The Children’s Book Review | April 19, 2018
Get to know The Train of Lost Things from Ammi-Joan Paquette’s novel The Train of Lost Things—a magical story about a boy’s love for his dying father and his journey to the mythic Train of Lost Things.
The Children’s Book Review: What ‘gets you out of bed’ in the morning?
The Train of Lost Things: As you might have guessed by my name, I am a train. So I don’t really do the whole ‘bed’ thing. In fact, the dark of night is my time—it’s when I fly around, seeking out and gathering up all the precious things lost by children around the world.
I see you have some boxes with you. Will you tell us what you keep inside of them?
I have bags and boxes and containers—tons of them! What’s inside? Everything you can imagine. There are dolls and cars and blankets, jackets and jugs and more. Maybe even something that you lost years ago?
Are you hungry right now? Can we fix you anything to eat? Maybe we could make you your favorite dish?
Not to brag, but I run on magic. My meals are made up of dreams and hopes and wishes, with a whirl of stardust for dessert. Drop by and see me sometime—you can have a taste!
Do you like to read?
There are a lot of books in my cars, and I love it when the conductor reads to me. Sometimes things are too busy to allow for this, but during the quiet periods, there is nothing like a read-aloud story time!
Are you a rule follower or rule breaker?
Definitely a rule follower. Although I have been told that I have a mischievous side—sometimes, when you want to get someone’s attention, you need to think a little bit outside the box!
When was the last time you felt embarrassed?
I’ll be honest. I haven’t been doing very well lately. Keeping me running just right is a team effort, and it’s been a while since I have had a driver or a conductor. Although . . . hopefully that is all about to change. Do you want to read my story and see?
If you weren’t answering the questions in this interview right now, what would you be doing?
I would be doing what I always do—patrolling the dark night skies, giving a safe refuge for your precious lost items. It’s what I do, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you have any secrets you would like to share with us before you go?
That precious item that you lost so long ago and that you can’t forget about? Don’t worry. I’ve got it safe and sound. It’s here with me on the Train of Lost Things. And maybe, someday, you will see it again. Do you believe?
Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette
Publisher’s Synopsis: A magical story about a boy’s love for his dying father and his journey to the mythic Train of Lost Things, where beloved lost objects are rescued and protected until they can be returned. Perfect for fans of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Bridge to Terabithia, and Lost in the Sun.
Marty cherishes the extra-special birthday present his dad gave him — a jean jacket on which he’s afixed numerous buttons — because it’s a tie to his father, who is sick and doesn’t have much time left. So when his jacket goes missing, Marty is devastated. When his dad tells him the story of the Train of Lost Things, a magical train that flies through the air collecting objects lost by kids, Marty is sure that the train must be real, and that if he can just find the train and get his jacket back, he can make his dad better as well.
It turns out that the train is real — and it’s gone out of control! Instead of just collecting things that have been accidentally lost, the train has been stealing things. Along with Dina and Star, the girls he meets aboard the train, Marty needs to figure out what’s going on and help set it right. As he searches for his jacket, and for a way to fix the train, Marty begins to wonder whether he’s looking for the right things after all. And he realizes that sometimes you need to escape reality in order to let it sink in.
In this achingly beautiful adventure, it is the power of memories, and the love between a father and son, that ultimately save the day.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Philomel Books | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1524739393
About the Author
Ammi-Joan Paquette (www.ajpaquette.com) has spent much of her life with her nose in a book–whether reading or writing. She is the author of several books for young readers, including Princess Juniper of the Anju, Princess Juniper of the Hourglass, Nowhere Girl, Rules for Ghosting, and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies. She lives near Boston with her husband and two daughters. Follow her on Twitter @joanpaq.
This interview with The Train of Lost Things, a character in Ammi-Joan Paquette’s The Train of Lost Things, was conducted between Ammi-Joan Paquette and Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Adventure, Character Interviews, Fathers, and Loss.
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