Seekers of the Lost Boy

Book Summary-

“What is that?” Simon narrowed his eyes, trying to make out the object at the water’s edge. It was probably nothing. Except… it glowed.

Set in Cape Town, South Africa, Seekers of the Lost Boy is an adventure that brings a homeschooling family face to face with the atrocities of their apartheid past.

It begins when 12-year-old Simon finds a bottle on the water’s edge during a visit to Muizenberg beach on a cold winter’s day. He brings the bottle home, dreaming of adventures, pirates and hidden treasures, only to have the bottle shatter within minutes of returning home. At first he is dismayed, but his disappointment is soon turned to intrigue when he discovers an envelope in the bottle. It contains a letter written 30 years prior by another 12-year-old school boy from the poverty-stricken Cape Flats.

The letter fascinates the Ward family, so they embark on a journey of discovery. Through clues left in the letter, Simon, his mom and his twin 10-year-old siblings, Nic and Kim, find themselves revisiting their country’s apartheid past as they search for their mystery letter-writer.

Joy’s Review- 

Seekers of the Lost Boy is an inspirational story about a homeschool family living in Cape Town South Africa. While out collecting shells for a homeschool project something catches 12 year old Simon’s eye shining in some seaweed along the beach. What he finds is a bottle that has a brown envelope inside with a very special message written on it. The writer signed the message Joseph C, and also wrote the address of his school in hopes that whoever found the bottle could answer his very important question. Simon’s family, including his three younger siblings, decide to search for the young boy who wrote the message and find out what has happened to him.  What was the message? Well, you will have to read the book to find out!t!

I really like how the author ties in the Ward families own life experiences in with their journey to find the bottles owner. It also explores the history of the Cape Town area as the bottle was launched out to sea in 1980 by a school in an area called District 6 during the apartheid. The book is a fictional story based on actual events that happened  in South Africa. It explores a Christian journey intermingled with friendship, forgiveness and faith. Not only is it an entertaining and inspirational story but it describes a very real humanness of the realities of apartheid.

A really neat plus with this book is that there is a glossary of South African terms to give you a deeper understanding of the story. My own 12 year old daughter will be reading this book soon and I will have her look through the glossary before she reads the story to make sure she is familiar with some of the terms. The author also provides a section in the back to explain what parts of the story are fiction, and which are historically correct. I like how it is not only an entertaining story but also very educational, a true living book!

The author, Taryn Hayes actually lives in Cape Town, South Africa herself, where the story takes place. Formerly a high school teacher, she now homeschools her own four children all the while still pursuing her love of writing, literature, history and people which is very evident in her writing. I really enjoyed her book and would recommend it for all ages as the story was very appealing to me as an adult also. As far as the reading level I would say it was a 4th or 5th grade level.

 

                                             Educational Activities for Seekers of the Lost Boy

 

Take a spelling test using vocabulary from the book.
Similar to Hangman, the objective is to guess the word in a set number of tries.
The objective of this game is to put the words into alphabetical order.
The objective of this game is to put the word back together from a scrambled set of letters.
The objective of this game is to pair cards based on the words and sounds.

 

    • Paperback: 192 pages
    • Publisher: Naledi; 1 edition (May 3, 2013)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1920654046
    • ISBN-13: 978-1920654047

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