Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Keeping Safe the Stars” as Want to Read:
Keeping Safe the Stars
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Keeping Safe the Stars

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  598 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
When crisis hits, a young girl becomes the only one left to take care of her family

Pride, Nightingale and Baby are the Stars. Orphaned and living with their grandfather, Old Finn, in rural Minnesota, the children, like their grandfather, are wary of outsiders. They believe, as Old Finn taught them, in self-reliance.

But then Old Finn falls seriously ill and is taken to the
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 11th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Nethergrim by Matthew JobinRebel Belle by Rachel HawkinsThe Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse AndersonWhat I Thought Was True by Huntley FitzpatrickTsarina by J. Nelle Patrick
Penguin Teen Winter 2014
11th out of 65 books — 67 voters
Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
80th out of 113 books — 1,218 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,668)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 28, 2016 Eunise rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ms. Yingling
Oct 21, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
When Pride's grandfather, Old Finn, is taken to the hospital with encephalitis, Pride knows that she can't tell the authorities that she and her sisters, Nightingale and Baby, have no one to look after them except the elderly and slightly bewildered Miss Addie. The siblings were in foster care once, after the death of their parents, but have enjoyed being with Old Finn on his farm, being home schooled by him and keeping to themselves. In The Boxcar Children fashion, Pride sets out to feed and ca ...more
Karen Arendt
Dec 29, 2012 Karen Arendt rated it it was amazing
Pride, Nightingale, and Baby are three siblings taken in by their grandfather Old Finn after their mother died unexpectedly. Old Finn suddenly gets ill and is hospitalized. Pride, 13 years old, does her best to take of her two younger siblings; she had been taught to be self-reliant and independent while living on a commune with her mother and again with Old Finn, who prefers to live a quiet, hermit-like life.

Things spiral out of control after Pride, Nightingale, and Baby decide to start a busi
Jan 17, 2013 Miriam rated it it was amazing
In the tradition of WHERE THE LILIES BLOOM, THE HOMECOMING and the more recent SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS, this is a story about kids who try their mightiest to care for themselves on their land in rural Minnesota after their grandfather is stricken with encephalitis and hospitalized. It helps that Old Finn is suspicious of authority and has trained the three kids in self-reliance, but various adults in their community are inquisitive enough about what's happened to their grandfather and how the ...more
Rene Kirkpatrick
Apr 17, 2012 Rene Kirkpatrick rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable, absolutely charming, it is a great addition to the shelf that holds Savvy, The Exiles and the Casson Family books by Hilary McKay, and The Penderwicks series.

Orphans living with their Grandpa, Old Finn, they are funny and loving. They are independent and strong kids, home-schooled, but get thrown for a loop when Old Finn suddenly heads to the doctor but doesn't come back home.

The kids pull together and figure out what they have to do to find, and then bring back home, Old
Kathy Martin
Oct 13, 2012 Kathy Martin rated it really liked it
Life has been filled with upheavals for the Stars. Their father died of cancer, their mother died in a car accident. The kids were in foster care until the grandfather they didn't really know came to get them out. He took them to his farm in Minnesota to raise. He was something of a hermit; a former history professor who got in trouble with the government for protesting the Vietnam War. He is determined to raise the kids to be independent. But when he falls suddenly ill with encephalitis, the ki ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
This is an underappreciated book this year. While it doesn't make my top ten list, it is so much better than so many similar books this year (One for the Murphys, Summer of the Gypsy Moths). Please solve the mystery, someone, of why certain books get attention and others don't.

Sort of a HOMECOMING Jr. I liked all the characters and the setting. The grandfather's illness was distressingly realistic. I wouldn't have minded a little more magical thinking there... The cover blurb makes this sound mu
Read  Ribbet
I met Shelia O'Connor at the IRA Convention in Chicago so I could congratulate her on her first book for young adults Sparrow Road which won the IRA Award for Intermediate Fiction. She gave me an autographed advanced copy of Keeping Safe the Stars. Here is a new story about children living on there own. Meet the three Stars led by self-reliant Pride who keeps her siblings together after her grandpa Old Finn falls ill. Set in a Thoreau like Walden, the group uses what they have been taught to kee ...more
Aug 02, 2012 Liz rated it liked it
A completely unrealistic story about children who start a business and try to survive on their own. Throughout the read all I could not push out my head these children as raggedy, white-trash kids in a run down, rural area not unlike the setting of the movie, "Winter's Bone." Keeping in mind the story is set in the 1970s and not 2012, it was still completely ridiculous that a 12-year-old with virtually no education would be able to accomplish the activities described in the book. I also do not f ...more
Feb 01, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok
Shelves: children, tween-novel
Didn't like this much. Set in the early 1970s with way too many references to communes, hippies and Nixon's impeachment. Just the kind of tale every 12 year old in 2013 is dying to read.

