Lost in the Sun

Lost in the Sun

by Lisa Graff


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From the author of A Tangle of Knots and Absolutely Almost, a touching story about a boy who won't let one tragic accident define him.

Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can't get rid of. Trent’s pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he's not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is. 
If only Trent could make that fresh start happen.
It isn’t until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little—the girl with the mysterious scar across her face—that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren’t always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to find it.

Praise for Lost in the Sun:
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year!
• "Graff writes with stunning insight [and] consistently demonstrates why character-driven novels can live from generation to generation."—Kirkus Reviews *STARRED*

• "Graff creates layered, vulnerable characters that are worth getting to know."—Booklist *STARRED*

• "[A]n ambitious and gracefully executed story."—Publishers Weekly *STARRED*
• "Weighty matters deftly handled with humor and grace will give this book wide appeal."—School Library Journal *STARRED*
• "Characterization is thoughtful."—BCCB *STARRED*
“In Lost in the Sun, Trent decides that he will speak the truth: that pain and anger and loss are not the final words, that goodness can find us after all—even when we hide from it.  This is a novel that speaks powerfully, honestly, almost shockingly about our human pain and our human redemption.  This book will change you.”—Gary Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
“Lisa Graff crafts a compelling story about a boy touched with tragedy and the world of people he cares about.  And like all the best stories, it ends at a new beginning.”—Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author of A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way From Chicago
Lisa Graff's Awards and Reviews:
Lisa Graff's books have been named to 30 state award lists, and A Tangle of Knots was long-listed for the National Book Award.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780147508584
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/26/2016
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 90,157
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 10 - 13 Years

About the Author

Lisa Graff (lisagraff.com) is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of Far AwayThe Great Treehouse War, A Clatter of Jars, Lost in the SunAbsolutely AlmostA Tangle of KnotsDouble Dog DareSophie Simon Solves Them AllUmbrella SummerThe Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower, and The Thing About Georgie. Lisa Graff’s books have been named to more than seventy state award lists and have been touted as best books of the year by booksellers, teachers, and librarians. A Tangle of Knots was long-listed for the National Book Award in 2013. Lisa Graff lives with her family just outside of Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter @LisaGraff.

Read an Excerpt


When we were real little kids, Mom used to take Aaron and Doug and me to Sal’s Pizzeria for dinner almost every Tuesday, which is when they had their Family Night Special. I think she liked it because she didn’t have to worry about dinner for three growing boys for one night, but we liked it because there was a claw machine there—one of those giant contraptions with toys inside, all sorts, and a metal claw that you moved around with a joystick to try to grab at the toys. As soon as we got into the restaurant, Mom would hand us two dollars, which is how much it cost for three tries, and we’d huddle around the machine and plan our attack. We didn’t want to waste that two dollars, so we usually took the whole amount of time until our pizza came up, trying to get one of those toys (back then, I had my eye on a fuzzy blue monster, and Doug was desperate for one of the teddy bears, but after a while we would’ve settled for anything). Aaron, as the oldest, was the designated joystick manipulator, and Doug, the youngest, would stand at the side and holler when he thought Aaron had the best angle on the chosen toy. I was in charge of strategy.

Mom would sit at the table, waiting for our pizza, and read her book. I think she enjoyed the claw machine even more than we did.

We spent six months trying for a toy in that claw machine. Forty-eight dollars. Never got a single thing. No one else had gotten one either, we could tell. None of the stuffed animals ever shifted position. But we were determined to be the first.

Finally the owner, Sal Jr., made us stop. He said he couldn’t in good conscience let us waste any more money. Then he got a key from the back room, and unlocked the side window panel of the claw machine, and showed us.

“See how flimsy this thing is?” he said, poking at the claw. “Here, Trent, have a look.” He boosted me up, till I was practically inside the machine, and let me fiddle with the claw, too. After that it was Doug’s turn, then Aaron’s. “A cheap piece of metal like that,” Sal Jr. told us, “it could never grab hold of one of these toys. Not if you had the best aim in the world. Not in a thousand years. And you know why?”

“Why?” I asked. I was mesmerized. I remember.

“I’ll tell you, Trent. Because, look.” That’s when Sal Jr. grabbed hold of the teddy bear’s arm. Yanked it hard.

It wouldn’t budge. You could hear the seams in the bear’s stitching rip, just a little.

“They’re all packed in together super tight,” I said when I figured it out. “There’s no room for any of them to go.”

“Exactly,” Sal Jr. told me. He locked the side window panel back up. “Consider that a lesson in economics, boys.”

We got two pizzas on the house that night, with extra everything.

Aaron was so mad about the claw machine, he hardly ate. He said Sal Jr. had been stealing our money from the start, so it didn’t matter if he gave us pizza after, he was still a crook. Doug disagreed. He gobbled up his pizza so fast, you’d never even have known he wanted a teddy bear.

Me, though, I was more fascinated than anything. I felt like I’d learned a real lesson, a grown-up one, and it stuck with me. That’s the day I figured out that no matter how hard you tug at something, no matter how bad you want it, sometimes it just can’t be pried free.

