100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

What’s Your FOUND Story?

A fourth grade student walked into the library yesterday morning, triumphantly holding this book above her head:


The book had been lost. Now it was found.

Me: That’s great! Thanks for bringing it back.

Student: I found it in a dream.

Me: You found it in a dream?

Student: Yeah.

Me: What do you mean?

Student: I had a dream last night that I found the book in my classroom at school. When I got here this morning, I went to that spot where I dreamed I found it, and there it was.

Me: Wow.

Student: Bye!

Do you have an unusual found book story? Share it in the comments.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Shannon Vanderhyde says

    My kids lost their school library book. Looked everywhere for it…finally just paid for it. We moved a year and a half later…found the book in between one of their mattresses and the boxspring.

    • Travis Jonker says

      Some books really end up in the last place you’d expect. Thanks for sharing!

      • I always tell students to look in the places where they’re sure the book could not possibly be. If it were where they think it is, it wouldn’t be lost. Therefore, it must be where they think it isn’t. Get a lot of puzzled looks, but also a lot of returned books from unlikely places. Between mattresses is actually one of my most-commonly-reported find locations.

  2. A few days ago we got a book in the mail. There was a letter from an airline–American, I think. They were cleaning the airplane–taking the seats apart cleaning–and found it wedged in somewhere. Looks like it was due in 2014 and had long since been deleted.

  3. I always tell my kids to look under the bed and under the couch for that very reason.

    I also had a student find a library book at the local rec center and return it to me. It was a Diary of a Wimpy kid book so we were all happy it was safely returned.

  4. Danielle says

    Student: “I FINALLY found my book”
    Me: “Awesome! Where was it?”
    Student: “On my book shelf!!”

    Every. Single. Day. this week.

    So much face palming in this library.

  5. Christine Sarmel says

    Parent phone call: Hey, I accidentally put my kid’s book in the public library book drop. When I called they said there were two of your books there. Do you want me to pick up the other one when I stop by?
    Me: Let me check the catalog and see if the other title is missing. *Returns to phone* Actually the other book was checked out to your other child, so yes, please bring that one also:)

    • This is the benefit of our public library being connected to our school libraries! We can send everything between branches/schools easily.

  6. I had a student pay for two books that he couldn’t find. On the last day of school he walked into the library carrying both books. I asked him where he found them and he said they were in his backpack. Makes me wonder how hard he looked or how often he used his backpack. ;)

  7. Years ago (we’re talking 1997 or so) I got a package in the mail postmarked Mexico. (We’re in New England). I opened it up and found a library book, along with a note. The note was from a hotel in Mexico City, where they said it had been found while cleaning up the rubble from an earthquake. They apologized for taking so long to get it back to us!

  8. Erica Bretall says

    I had a kid accidentally pack a book away with his monopoly game. He didn’t find it until the next time his family played the game which was about six months later.