My son and I were lucky enough to be in the audience this past fall at WorldCon in Chicago when Seanan McGuire was awarded the Hugo for best series, for Wayward Children. I was thrilled to be there to witness the bestowing of such a well-deserved award. Since I first read Every Heart a Doorway, I’ve looked forward to the beginning of each year as it comes, not just because I hope it will be better than the last dumpster fire of a year, but because I know there will be a new Wayward Children book on the way.

The books of the Wayward Children series, of which Lost In the Moment and Found is number eight, fall roughly into two categories—group stories, in which we follow one or more characters we’ve met before, and stand-along, bottle stories. Lost In the Moment and Found is one of the stand-alones, and it’s an absolutely stunning addition to the series.

Antsy is a seven year old girl who chooses to run away from home, away from the mother she loves, because she senses that her new stepfather is going to hurt her if she stays, and her mother won’t believe her, won’t stop him. Like all the other wayward children, Antsy needs a Door, and so a Door finds her. It leads to a world unlike any we’ve seen before, the Shop Where Lost Things Go, a nexus of sorts where Doors to all manner of other worlds open every day.

Antsy is welcomed at first, accepted, protected. She feels safe for the first time in years. But safety comes at a price.

This is a story about innocence lost, and innocence taken. It’s a painful, somber meditation on childhood trauma, but it also celebrates the resilience and bravery of children who have faced things they should never be forced to face. McGuire is at her best here, writing a story that feels intensely personal to her. And McGuire at her best is one of the finest writers working today.

One note: McGuire includes a trigger warning at the beginning of this one, and for readers who have been touched by abuse, it’s warranted.

Lost In the Moment and Found is easily one of my favorite in the series. Don’t miss this one.

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