It tells the story of three orphans who are living with their Grandpa somewhere in Minnesota. Unfortunately, Grandpa gets sick and they are pretty much on their own and they are terrified of being found out. "Keeping Safe the Stars" could have been a goofy story, it could have been poignant. Instead it was just a
Apr 07, 2015 Wendy rated it liked it
The premise of the story is very good. Three orphans who live with their grandfather are terrified when their grandfather ends up in the hospital. They desperately want to stay together and to avoid going into a home, or worse yet, being farmed out to several foster homes. Kathleen (a.k.a. Pride) is adamant that they find a way to survive while hiding their predicament from the outside world. To add to the dilemma, an elderly woman who lives in a trailer on the property is also dependent on thei ...more
Colby Christensen
Mar 21, 2014 Colby Christensen rated it liked it
Keeping Safe the Stars is a very great book. It is about three kids, Pride, Nightingale, and Baby who live with their grandpa Old Finn in a small town called Eden. They enjoy their happy quiet life with occasional visitors and visits to other places outside Eden. But when Old Finn becomes sick, the kids are forced to work things through alone and become semi-independent. Pride, being the oldest, had to be the one responsible and in charge. They have to go through challenges that bring them close ...more
Lisa Engebretson
Three girls are orphaned and living with their grandfather in rural Minnesota. When he falls sick and is taken to a hospital in Duluth the girls are left to fend for themselves. Their grandfather was against asking for help and was wary of strangers and his grandchildren were raised that way as well. After finding and reading old love letter between Mick (their grandfather) and Justine they begin to formulate a plan to seek out Justine and pin their last hope on her. They travel to Duluth and wi ...more
Aug 01, 2013 Kelsey rated it really liked it
Easy read, great characters, interesting story. The kids are the focus of this book and they are well-developed and resourceful. A charming story set it Minnesota (the best state) and brings in both a small town and big city to the story. Not the cliche happy ending but not sad either. It leaves it open ended and let's you decide how things work out.
Krista Stevens
Feb 18, 2015 Krista Stevens rated it it was ok
Shelves: grades-3-5
More of a 2 1/2. Very quirky book. The six-year-old boy is called Baby. His inability to keep secrets becomes quite irritating. His 11-year-old sister wears nightgowns instead of clothes year round. His older sister didn't learn to read until she was nine. Which, I suppose, would be somewhat understandable as they were raised in a commune in New Mexico, but all of this happens in the 1970s. I grew up in that time - none of this made any sense to me. It felt as if the characters should have belon ...more
Jul 05, 2016 Laurel rated it really liked it
I picked this book off of my classroom library to read during my creative writing class as a mentor text. I set it down during the end of the school year to finish other things, but I have now picked it back up with summer in full swing.

I wanted to finish this book to see what happened to the three children set during the mid-70's and to find out if they got to keep their family together. These kids tried the best they knew how to stay together. I found myself in tears at several points as I wor
May 11, 2015 Kylie rated it it was amazing
My mom got me the book and I search the book and read the summary. After reading it is sounded like an amazing book I read a little bit and after a got to chapter #3-4 I could not stop reading it was such an a amazing book. I have not finished it yet but it is the best because it tells a story about an a amazing family. Once I finish the book I will not be too happy because I loved the book so much and never want it to end. I think you should read the book it is awesome and tells a great story. ...more
Lauren Stringer
Oct 12, 2012 Lauren Stringer rated it it was amazing
A heartfelt story about surviving as a family with no adults, set during the Nixon's Impeachment. I loved how the theme of "lies and lying" took on new meaning throughout the book. Wonderful characters, especially the three kids, Pride, Nightengale, and Baby. Loved this book!
Apr 06, 2015 Kelly rated it really liked it
A quick read about three extremely strong and resourceful children. Already orphaned, but being raised by their grandfather, they found themselves suddenly alone again. This is a cute and heartwarming story about the goodness of people, and the power of hope.
Jan 15, 2015 Nick rated it liked it
This is a story of some very self reliant kids during a crisis. They are orphans who live with their grandpa who gets sick and has to be hospitalized. They hide the truth from almost everyone as they don't want to go back into a shelter or in foster care. The confusing part to me were the mixed messages about lying. Pride, the oldest tells many lies to keep their secret although she gets a little carried away its pretty clear she made many if not all correct choices. But the story takes place du ...more
Mar 23, 2016 Abi rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
Cute and well-written, but very slow moving. I just couldn't get into the story.
Titis Wardhana
bacaan iseng...

