Lost Cause (Seven Series)

Lost Cause (Seven Series)

4.0 1
by John Wilson

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Steve thinks a trip to Europe is out of the question—until he hears his grandfather's will. Suddenly he's off to Spain, armed with only a letter from his grandfather that sends him to a specific address in Barcelona. There he meets a girl named Laia and finds a trunk containing some of his grandfather's possessions, including a journal he kept during the time he…  See more details below


Steve thinks a trip to Europe is out of the question—until he hears his grandfather's will. Suddenly he's off to Spain, armed with only a letter from his grandfather that sends him to a specific address in Barcelona. There he meets a girl named Laia and finds a trunk containing some of his grandfather's possessions, including a journal he kept during the time he fought with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Steve decides to trace his grandfather's footsteps through Spain, and with Laia's help, he visits the battlefields and ruined towns that shaped his grandfather's young life, and begins to understand the power of history and the transformative nature of passion for a righteous cause.

Editorial Reviews

TriState YA Book Review Committee
"A story of great adventure and action that will introduce readers to a portion of history that is not familiar to most students. There is a good mix of action and romance. Sure to appeal to upper midle school and younger high school students. An excellent purchase."
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"The dialogue is witty and sharp...The Spanish setting oozes charm, beauty and history. Readers will feel as if they are scootering with Steve and Laia along narrow roads and through timeless tiny villages steeped in the memory of a bloody civil war."
CM Magazine
"The descriptions of the war—and the emotional reactions of Steve and his grandfather at two different points in history—are rich and poignant...Steve is a relatable teenager, with an honest voice and realistic reactions to his situation...Some of the most compelling parts are the grandfather's journal entries which give amazing insights into the strategy and struggle of war. These, paired with the stories of the current day Spanish people, paint a complete picture of the war and its enduring effects...Highly Recommended."
YALSA YA Galley Teen Review
"The second book in the astounding Seven Series, Lost Cause will have readers going halfway around the world for more!"
NJ Youth Services
"[The] adventures are exciting and readers will be anxious to pick up the next book in the series. Great for middle grade boys who want realistic fiction with action and suspense."
Children's Literature - Desiree Solso
Steve is not excited about attending the reading of his late grandfathers will, that is, until the lawyer reveals two secrets. The first secret being that there is a 7th mysterious grandson that the family has yet to meet. The second secret is that each of the grandsons is given a specific task that they are to complete. The funds and resources have been provided, but they must go alone. Steve is excited to learn that his task is to travel to Spain, as he has been saving to travel to Europe for a year. In an interesting twist, the task given to him is in the form of a mystery that he must solve, as his grandfather knew that he is a lover of mystery novels. What Steve first thinks will be a simple task turns out to be more complicated than he can imagine. With the help of his tour guide, Laia, and an old diary left by his grandfather, Steve is able to piece together the mystery of his grandfather's past. This is book two in a series of seven. However, it is not necessary to read them in order to enjoy this book. This story is filled with suspense and is strong in historical information. Readers who enjoy history and mysteries would enjoy this book. Reviewer: Desiree Solso
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—These stories begin with the reading of David McLean's will. In it, he gives a task to his grandsons. In Last Message, Adam is sent to France to right a great wrong David had committed and was too ashamed to do himself. In Lost Cause, Steve is to go to Spain to learn about a part of David's past that he has kept secret from his entire family. As a teenager, he fought against the Fascists in Spain. While there he fell in love with a woman he could not find the strength to see again and was nearly killed in battle. Both books cover different periods in history, World War II in Southern France and the Spanish Civil War. The teens learn about history and their grandfather. The plots move along quickly and are not bogged down with historical information, but Last Message is a little far-fetched at points.—Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Posthumous messages and tantalizing clues send a teenager from Canada to Barcelona in search of a hidden chapter from his beloved grandfather's past. One of a septet of simultaneously published novels, all by different authors and featuring cousins who are each left a mission or task in their shared grandfather's will, this takes Steve to Spain, where he discovers that his elder relative was a member of the International Brigades. He is guided by his grandfather's old journal and also by Laia, an attractive young resident of the city who lectures him on the Spanish Civil War while taking him to several local memorial sites. Steve slowly gains insight into how it felt to believe passionately in a cause--even, in this case, a doomed one--and then to lose that innocent certainty in the blood and shock of war. The storyline is, though, at best only thin glue for a series of infodumps, and readers will get a stronger, more specific view of that conflict's drama and course from William Loren Katz's Lincoln Brigade: A Pictorial History (1989). A tale driven by its informational purpose, with only a short story's worth of plot. (map and family tree, not seen) (Fiction. 11-13)

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Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Orca Seven Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 17 Years

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Lost Cause 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
Orca's The Seven Series gives us seven authors each writing the story of one of David McLean's grandsons.  During the reading of David's will, four of his daughters and six of his grandsons learn that David left letters instructing each grandson to complete a task.  At the same time, they learn there was another daughter and another grandson.  A family tree showing David's descendents and the book covers in which each is the protagonist, and a map showing where each grandson will travel, are good additions in the front of the book.  This book finds Steve travelling to Spain, following his grandfather's footsteps via a journal found in a trunk left in-country from the Spanish Civil War.  David volunteered to fight during the war and hoped to return to Spain to retrieve the trunk and another very important item but he wasn't able to make the trip.  Steve learns about a side of his grandfather he never knew as he learns about a period of history which he was ignorant about.  Well done.