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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,548 ratings  ·  387 reviews
Radley just wants to get home to her parents in Vermont. While she was volunteering abroad, the American People's Party took power; the new president was assassinated; and the government cracked down on citizens. Travel restrictions are worse than ever, and when her plane finally lands in New Hampshire, Radley’s parents aren’t there.

Exhausted; her phone dead; her credit ca
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends (first published September 1st 2012)
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The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterAmber House by Kelly  MooreWhat's Left of Me by Kat ZhangTen by Gretchen McNeilImmortal Lycanthropes by Hal Johnson
September 2012 YA Fiction
57th out of 111 books — 83 voters
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books that should be read in 2012
5th out of 23 books — 15 voters

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Community Reviews

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Stacia (the 2010 club)
Oct 01, 2012 Stacia (the 2010 club) rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who get something out of being a fly on the wall
I watch eagerly for the next dumpster.

I can honestly say that I never figured there'd ever be a time to start a review with a comment about dumpster diving. But here we are. This is what I took away from Safekeeping - where there's a will, there's a dumpster.

Let's get this straight...I'm not knocking the will to survive. We'd probably all do whatever it took to keep going, were we faced with similar circumstances. In the case of this book, however, I was a bit fuzzy on the circumstances. All
Safekeeping is a short little book about friendship, and family, and the strength within oneself to keep going, and it’s well written and by an author I like and so I was very depressed reading it because I had been under the impression the plot was supposed to be about THE END OF THE WOOOOORLD and instead it was not.

Instead, there was a lot of walking.

And standing in the rain.

And more walking.

And then our main character sat in a barn for half the book.

And then there was a train ride.

And some i
Kris Irvin
This is an inbetween book for me. I picked it up on a whim from the library, and it was a super fast read. The story is compelling enough, and I've read enough AMERICA GONE ANARCHY to consider my self an expert.

So here are the problems I had with this book. First, when the heck is it happening? Not giving it a time, even a hint at a time, was a huge mistake. The book starts off with Radley (the main character) in Haiti, volunteering after a huge earthquake strikes. When does this sound like to
Steffaney Smith
Beware...this book will cause you to examine your heart--your life--just a bit closer, and it may be uncomfortable. But, absolution..that is what Radley Parker-Hughes gave to me, and will give to you. Her trek became my personal journey also, through uncertainty, grief and guilt. You find in the end that the story may be over, but Radley & you are continuing your own journeys, where what has happened to you in life becomes your strength and the core you feed from. No need to atone for your s ...more
Karen Ball
Knocked my socks off. Obviously someone in the publishing world saved this for a fall 2012 election season, but even so, the characters grabbed me and I just couldn't put it down. Had me in tears more than once, but that's where my life and the words of the story collide in ways you can't predict.
"I try to see the quiet beauty of Vermont... to reclaim it as my birthright. But I know now that there is no such thing as a birthright. Anything can be taken from you."
It's September, and this is the t
Pam ☼Ask Me About FrankenKnee☼ Tee
Love, love, love this book. It's a very different sort of dystopia. Familiar in some sense, because you have the all too scary rise of a political elite that would strip people of their rights. And yet different in it's tone and quality of the writing. Instead of being yet another action-driven story about teens rising up to do something about the oppression –barf, been there, done that multiple times– Hesse takes a more realistic approach which deals with surviving on a small scale. Surviving w ...more
Safekeeping was a very quick read but very difficult to review. The writing is beautiful at times, the descriptions of New England and Canada draw peaceful calming pictures filled with the solitude and rest that both characters are driven to need. That unfortunately is the best I can say about the book. The plot was shallow, with no reason and very little direction, it felt contrived and pointless. The caracters are not any better. There is no depth, no feeling, no strong true emotion or connect ...more
1.5 Stars for decent writing.

I was very excited when I first saw Safekeeping. I’d read Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust as a child and remember loving it, in fact, I could tell you exactly where it sits in the family bookcase back home because I never lose track of those books I truly enjoy. And so I was greatly disappointed to read through Karen Hesse’s latest and find that, while it may be beautifully written, it portrayed a world beyond the realm of possibility or belief and focused heavily on s
Radley's heading home from volunteering in Haiti because the political turmoil in the US is so bad, she's worried about her family. The APP is in charge and they've set up all kinds of strict rules of governance, conduct, and travel. When Radley finally gets to the airport, her parents aren't there to pick her up. So she starts walking home. It's grueling but she knows seeing them will be worth the trouble. Knowing they're safe matters.

