The theme of "The Lost Boy" by Dave Pelzer revolves around prejudice against foster children and their journeys of self-discovery. These emerge for the children while they also face obstacles and prejudices related to economic status, familial situations and cultural differences, according to NovelGuide.com.
Although "The Lost Boy" is a fictitious piece of literature, author Dave Pelzer portrays the main character, 17-year-old Chris, with influences from his own upbringing as a foster child. The theme of the book is prevalent as Pelzer details the main character's experiences with attempts to make friends while living in an affluent neighborhood as a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy who jumps from one foster home to the next. Prejudice against foster children is the underlying theme as Pelzer uncovers the challenges of placing foster children in permanent homes, the emotional effects of living out of suitcases after being taken from parents or placed in temporary care, and the self-discovery that happens along the way for teenagers growing up in the foster care system during an important coming of age stage in their lives, according to NovelGuide.com. After dealing with rejection his entire life, the main character in "The Lost Boy" struggles with trust and faith.