I thought about that claw machine a lot after Jared died. Because there were days—who am I kidding, every day was one of those days—when I wished I could lift that moment out of my life, just scoop it up with an industrial-sized claw, and toss it into a metal bin. Remove it from existence, so that it never happened at all.

But I knew that wasn’t something I could ever do—and not just because I didn’t have a magic claw machine with the power to erase events from history. No, I knew I could never disappear that moment, because just like with the claw machine, there were so many events pushed up around it that there’d be no way to get it to budge. Everything that had happened before, and everything that happened after, those moments were all linked. Smushed together.

Still, I couldn’t help thinking that if I had it to do over, I never would’ve hit that hockey puck.


Excerpted from "Lost in the Sun"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Lisa Graff.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Advance praise for LOST IN THE SUN:
“In Lost in the Sun, Trent decides that he will speak the truth: that pain and anger and loss are not the final words, that goodness can find us after all—even when we hide from it.  This is a novel that speaks powerfully, honestly, almost shockingly about our human pain and our human redemption.  This book will change you.”—Gary Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
“Lisa Graff crafts a compelling story about a boy touched with tragedy and the world of people he cares about.  And like all the best stories, it ends at a new beginning.”—Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author of A Year Down Yonder and Long Way From Chicago

Customer Reviews

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Lost in the Sun 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it a long time ago, but from what i remember it was good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
bookinganadventure More than 1 year ago
Lost in the Sun is about Trent who is guilt-riden from a hockey accident that has a fatal result. Not only does he have to work through the thought of "killing someone", his parents are also divorced and he is forced to keep up a good face while he regularly visits his father and his stepmom. And let me just say, they don't make things easy. Trent's father and stepmom infuriate me with their "support". Trent enters sixth grade acting like a screw-up because he believes he deserves punishment for being a bad person. The story tells about how Trent heals with the help of Fallon, his brothers, his mom, and his teachers. The family dynamics (OTHER THAN THE DAD) is probably one of my favorite parts. Trent has two brothers Aaron and Doug. They are so important. Every time Trent talks his brothers my heart melts. The person that helped him heal the most is a girl named Fallon who is weird in the best way. She is a strong character that I couldn't help rooting for because honestly she's a better person than me. Even though she is bullied, she remains calm because she sees no point in retaliating. I was baffled at how good she is. In her situation, I would've snapped but Fallon swallows down her rage and intently continues on as if nothing happened. It's not a story of romance but of the power of friendship. And let me just say, there is something really special about these two's friendship. I cried multiple times because as childish as it was, it's not fair. I wholeheartedly supported Trent and it was hard watching how some people treated him. Even the adults! Even though I could understand and knew that some of the dad's reasoning made sense, I just wanted to scream because Trent doesn't deserve it. I was not prepared for this book. ANOTHER THING. The writing isn't flowery but there are some lines that made me pause to appreciate it. To quote: "There was something about Fallon, I'd noticed, that wasn't like what it seemed. Something sad. She was like Mom's coffee- it always smelled sweet, and then you took a sip and realized it was nothing but bitter." I do believe that YA fans will enjoy this as much as I did. No romance but an amazing, funny story of accepting the past. It's so satisfying. The book is the companion book to Umbrella Summer, which is about the little sister of the boy who died. I did not read it first because I only found out about it after I finished this one, but my little sister read it and it has her approval. I suggest anyone who wants to read Lost in the Sun read the other book first just because it came out first.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
With some people you only have one chance, you mess up and you’re done. With other individuals, you get to start over again and again, for they know that people make mistakes and they’re willing to accept your apology and move on. This made me think whether I accept people the first time or if I am an individual who is willing to just go with the flow? If I am one to go with the flow, just how long do I flow along before it gets to be too much? So much to think about if you put your mind to it. Fallon’s scar swept across her face, you’d know her anywhere. If you wanted to know where it all began, just ask her, she’d tell you, but each time the story would be different. No one knew the truth behind her scar, she didn’t want to reveal the truth, the stories she created were original and fun but they also pushed her peers away. She ignores the comments from her peers and she has learned to live alone. Trent carries a load of guilt around; he can’t seem to unload it no matter what anyone says. He killed another boy on the hockey field, one small puck to the chest and Trent’s life was changed instantly. It was an accident, everyone else says. Trent carries around his Book of Thoughts, drawing whatever comes across his mind; it’s his thoughts that get the best of him, losing him from reality. A unique friendship transpires between Trent and Fallon as Trent discovers her and inquires about her scar. She is a strong female character whereas Trent tries to take on the male macho role and these two clash. I saw two sides of Trent, the strong male side and a young child as he deals with issues at home. He uses Fallon, without her knowledge, to avoid these issues at home. There is this power struggle over the dominance of appropriateness, Fallon and Trent each feeling their own method of dealing with conflict is correct. Will they ever agree and do they need to? As the book evolves, I found myself more attached to the characters and the story becomes richer.