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A Wizard Named Nell (The Keepers, #1)
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A Wizard Named Nell (The Keepers #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  505 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
A Courageous Choice
In the magical world of Eldearth, Witches and Wizards live side by side with Humans, Weefolk, though elusive, are abundant, and Dragons and Unicorns still walk the land. But the present Imperial Wizard, Keeper of the Light that protects Eldearth, is aging and ill. If a new apprentice is not found soon, Eldearth may succumb to the evil powers of the dar
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Aladdin (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,365)
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The main character is just turning 11 as the story begins, and I would recommend the book for girls that age or younger. The writing is pedestrian and the fantasy world pretty run-of-the-mill, the good vs evil is straightforward, etc. Girls of ten or so will probably enjoy this because Nell is a princess and she has a pet dragon and a heart-shaped pendant with a magic ruby and she learns magic and she defies social conventions about what girls can't do.
The prologue of this book really struck my interest: two sides fighting for power, one side wins by creating a spell so bright and powerful that it sends the "bad side" to live underground where no light can reach. They are then *kept* underground by a wizard monitoring the magic that keeps the evil things at bay. But, the recent wizards haven't been as powerful, and consequently evil things are starting to creep back into the above-world. The hope? That a prophecy will be filled in which a new ...more
May 19, 2014 Amara rated it really liked it
A Wizard Named Nell is a MG feminist fantasy novel, the first book in a trilogy called The Keepers. It's a book that I read as a child and enjoyed, though it never became one of my favorites; I read The Song of the Lioness around the same time, which is quite similar but targeted toward an older audience, and I definitely preferred it to this. But The Keepers is certainly a worthwhile series, too, albeit for a different audience; it's equal parts quest fantasy and condemnation of gender and clas ...more
Mark Dewey
Apr 27, 2010 Mark Dewey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, juvenile, audio
I actually liked this one a fair amount. It's another one of those books where there's a girl proving that she can do what boys can do, or better (it seems like there are a ton of those, nowadays). However, I think it's one of the better books of that sort.

I like that there are actually a fair amount of magical elements in this story—that's extremely rare for this kind of book, I've learned (usually there is magic, but not a whole lot). Anyway, I like the world. The characters are likable, and I
Apr 05, 2012 Fran rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
I first read this book in fifth grade, and I remember absolutely loving it. So much so that I begged the librarian to buy the others in the series when my school library only had the first one.

It was cute and short. I'll probably find and re-read the others too. Any kid that loves fantasy would like this book. It moves quickly and is very action oriented. I'd probably rate it higher if I wasn't 8 years older. Because its written for kids it's not too deep or anything, but the world building is
Jul 31, 2014 Angie rated it really liked it
Synopsis: " the magical world of Eldearth, Witches and Wizards live side by side with Humans, Weefolk, though elusive, are abundant, and Dragons and Unicorns still walk the land. But the present Imperial Wizard, Keeper of the Light that protects Eldearth, is aging and ill. If a new apprentice is not found soon, Eldearth may succumb to the evil powers of the dark Lord Graieconn. There is a long tradition in Eldearth that the keeper must be a Wizard, and only boys can be Wizards, but so far, all t ...more
Jan 17, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book in the car. The narration was very good. I enjoyed this book, and was going to give it a high rating, and then the book ended so abruptly, I wanted to give it a lower rating. Then I noticed it was book one. The ending still didn't feel like it was going to go any further. Now I have to see if I can get the next two books.

This book is in the new style of making a girl the hero. The princess goes out to pass all the tests that are needed to train with the Wizard, so she ca
Jaylin Black
Oct 17, 2015 Jaylin Black rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-of-the-list
Okay, so I know this for younger kids, but I read it a couple years ago. It was so good. But, I never got to finish the last 10 pages or the rest of the series (however many that may be). So I really want to read it again. All I remember is that a princess, I think, wants to become a keeper or whatever and she goes on a three day journey or however long it takes, where she can only go alone and she acquires a dragon and a something else and cannot eat or drink anything except for a sip of water ...more
May 09, 2013 Christy rated it liked it
Shelves: corben
This series has potential. The story line is interesting but after the book was done it felt very much like we'd just finished listening to chapter one. Also, the audio version leaves a lot to be desired in what should have been great moments of excitement because the reader never put more emotion in to any of the peril moments than she did the casual exchanges. My 12 year old son and I enjoyed the story and will be getting the next book. My only content concern is that at one point she undresse ...more
Feb 28, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Eleven-year-old Arenelle, called Nell, is the only child of the King of Xandria, one of the kingdoms of Eldearth. She has much potential in the magical arts, and would love to be Imperial Wizard -- especially now that the old Imperial Wizard is dying and needs a successor. But because she is a girl, she won't even get the chance to try -- her father forbids it. Nell is determined to have a chance and prove her worth, and so she runs away from home, determined to find the Imperial Wizard and pers ...more
Jan 19, 2013 M. rated it liked it
Book 1 of The Keepers series. Princess Arenelle, the daughter of King Einar of Eldearth, would very much like to be the next Imperial Wizard. Since the current Imperial Wizard is getting too old to be effective, and since the kingdom is threatened by the evil lord of the dark, it's important that a new apprentice be found. Nell has turned 11 and it's time for her to study magic--but, because she's a girl, she's restricted to studying witchcraft rather than wizardry. Nell finds a substitute to ta ...more
Feb 15, 2014 Reagan rated it it was amazing
Nell wanted to accomplish a dangerous quest. All the boys who tried it failed. Before she left she met a boy named Owen and he gave her a star so she could contact him.

On the way Nell met a little girl who had the blood pocks and Nell gave the child her star. Then she knew that she couldn't contact Owen anymore, but Nell gave it to her anyways.