Pride, Nightingale, dan Baby yatim piatu yang tinggal dengan kakeknya, Old Finn. Old Finn mengajarkan mereka bertiga untuk selalu mandiri. Sampai suatu hari, Old Finn pergi ke kota untuk memeriksakan diri, tapi karena lama tidak kembali, akhirnya Pride dan adik2nya tahu kalau Old Finn sakit parah dan dirawat di rumah sakit yang lebih jauh lagi. Mereka bertiga berusaha mengumpulkan uang dengan berbagai cara, mulai dari pony ride, menjual pernak pernik buatan sendiri, kue2 kering, u
Feb 06, 2013 Brenda rated it really liked it
set in the 70′s with a background of the Watergate Trials, the turmoil of the Vietnam War and the proliferation of cults and communes, the Stars have already survived a lot - but there will be more.

Imagine being 13 and finding yourself alone with the responsibility of taking care of your little brother and sister. You’ve already been orphaned and taken by the state – will it happen again? The Stars are determined that they will be fine until Old Finn comes home, but the wait gets longer and long
Jessica Harrison
Oct 13, 2012 Jessica Harrison rated it really liked it
Full review and author interview a Cracking the Cover

Sheila has a way of translating complex relationships and situations into something accessible for young readers while maintaining a maturity that defies age limits. “Keeping Safe the Stars” is equally enjoyable for a 10-year-old as it is for a 32-year-old. Her prose transcends expectations as she slips seamlessly into a time a place both new and familiar at the same time.

Each of the main characters are well-developed and likeable in their own
Oct 30, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Pride and her two younger siblings, Nightingale and Baby, live with their grandfather, Old Finn. They live on a remote property that Old Finn calls Eden. But when Old Finn enters the hospital and is then transferred to Duluth for more serious treatment, it is left to Pride to care for her family. She had been taught by Old Finn not to rely on charity from others, so she makes sure to not accept help that she can’t pay for. She also knows that if anyone finds out that they are alone at Eden excep ...more
Cindy Hudson
Jan 30, 2013 Cindy Hudson rated it really liked it
Since their mother died, the Star children have lived with their grandpa, Old Finn. The family keeps to itself on the family farm Old Finn refers to as Eden in rural Minnesota. But when Old Finn develops an infection that sends him to the hospital in Duluth, 13-year-old Pride is left in charge of the farm and her siblings, 9-year-old Nightingale and 6-year-old Baby.

But even a self-sufficient teenager can’t run a household with no money and no transportation. When the kids start to attract attent
Terrific story of three orphaned kids trying to make it without any adult help, when their grandfather and guardian "Old Finn" falls suddenly ill. The kids' early upbringing, and his distrust of authorities, have made them all very wary of strangers--if people know they are alone, will they be sent back into the foster system that they briefly hated before Old Finn took them in?

The kids try some amusing and only partly successful attempts to make money to buy food, and then to buy bus tickets t
Apr 04, 2013 Margit rated it really liked it
This book is a charming read, with likeable, spunky characters and a clever angle on a touchstone moment in the 1970s. While I really liked these quirky characters and thought they were drawn well, the central conflict between telling the truth and lying seemed hard to support the entire way through. To me, it seemed so necessary that Pride tell lies to survive that I could not completely sympathize with her sister's condemnation. I felt as if there were another question that needed to be asked ...more
Sally Spratt
May 18, 2013 Sally Spratt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I won this book at the Spring Spirit SCBWI conference this past spring. For some reason I was expected to ONLY choose one book out of more than fifty. I read the book flap of “Keeping Safe the Stars,” by Sheila O’Connor and knew after reading the main character’s names, Pride, Nightingale and Baby, I had to have this book. Set during the time of President’s Nixon’s resignation, communes, the end of the Vietnam War and hippies I would almost call this book historical fiction.

Pride is the oldest
Oct 07, 2013 Hilary rated it really liked it
When Old Finn falls suddenly ill, 13-year-old Pride is left in charge of the farm in rural Minnesota, and her siblings, 9-year-old Nightingale and 6-year-old Baby. The orphaned children, first raised on a commune, then orphaned and adopted by their hermit-like grandfather, who distrusts authority, are wary of outsiders and fiercely independent. But even very self-sufficient youngsters must accept help from others -- sometimes even strangers -- when forced to survive with no food, no money, no tr ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 55 56 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Prairie Evers
  • Kepler's Dream
  • Tracing Stars
  • Crow
  • Jump Into the Sky
  • Summer of the Gypsy Moths
  • Fourmile
  • The Second Life of Abigail Walker
  • After Eli
  • Nightingale's Nest
  • One Year in Coal Harbor (Coal Harbour #2)
  • Twelve Kinds of Ice
  • Flying the Dragon
  • Seeing Red
  • Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities
  • The Wild Book
  • Odette's Secrets
  • Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War

Share This Book