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The Museum of Lost and Found Book Launch with Author Leila Sales

May 25 | Thu |
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Celebrate the launch of Leila Sales's new book, The Museum of Lost and Found—a warm, relatable middle-grade story about a friendship falling apart and the abandoned museum that becomes a shrine to lost connections. Leila will be in conversation with Alison Hokanson, associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Rebecca Shaykin, associate curator at the Jewish Museum. They will discuss curation as it pertains both to professional, real-world museums and to the fictional, DIY, kid-run museum in The Museum of Lost and Found.

Leila Sales is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels for children and young adults, including This Song Will Save Your Life and Once Was a Time. Her books have been optioned for stage and screen, selected for many state award lists, translated into a dozen languages, and received numerous starred reviews. Leila grew up in Boston, Massachusetts; received her degree from the University of Chicago; and worked as an acquiring editor at Penguin Random House in New York City. She is now based in Austin, Texas, where she writes, edits, and speaks about books and publishing all over the world.

Alison Hokanson is an Associate Curator for 19th- and early-20th-century European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has organized exhibitions on the British Pre-Raphaelites and on the painter J. M. W. Turner. She has contributed to numerous publications, most recently the catalogue for The Met’s upcoming exhibition Van Gogh’s Cypresses. She received her BA in art history from Brown University and MA and PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.
Rebecca Shaykin is an Associate Curator at the Jewish Museum, New York, where she organized the critically-acclaimed Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art (2019); the accompanying catalogue was a New York Times Critic’s Pick and winner of the 2019 National Jewish Book Award (Visual Arts). She received her BA in Art History from Oberlin College and MA from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
Eleven-year-old Vanessa isn't sure which happened first: finding the abandoned museum or losing her best friend Bailey. She doesn't know what to do with herself now that Bailey has left her behind—but when she stumbles upon an empty, forgotten museum, her purpose becomes clear. Vanessa starts filling the museum with her own artifacts and memories, hoping that perhaps, if she can find the right way to tell the story of her broken friendship, she can figure out how to make it whole again. As Vanessa's museum grows, it seems like the place might have the answers to other questions, too. Like why a mysterious work of art was left behind. Or how to deal with a military dad who's trying to parent from thousands of miles away. Or why Vanessa's bad habit is getting harder and harder to quit. Or even, maybe, how to set the past to rest and find a way to move forward.
The Museum of Lost and Found is a warm, relatable middle-grade story about a friendship falling apart and the abandoned museum that becomes a shrine to lost connections.
“A nuanced look at friendship, family, self-knowledge, coming of age, and community.”—The Horn Book
“This multifaceted art mystery with a focus on interpersonal bonds tackles an array of themes—anxiety, friendship’s natural fluctuations, and learning to let go of the past.”—Publishers Weekly
“Sales gently uses the museum’s exhibits to explore self-awareness, help her characters process past behaviors, and reveal consequences that are not initially understood. The inner thoughtfulness is balanced with an action-packed ending that satisfies. Creatively explores the complexity of middle school friendships.”—Kirkus Reviews
“It’s an intriguing premise, and the tone is delightfully conversational, even when tackling topics of shifting friendships, body-focused repetitive behavior, and having an active-duty parent overseas. Discussions of relationships are nuanced and thoughtful, and it ends on a realistic but hopeful note. A creative and compassionate examination of friendship in all forms.”—Booklist

Venue: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, 3rd Floor Map