Praise for Lost Children Of The Far Islands

“Raabe’s debut novel is brimming with pleasing details, and her description of Gus and Leo’s transformation into seals really shines… This page-turning fantasy adventure is tailor-made for marine-life fanatics.” — Booklist

“In a lush and swiftly moving fantasy, Gustavia (aka Gus) and her twin brother, Leo, are approaching their 11th birthday when life becomes strange. Tides are unusually high in the Gulf of Maine, fishermen disappear in sudden storms, and Gus and Leo discover that they can remain underwater without surfacing for breath. After their mother becomes deathly ill, Gus, Leo, and their highly sensitive younger sister are secreted away by an extinct species of sea mink called “The Bedell,” who leads them to their maternal grandmother, the Morai, on the mysterious Far Islands. The children learn that they are “Folk,” able to transform into animals like seals and foxes, and they must help prevent the dark Dobhar-Chu and his wolves from claiming the sea. Raabe’s (Leave It Behind) poetic sensibility is visible in her vibrant descriptions of the ocean, the shape-shifters’ heightened senses, and her vision of a liminal world hidden from human perception.” Publishers Weekly


“The characters are complex and well developed… There is a great deal of interesting information about animals (‘Killer whales are apex predators.’) Raabe has created a rich and detailed world for fantasy fans.” — School Library Journal

“The first sentence grabs readers right away: ‘On May 23, exactly one month before Gustavia and Leomaris Brennan’s eleventh birthday, their mother became terribly, mysteriously ill.’ Filtered primarily through Gus’s point of view, the third-person narration is full of action, with cliffhangers ending most chapters. /…/ Plot, characters, Celtic folklore and many magical elements—especially surrounding the servant called “the Bedell”—are reminiscent of works by P.L. Travers and Susan Cooper.” — Kirkus Reviews

“There are quiet echoes of Susan Cooper and C. S. Lewis here in both mythology and structure, and Raabe manages the difficult feat of balancing the family drama and the epic fantasy with surprising ease. The affection among the siblings is particularly well drawn; the third-person narration focalizes through Gus, who feels responsible for her more passive brother, and through little Ila, who struggles with feeling left out of the twins’ inherent bond. Vivid imagery makes the underwater scenes utterly captivating, as the siblings in seal form frolic with dolphins, battle off great white sharks, and, of course, eventually beat the bad guy. A cozy fantasy with a few deep-sea thrills, this would make a fine family or classroom read-aloud as well.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Raabe sets her three young characters on a thrilling adventure across land and sea, full of sharks, magical books, kelpies, mermaids, and more! There’s enough exciting fun to keep readers entertained from beginning to end…Lost Children of the Far Islands is a fantastical new addition in the world of middle-grade fantasy. With an imaginative story, fascinating lore, and endearing characters, young readers will devour this book!” —

“Lost Children of the Far Islands is a magical story that is at once exciting, suspenseful, and full of charm.” — Powell’s Books

“I enjoyed this book because it has a really good mix of fantasy and realism, and I also liked the story itself. Gus, Leo, and Ila never knew there was anything special about their family until, one night, they get whisked away to an island. There, they find out they have magical powers and they must fight a terrible evil. Will they succeed? Or will they be defeated? Read the book to find out; you will love the journey!” — The YA Bookcase. Reviewed by Anja, age 9

“I found it a gripping, fast read that I was able to enjoy even in the midst of a frenzied, stressful week… My favorite part of this book was the time spent on the mysterious far island where the magical grandmother lives–it is a lovely island, with lost mundane treasures and a library holding a far-from-mundane book.” — Charlotte’s Library

“Raabe’s descriptions of the children’s underwater adventures will make readers shrug off werewolves and reconsider the sea!” – The Hiding Spot

Other press

“Lost Children of the Far Islands, by Emily Raabe, with thoughts on how I judge ‘kids with destiny’ stories”

“A Dream Made Real Through Fantasy”