Raised in a polygamous community, Jon starts to question the rules of his faith. After he is caught kissing a girl, he is forced to flee his town and the only life he knows. He finds a community of other Lost Boys, or “polygs,” but is utterly unprepared for life outside his community of Unity. He spirals into a life of numbing booze, drugs and homelessness. When he hits rock bottom, someone from his past enters his new life and helps him find his way.
Jon and several of the novel’s other characters were introduced in Shelley Hrdlitschka’s earlier novel Sister Wife.
Available October, 2018
Orca Book Publishers
Well written and thoroughly researched, Lost Boy offers a brief but thorough look into religious polygamy and cult dynamics in a realistic and matter-of-fact way. While it is technically a sequel to Hrdlitschka’s novel Sister Wife, Lost Boy works well as a stand-alone. (Quill & Quire)
What sets it apart from much of the teen literature available is its sensitive nature…Lost Boy can be used as a tool to understanding other ways of life and the practice of polygamy…Themes of poverty, perseverance, new beginnings and family are all overarching themes present in this novel. Recommended. (CM Magazine)
The companion novel to Sister Wife (2008) ends on a hopeful note for the young people of Unity struggling to make sense of the world beyond. (Kirkus)
I just finished Lost Boy this morning and I think it is wonderful!I loved it so much. You’ve done an amazing job telling that story and the struggles that teens face in those repressive communities. I loved the new community that Jon eventually finds and is part of in his post-polygamous life. Such a hopeful story in the end. (Debbie Hodge, author)
I have just finished reading your latest book and couldn’t put it down! I love how you create such vivid images in my mind as I read the words you have written. I feel like I’m watching the story unfold in front of me, not just words being read. Thank you for another great read! (Sue Gordon, former employee of Kidsbooks.)
Oh, this book was gut wrenching and so lovely! Wasn’t prepared to be as immersed in the story as I instantly became. It’s a great read, eye opening and touching. The ending was an amazing conclusion to the story, not only was everything ‘tied’ together, but it felt real and worthwhile. (Elizabeth Hunter, Goodreads)
Once again, a winner! I really appreciate how you manage to avoid the good/bad and find the complexity in the situations, in your characters and their feelings. I did hope that Jon would find purpose and hope in his life and he did with Hope as well as the support and caring of some others too. Thank you! Even Jon’s father became a sympathetic character for me. Not the Prophet though, that would not have been credible.
The immense challenges of leaving one culture and trying to survive in another one fundamentally different became increasingly understandable as Jon’s struggles evolved. The school teacher’s comment about not having the foundations to support the new information was like a metaphor for the various dimensions of his situation. I can imagine your book being useful with teens from different cultures just as Catcher in the Rye and The Absolutely True Diary…was for Jon. (Dr. Nonie Lyon)