Will Nell get the quest accomplished?
May 11, 2015 Simone rated it it was amazing
The kids (6yo and 8yo) have been listening to this series in the car. All three of us agree, Nell rocks and JFK is the real wizard. With a strong female character, this series appeals to both boys and girls and I would highly recommend it to anyone with kids who like dragons, fairies, spells and all things magical.
Nov 16, 2012 Katelyn rated it really liked it
this was a pretty decent one. I gave it a four because it wasn't as exciting as i usually enjoy and a bit of a slower storyline. but its got some really fun aspects, like dragons, and magic, and such in it. there's 2 main characters and they both have discoveries about themselves and their connections with each other and the roles they both play in the world and such. just like I said in my review about Ingraine the Brave, the age range I think would start at about 8 or 9 years old. some might s ...more
Harriet Deforest
Aug 21, 2015 Harriet Deforest rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dragons, fantasy
I read this a long time ago, and I remember loving it. I guess I'll read it agin, and if its as good as I remember I'll give it to my sisters. :)
Feb 18, 2009 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-fiction
I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's the story of a Princess named Nell who sets out to save her Kingdom of Eldearth. To save the kindgom she must set out to find the Imperial Wizard and convince him to take her as an apprentice even though she's not a boy.
It's a spirited tale of girl power. Nell is kind and strong and clever. I would recommend this book to girls who liked the Dealing with Dragons Series. My only complaint is that the ending a abrupt (even for a series), Koller r
Jennifer Heise
Mar 31, 2014 Jennifer Heise rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Nice twist on the usual themes of rebellion against a misogynist system. Also interesting use of dragons.
Apr 10, 2014 Jill rated it liked it
Shelves: youth-fiction
So far this has been fine
Jennifer Lott
Jul 18, 2015 Jennifer Lott rated it really liked it
A fun, easy read. It definitely felt like a beginning, as oppose to a stand-alone with a sequel. The magic was a bit simpler than I like (even for a children's book), but the people and creatures were fun to follow. I was a bit hazy on why deliberately starving for the duration of the quest was so important, but it worked well as a bridge of understanding between princess and street urchin. I would have liked a brief conclusion on Owen's side of the adventure. He was my favourite.
Mar 04, 2013 Jerry rated it liked it
A Quickie Review

An old-school fantasy quest, A Wizard Named Nell is set in a fantastical land full of spellcasters and mythical creatures. It's the typical "girl outdoes all the prior guys" tale that many of us have seen a thousand times before, but it still works moderately well. Some parents may quibble with a guy pretending to be Nell, and dressing up as a girl, throughout much of the book.

Score: 3.5/5
Jul 29, 2013 Brian rated it liked it
An average fantasy and a somewhat slow start to what may become a very good series. The relationship between Nell and Owen is well done by the end of the book, but my main problem with this story is that the author TELLS us what Nell is feeling rather than showing us. Let the characters act out their feelings rather than explaining them to us. Still, it picks up by the end, so further stories may be more enticing (and better written).
May 01, 2015 Abi rated it liked it
Shelves: world-with-magic
This book was okay. I thought it would be lonher than 100ish pages, so a VERY light read.
Alice Kronenberg
Jan 06, 2014 Alice Kronenberg rated it it was amazing
This book was a lot of fun, with interesting plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series. There were a lot of magical elements that added to the story a great deal.
Clare Cannon
Oct 18, 2010 Clare Cannon rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 8-10 years (girls)
Shelves: 08-12yrs
Nice fantasy for young readers, probably better for girls. Nell shows courage and determination in fulfilling her destiny in spite of many obstacles in her path. She is generous and notices the needs of others. While it's nothing spectacular for older readers, younger readers would probably find it engaging.
Sep 26, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
From the cover I was expecting a book about an adult or at least an older adolescent. This book is about an 11 year old. But what surprised me the most was the sudden ending just as it was getting interesting! I suppose this book is just prologue and set-up for the rest of the series.
Jul 04, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it
I appreciated the creativity of this story and the strength of the main character. I read this and now my 9-year old daughter is going to read it. I found myself (surprisingly) invested in the characters and I will certainly be reading the next book.
Dec 02, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Fantasy & Adventure
Recommended to Amanda by: none
Girl power! Anyone who knows me knows that's what I love. . . a runaway princess that wants to do a guy's job (become a wizard). I want to read the rest of this series but I can't find them. Really good imagination & descriptions.
Dec 05, 2012 Leona rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, girl-power
kept me interested. princess wants to help her kingdom by becoming a wizard. but girls can't be wizards. first book ends when she's just about start her apprenticeship to the Imperial Wizard--the most important role in the kingdom.
Valerie L
Aug 31, 2011 Valerie L rated it liked it
Shelves: junior
For children I would say this is a 4! Fun new story of Nell, she wants to save her family, her people, but can an eleven year old girl even hope to become a wizard? Personally I wish there were still demidragons around!
Katrina Thompson
Apr 09, 2013 Katrina Thompson rated it it was amazing
I remember as a little girl reading this book a long with my brother and falling in love with it. I checked it out multiple time at the library. it was an easy read and anyone owho loves fantisy will love these books.
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Jackie French Koller (born 1948) is an American author of picture books, chapter books, and novels for children and young adults. She lives and writes in western Massachusetts.

Koller is also an accomplished painter. Her interest in art inspired her to open The Little Black Dog Gallery in Westfield, Massachusetts.

Koller's young-adult novel If I Had One Wish was adapted into a Disney Channel Origina
More about Jackie French Koller...

Other Books in the Series

The Keepers (3 books)
  • The Wizard's Apprentice (The Keepers, #2)
  • The Wizard's Scepter (The Keepers, #3)

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