. can’t pass up the opportunity to meet her. So T.J. dresses Elizabeth in an old teddy bear and sticks her in her backpack. But the way to the bookstore isn’t so easy. T.J. gets attacked by a group of boys who steal her backpack…and when she finds it, Elizabeth is gone.

The rest of the story deals with Elizabeth and TJ trying to find each other again and trying to find themselves. Various Fey folk and love interests are involved in the story to make it that much more interesting! The “Lost” part of the title has a number of meanings to this novel. Obviously, it talks of the fact that Elizabeth literally goes missing, but it also speaks of both Elizabeth and T.J. trying to find their true selves. T.J. always feeling awkward and Elizabeth not knowing where exactly her place is in the world as a little.  And De Lint handles this perfectly with amazing insight into the minds of these two girls.

The only thing that bugged me about this one is the way one of these characters is treated. There was a character that I really liked that comes to the rescue of T.J. when she’s attacked by the group of boys and he quickly becomes a friend and ally of hers. But when he doesn’t believe her story about littles, she gets very upset…which may be understandable. But then she just totally trashes him and continues to do so, as do her parents and brother and it stays that way throughout the novel. His character is never redeemed which I thought was pretty crappy. He’s a good guy.

Aside from that, this novel was perfect! But de Lint sadly loses half a point because of that. It’s another wonderful young adult tale by de lint that rivals his other YA book that I’ve read, The Blue Girl. De Lint has such a wonderful talent at writing fantasy set in our modern world and I feel like I’d never get sick of reading his books. Lucky for me, there are lots of them!

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9 Responses

  1. Wow, this sounds fabulous. I’ve never read de Lint but the more reviews I read of his books, the more anxious I am to get my hands on them. Did you ever read any of the Littles books, a children’s series by John Peterson? I wonder how it compares, and who inspired whom, or if the similarities are just coincidental.

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed this one! Sometimes I want to just have a month-long de Lint fest! I’d probably let Peter Tamsin join in the fun as well. 🙂

  3. Looks like a good one, I’d love to try reading one of his books sometime.

  4. The way you described the book made it sound SO Charles de Lint 😛 I don’t mean that he’s repetitive, just that his books have a very characteristic feel. This sounds like another winner.

  5. […] Vess, 2009, 32 pgs., 5/5 22. Sorrow: A Witch Ember Tale by John Lawson, 2009, 239 pgs., 5/5 23. Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles De Lint, 2007, 271 pgs., […]

  6. I am reading this hopefully next month and really looking forward to it. I love Charles de Lint and am one day going to read his entire back catalogue (what I can get my hands on anyway). I really enjoyed The Blue Girl as well and if this compares to that I am sure I will love it.

  7. I’m glad you enjoyed this. I think The Blue Girl and The Dreaming Place are my favorite YAs of his, but this one is good, too! I love to read and reread de Lint’s books. There is always something more to see, or wonderful to experience again. 🙂

  8. I really want to read this one… It’s been on my radar for a while but I have other books by him to read… I should read those so I can read this one, I guess!

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