Review: Keeper by Kathi Appelt


Title: Keeper
Author: Kathi Appelt
Pub: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-1416950608
Started: 04/03/2010
Finished: 04/08/2010
Source: ARC from Publisher

A pot of crabs begin what is to be Keeper’s worst day ever.
Everything she tries to do to make things right only make things worse.
Keeper, a 10 year-old girl, feels she has ruined everything for everyone.

The story rocks back and forth between the present and the past and we slowly see the layers which brought us to this special ‘Blue Moon’ day.
This day which was going to be special to everyone. But Keeper had ruined it. For everyone.
How could she fix what she had done?

Maybe her real mother could help. Her real mother who, when Keeper was 3, had left her to return to the sea because she was a mermaid.
Alone, drifting out to sea in a tiny boat, Keeper realized how foolish she had been.
Her mom had not left her to go back to the sea. She had just left her. Left her with Signe. Who was asleep. While Keeper was adrift at sea.

The story is quite engaging. The sentence structure and even the structure of the chapters draw you into the story.
The characters are all well developed, even the the characters of the two dogs and the seagull.
My only hesitation in whole-heartily recommending this book is due to a display of romantic feelings and hand-holding between two 15 year old boys in two short scenes.
Nothing explicit is described or even alluded to other than the hand holding.
They could have just been written as friends but the story implies more.
I would rather not have that discussion with a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader, but maybe I am just naive since we home-schooled and did not have to deal with many subjects they would have in a public school situation.

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