Of course, they're not safe. Things are bad. So now Radley's
Park Road Books
One of the best YA novels I have read, probably ever. The main character, Radley, goes to Haiti to do relief work, but when she comes back to America, she is welcomed with the news that the president has been assassinated and a fringe political party has taken over. Confronted with harsh government crack down, Radley must travel on foot to make it back home in Vermont. An eerie image of what could be, this novel is complex, exciting and an interesting examination of how radicalism and unrest can ...more
Edward Sullivan
A teenage girl returns to the United States from a humanitarian trip in Haiti to find the country in a state of chaos and in the grip of an oppressive government ruled by something called the American People's Party. It's a story of a bleak, possible near-future that centers on maintaining meaningful, compassionate human connection. An interesting, frequently engrossing tale illustrated with some striking photographs by Hesse but readers may find the many unresolved loose ends frustrating and un ...more
Joon Nam
Safekeeping is a book that I very much enjoyed over the course of around a week. It had a very intriguing and realistic plot of chaotic America, and the characters were interesting enough for a person to somewhat get attached to. The theme of the book is not very well developed, and there is no dominant theme in the midst of the chaos. Character development is gradual but existent, as they grow at a slow pace (but if you get to the end, it gets real exciting).
This book is something that I would
Regan Mies
Safekeeping was, through most of the book, a two-star read. The premise was interesting, but the story itself was boring. Really boring, and repetitious, too. Black and white photographs are scattered every couple pages, which I thought was new and unique (until they became startlingly random and had nothing to do with the story...). The ending, though. The ending was sweet and melancholy and made me smile, so I bumped the rating up to three stars. Overall, Safekeeping was a quick and quiet stor ...more

Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

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The book opens up to Radley (a teenager - I don't remember her specific age EVER being mentioned) making her way home from Haiti, where she was doing volunteer work. Things in the US government have gone downhill and Radley wants to be safe at home in Vermont, with her parents—but when her plane lands, they are not there to greet her. There are restrictions on traveling, a curfew for all citizens, and things are falling apart.

Radley dec
While volunteering in an orphanage in Haiti, Radley Parker-Hughes grows worried about her parents and her country after things seem to be falling apart back home. She returns to find a strong military presence everywhere and restrictions on travel. The American People's Party seems unable to get a handle on things, and Radley faces a snarl of bureacratic paperwork just to travel from one state to another. She ends up walking from New Hampshire to Vermont, and when her parents are nowhere to be f ...more
The plucky girl in a dystopian world seems to be the new cliche in Young Adult literature. The twist in Safekeeping is that it is set in current-day America, with the heroine encountering things anyone would if the U.S. government were suddenly to be overturned.

The novel begins somewhat predictably, as main character Radley discovers how sheltered and coddled she had been before everything changed. But her trek from New Hampshire to Vermont, which then becomes an escape to Canada, is hair-raisin
Radley is volunteering in an orphanage in Haiti when she realizes she needs to go home. She needs to get back to America. When she returns, she finds the America she left and the America she has returned to are completely opposite. As Radley travels home to find her parents, she finds a strength in herself she didn't know she had. Hesse shares that this book started as a "rant" as she watched the 2008 election unfold. Reading Radley's story, which is set in the present future, one realizes that ...more
LOVED this book-- probably my favorite read of the summer. It's a young adult book, however, there are some parts that are geared for high school or over. Not only are the words beautiful, but the accompanying photos taken by the author help to make this a truly unique book. I can't wait to read Hesse's Newbery book, Out of the Dust!
So what would happen if your country went to crap while you weren't in it? If a radical political group took over, if dissenters were arrested, if the president were assassinated? If you finally made it home after walking across a good chunk of New England, only to find your parents gone without a trace? That's what happened to Radley. Getting to Canada is her safest option, and it's not an option that's all that safe.

