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The New Boy Is Lost!

Eardley Publications

5.0 / 5.0 based on 4 reviews


ISBN: 978-0937630-12-9

Illustrations: Loretta Lustig

Pages: 70


The New Boy Is Lost! is more than a dramatic story with a picture for every sentence.  Lavishly illustrated with 300 full-color pictures by Loretta Lustig.


Woven throughout this dramatic novel based on a real-life story are:

  • Essential first year vocabulary
  • Basic sentence structures: affirmative, negative, question; simple past, present, future
  • Survival skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Themes of courage, persistence, and multi-cultural cooperation


ESL students of all ages  will identify with a 12-year-old newcomer who worries about making friends and learning English in an American school.  The new boy, Taro, meets Ramon, Jae Han, Lee, and Susan, but no one speaks his language.  After school, Taro takes the wrong bus home and gets lost. He knows only five words of English and that his new home is near a big white gas station.  A rainstorm, and then the dark of night, add difficulty. Parents, students, and the police conduct a city-wide search for Taro, fearing the worst.  Taro draws on his inner reserves of courage to get through the ordeal, and on his parents’ counsel to keep himself safe.



Entry-level ESL students

The New Boy is Lost! is a 15-week ESL program.  Each chapter has a week’s worth of vocabulary, discussion, and language practice and extension activities.  Beginning English language learners (even pre-literate students) will easily follow the story through the pictures.


While students are focusing on "What happens next?" they will be learning:

  • Greetings
  • Introductions
  • Crucial aspects of street safety


500 basic words for:

  • Family members
  • Colors
  • Numbers
  • Time
  • Weather
  • Transportation
  • Clothing
  • School subjects
  • Emotions
  • Descriptive adjectives
  • Action verbs


High-beginners and intermediate ESL students

The New Boy is Lost! is a reader that stimulates cathartic conversations about their own personal experiences when they entered the United States.  Students will make comparisons of language and culture, interview each other, and be guided to library research and creative writing activities.  Grammar-through-discovery is supported by the text written in short sentences with simple, natural language patterns. Using this novel as a model, beginning students can write their own picture stories of their trip to the United States and their first days here. The New Boy Is Lost! will provide much of the language and sentence structure they’ll need in order to be successful, and can "publish" their books for classmates to read.


Advanced ESL students

The New Boy Is Lost! illustrates the common elements of a novel:

  • Character
  • Conflict
  • Theme
  • Plot
  • Setting
  • Foreshadowing
  • Values
  • Suspense
  • Complications
  • Scene-shifting
  • Climax
  • resolution

You'll find much for your advanced ESL students to grow on whether it's writing their first book report, writing the script for a drama to act out, or creating their own sequel to The New Boy Is Lost!

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Linda I.
It looks like it will

It looks like it will serve both my beginning and intermediate ESL classes well. I am anxious to try it out beginning this school year in August.

Louise B.
The New Boy Lost

The teacher using the book with her class has said they all like it very much!

Thank you we are glad to hear that.

Kathy J.

I have been using The New Boy Is Lost picture novel with my small newcomer/lower proficiency groups. In the last 2 years, I've had to purchase additional texts and was happy to find Elizabeth Claire's site, as it is much less expensive to buy directly through her than through Amazon. I LOVE this text! The narrative is engaging and one that ELs can readily relate to. The teacher's guide offers so many extension ideas/activities per chapter - to go along with what is happening in the plot such as telling time, identification, school/home/community vocab, etc. I just can't say enough about this text. I'm hopeful that Elizabeth Claire will write other picture novels such as this - maybe a sequel. Or, maybe one for lower elementary students - from little sister, Yoko's experiences in elementary school. For adult ELs, it could be about Taro's parents' experiences.

Teri H.
New Boy is Lost

This is an EXCELLENT resource for teachers working with beginning ESL students. My students loved this book and were excited to find out what happened in the story. I loved the fact that they could learn new vocabulary in context!