Little (Grrl) Lost

Little (Grrl) Lost

by Charles de Lint

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When T.J. and her family are forced to move from their farm to the Newford suburbs, she makes an unexpected new friend?Elizabeth, a punked-out teen runaway with a big attitude?who also happens to be a ?Little,? standing just six inches tall. Her family lives inside the walls of T.J.?s house. T.J. and Elizabeth soon forge a prickly friendship that?s put to the test


When T.J. and her family are forced to move from their farm to the Newford suburbs, she makes an unexpected new friend?Elizabeth, a punked-out teen runaway with a big attitude?who also happens to be a ?Little,? standing just six inches tall. Her family lives inside the walls of T.J.?s house. T.J. and Elizabeth soon forge a prickly friendship that?s put to the test when each girl finds herself in dangerous territory, without any way to help the other. Both have to learn the hard way whom to trust, and how to rely on their instincts and find kindred spirits. Little (Grrl) Lost is Charles de Lint at his captivating best.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Oh, crap, don't swat me." Those are the first words spoken by Elizabeth, a six-inch-tall, sarcastic "Little," upon meeting 14-year-old T.J., a soft-spoken goody-two-shoes. T.J. feels depressed because she has to give up her beloved horse when her family moves to the suburbs of De Lint's (The Blue Girl) mythical town of Newford. Elizabeth has family troubles of her own-she has run away, and shortly after she meets T.J., her parents and siblings disappear. Together, the girls set out to speak with Sheri Piper, a local children's book author who has written about Littles (and who previously appeared in De Lint's short story collection, Triskell Tales 2). But their plan is interrupted when a gang of bullies steals T.J.'s backpack with Elizabeth inside. The narrative alternates between the girls' perspectives, as Elizabeth uncovers information about her family history and T.J. attempts to connect with Sheri Piper. Although the two protagonists could not be more different in terms of temperament (not to mention size), by book's end they've both matured into winsome heroines. A sprinkling of pop culture references can feel jarring, as though the book were trying strenuously to be contemporary. However, on the whole, De Lint's latest-which he based on a short story that appeared in last year's Firebirds Rising anthology-adeptly braids the fantastic and the everyday. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

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Children's Literature - Jamie Hain
When TJ has to move with her family to the suburbs, leaving their farm, TJ's best friend, and horse Red behind, she is devastated. As the new girl, TJ has trouble making friends at school and grows increasingly unhappy with her new life until she meets Elizabeth. Elizabeth, is a "Little" who has been living inside the walls of TJ's house, who is now on the run from her own controlling parents and determined to make it on her own in a world full of "Bigs," cats, owls, and other dangers. Despite being complete opposites, the two girls form a close friendship and TJ decides to help Elizabeth find out more about the secrets of the "Littles." Along the way, the two girls get separated from each other, meet gnomes and fairies, get in fights, save a life, make new friends, face challenges they never imagined, and learn about growing up in their respective new worlds. This story about friendship is much more than a coming-of-age tale. Blending common suburban settings and events with elements of the fantastic, this story shows readers how it is possible to be true to oneself while still selflessly helping others and achieving personal goals. Rich and engaging, De Lint creates a world that the reader easily falls into and where even the oddest combination of creatures and settings is simply accepted and never questioned. Reviewer: Jamie Hain
VOYA - Donna Scanlon
Yet again de Lint demonstrates his talent for writing that appeals to and respects teen readers. As with The Blue Girl (Viking, 2004/VOYA December 2004), this novel is about friendship-albeit a rather unusual one-as well as the importance of independence and taking charge of life situations. T. J. Moore, almost fifteen, is unhappy with her parents' decision to move from the country to the suburbs of Newford. She had to leave behind her horse and her best friend, and no one cares about how miserable she feels. Then excitement literally crawls out of the woodwork in the form of a six-inch-tall girl, Elizabeth, a "Little" who lives in the walls of T. J.'s house. Elizabeth, sixteen, cannot stand hiding in the walls of her house day after day and longs for excitement. Moreover she longs to fly. Little legend has it that some Littles have learned how to do so. T. J. sets out to help Elizabeth find assistance, and when they are separated accidentally, both have to take independent action. Along the way, both girls learn a lot about themselves and their capabilities. T. J. and Elizabeth are appealing, genuine characters. They start out at opposite ends of the spectrum, with T. J. shy and insecure and Elizabeth overly self-assured, but they learn from and grow toward each other. Although an occasional plot thread gets dropped unexpectedly, the story progresses smoothly, and de Lint's narrative is rich, vivid, and descriptive. Teens unfamiliar with de Lint's work will love this gateway to Newford, and fans will be in line already. Buy two.
School Library Journal

Gr 6-9 Fourteen-year-old T.J., upset at her family's move from farm to city, finds an unlikely friend in 6-inch-high, 16-year-old Elizabeth, who emerges from T.J.'s wall late one night with an attitude too large for her frame. The two become friends, despite Elizabeth's self-confident punked-out style and T.J.'s timid conformism, and set off to meet an author who might be able to tell them more about Elizabeth's kind, the "Littles." When the two are separated, they embark on roughly parallel adventures. The narrative suddenly switches from a third-person telling to Elizabeth's first-person account, which is a bit jarring, but as the characters have very distinct personalities, the change in voice is a successful device for handling the suspense and pacing of their separate but interlinked adventures (T.J.'s part of the tale continues in third person). Because the book lacks a genuine sense of mystery and/or danger in the uncovering of a magical world hidden in the midst of our own, the emphasis falls more upon the differences in the girls and their personal growth. Side characters conveniently come into play to further the action. Although Steve Augarde's The Various (Random, 2004) is far more adept at handling a similar story, De Lint's book is ultimately a satisfying read. An additional purchase for fantasy fans.-Rhona Campbell, Washington, DC Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
T.J. is still trying to get her mind around the move from the farm and her beloved horse to the suburbs outside de Lint's Newford, when she discovers a really sharp and stylish teen runaway named Elizabeth inside her new house. She is only six inches tall, one of the Littles, and almost-15-year-old T.J. can't get her mind around that reality, either. Once again, de Lint makes contemporary urban fantasy with very real teens, as T.J.'s backpack is stolen with Elizabeth in it. What follows are parallel and occasionally tandem adventures in finding stuff out: Elizabeth in what other ways Littles can live with scrounging and hiding; T.J. in the world of gnomes, Littles, elves and other folk who inhabit spaces hidden in her own world and ours. There are interesting boys and scary ones; ways of using fairy lore and common sense; and a satisfying denouement involving a very clever use of a PDA. Oddly, there is no mention of earlier books about Littles, even though there's a character in the story who has written about this particular batch. Expanded from an earlier short story, this will appeal to those unwilling to leave the Borrowers behind. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Charles de Lint lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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