A weirdly sort of political apocalypse that feels more realistic than any of t
Pretty good book. Had me wanting to cry on some parts. Though there were questionable moments i did not understand. Guess it was just life happening. And not some happy sappy cliche book with a jolly ending. This book had life struggles in it.
InkZylorn Yamiko
This book is an interesting one indeed. I would only recommend this kind of book if you think you can handle well slight blainess to it. Simply the story tells us about a girl name Radley as she travels in search of finding her parents or friends on the way. I, in my opinion, love this book. It is so heartwarming and interesting. This book is a Dystopian book, therefore if you have an assignment for school I recommend this book. Though not everyone will enjoy this book so think wisely. In furthe ...more
Lisa Klein
Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

Radley is a privileged teen who is in Haiti on a volunteer trip helping at an orphanage. She decides that she wants to go back home to the United States, but when she does return to the United States it is nothing like when she left. A military group has taken over the country and now to do simple things like travel from state to state you need permission from the government and there are curfews in place. She is in the United States at the airport waiting for her paren
Chris Herrmann
This book is about a teenager named Radley who comes back from a missions trip to Haiti only to find out that the President of the United States has been assassinated and the country has been taken over by the American People's Party. She finds her house abandoned and her parents, who are political activists, are missing. She thinks she might be in trouble because of her parents so she travels on foot from her home in Vermont to Canada. Along the way, she meets Celia who was running away from li ...more
Stacey Conrad
Radley is in Haiti when a militant group overthrows the US government. She’s been working at an orphanage and decides to get back home to find her parents. Once back in the US she realizes that things are very different. Her parents are not at home and she decides to head north to find them.

This is what I would call a current dystopian. It feels much more realistic than The Hunger Games or Divergent. It could really happen. But for all of the realness, Safekeeping is a gentle tale. One of surviv
Morgan Echtenkamp
"Safekeeping" by Karen Hesse is truly a work of art. Radley is in Haiti helping orphans after a massive earthquake when she gets news that the President of the United States has been assassinated and the American People's Party has taken over the government. She immediately catches a plane home. However, when she arrives at her house she realizes things might be more complicated than she ever imagined. She decides, "There is no point in remaining here...Not like this" (Pg. 38), so she sets out o ...more
I'd read a couple of books by Karen Hesse that I had really enjoyed, so when I discovered this title in our young adult section, I immediately grabbed it and checked it out.

Let's just say it was a bit of an in-between book for me. I didn't hate it, but it's not one I finished and thought "OMG THAT WAS FANTASTIC!". No. There was something about it that made me keep reading and wanting to find out what was going to happen, but I also felt like something was missing out of it from the get go. Mayb
Holly Booms Walsh
This book left me with mixed feelings. The writing is lovely, quiet, made mostly of vignettes that are linked to the environs of the narrator. Our narrator is Radley, a 17 year old girl that has been left alone in Haiti doing charity work. Her famous artistic parents are embroiled in some sort of political unrest in the US. She rushes home to find them gone, the house abandoned, and the police pounding on her door. She sets out on foot for the supposed safety of Canada. The majority of the book ...more
A thoroughly engaging survival story that imagines what it would be like if the U.S. fell into chaos and became a police state. There were some gaps in the storytelling but I don't think the detracted from the overall enjoyableness of the book. I was engaged from the minute I started reading and didn't want to stop.
Sara Bowling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Well, poufff! That was an awesome simplistic, short read! It is really geared at teenagers and all but as an adult it did not prevent me from appreciating it. I can totally identified with Radley...I know too well what it is to have things you loved taken away from you brutally. You really start realising that you should have appreciated it the blessings that God's provided you with. I was a bit disappointed and was expecting more between Julian and both were marked by tragedy, it wo ...more
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Karen Hesse is an American author of children's literature and literature for young adults, often with historical settings. Her novel Out of the Dust was the winner of the 1998 Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. In 2002, Hesse was a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.

For more information, please see
More about Karen Hesse...
Out of the Dust Letters from Rifka The Music of Dolphins Witness A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Fenwick Island, Delaware, 1861 (Dear America)

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“As long as you live, it is never too late to make amends. Take my advice, child. Don't waste your precious life with regrets and sorrow. Find a way to make right what was wrong, and then move on.” 9 likes
“The schoolhouse, on this sunlit morning, has begun to take on the scent of girls with wind-blown hair, with seeds in their pockets, with road-hardened feet.” 3 likes
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