Cathy Carr’s Lost Kites and Other Treasures is a moving and heartfelt middle-grade novel about mental illness, the transformative power of art, and the ever-changing complications and joys of family life.
"Sincere and funny . . . leaves readers with a sense of hope." –Sara Zarr, author of A Song Called Home
"Will be treasured by readers everywhere." –Megan E. Freeman, award-winning author of Alone
Twelve-year-old Franny Petroski never lets anyone know how often she thinks of the charismatic, troubled mom who left her years ago—any more than she talks about the unaccountable things Mom did while she was still in the picture. Life with Nana is safe and secure, and Franny’s innovative art projects fill in any lonesome times.
But when Nana has an accident and Franny’s estranged uncle comes home to help out for a while, some long-guarded family secrets come to light. Franny has to use all of her courage, as well as all of her creativity, to come to terms with the discoveries she makes about her mother—and herself.
“In a voice both sincere and funny, Carr paints a layered portrait of the relationship between Franny and Nana as they navigate challenges big and small. The effects of mental illness and family secrets are gently but realistically portrayed, leave readers with a sense of hope that the messy, frayed parts of life have a use that just might transform us.”
—Sara Zarr, author of A Song Called Home
“Tenderly explores the pain of family secrets, and the ways that opening up to the truth also opens us up to a new world of love, compassion, and acceptance."
—Kate Albus, award-winning author of A Place to Hang the Moon
"Realistic and hopeful, Franny's story is a reminder that creativity can transform even the darkest situation into something brilliant and beautiful––maybe even something that can fly."
—Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo, author of Ruby in the Sky
"Cathy Carr has done it again in this finely wrought story about the frustrations of figuring out who we are and the power of art to anchor us in the world. Lost Kites and Other Treasures will be treasured by readers everywhere."
—Megan E. Freeman, award-winning author of Alone
"A nuanced, intricate story about family and friendship. Creative and fearless Franny Petroski will steal your heart!"
—Sandy Stark-McGinnis, author of Extraordinary Birds and The Space Between Lost and Found
“A poignant, compassionate story about art, family, and mental illness that will make readers think and feel deeply—and laugh quite a bit, too.”
—Laurie Morrison, author of Up for Air and Coming Up Short
“Mental illness can affect families across generations in ways that often go unspoken. In Lost Kites and Other Treasures, Cathy Carr writes family dynamics so well—and she does it with warmth, compassion, and a healthy dose of humor."
—Chad Lucas, author of Thanks a Lot, Universe
"Tender. Heartfelt. Hilarious. Touching. What a magnificent story."
—Ben Gartner, author of One Giant Leap and The Eye of Ra trilogy
"Carr sensitively explores mental illness, incarceration, and families in crisis, and she portrays her characters as flawed but caring. Unusual and gratifying."