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Once Was Lost

Once Was Lost

By Sara Zarr

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum subjects: Character Development, Family, Religion

Grade: 7 & up


Educator Guide

Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things.


When your father’s a pastor, it’s hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reasons to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam’s personal one, and the already worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.


In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed–about God, your family, and yourself–is transformed.



★ “Zarr sets a hard task for herself here: interweaving a number of strong story strands and giving them equal weight…add to the story’s depth.” — Booklist, starred review


★ “Riveting.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review


★ “Beyond delivering a gripping story, Zarr has a knack for exposing human weakness in the ordinary.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review