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

The Owl Keeper

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  883 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction—about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.

According to Max’s gran, in times of darkness the Owl Keeper would appea
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 11, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2010
The Owl Keeper is a non-stop, action packed ball of awesomeness. Based on the novel's summary, I figured I was in for a tale just about a boy and owls. Thought there also might be a little fantasy sprinkled in to keep things going. Wrong. Christine Brodien-Jones carefully mixes in hints of dystopian, mystery, adventure, and fantasy to create hands down the best novel aimed at younger teens that I have read since the Harry Potter series.

To say the least, Christine Brodien-Jones and The Owl Keeper
Rebecca McNutt
Nov 08, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic, original and exciting, and in this day and age, book like that are getting increasingly difficult to find. I loved it, it's definitely worth reading.
Aug 30, 2012 Mel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 10, 2011 Jan rated it liked it
Eleven-year-old Max Unger lived with his parents in a world of the future, a few decades after the Great Destruction of 2066. Because he was told he had a sun allergy, he stayed indoors in the daytime. At night, he loved to wander in the light of the 2 moons, and dream of caring for owls, who were also creatures of the dark. His special love was silver owls, and he was horrified when he heard that the High Echelon wanted to eliminate all of them. Max's Gran had told him silver owls were special, ...more
Theresa Milstein
May 06, 2012 Theresa Milstein rated it it was amazing
This review is from my nine-year-old daughter Mia:

The Owl Keeper is a dystopian book that has fantasy in it.

It was about a boy named Max who can't go out in the light because he's allergic to sun particles. Yet it's mysterious because no one will tell him anything, like what his parents do at their work. Max has started to forget lots of things about his past. He has an owl on a tree outside his house that he sneaks to at night. The government says there are no owls. Max thinks the government l
May 08, 2012 Jeanette rated it did not like it
1 1/2 stars. This book had no idea what it wanted to be about.
Danika Dinsmore
Sep 07, 2010 Danika Dinsmore rated it liked it
Shelves: mg-ya, dystopia
I was really drawn to this book by the concept. It sounded so original. A boy living in a post-apocalyptic world who is allergic to the daylight and in search of The Owl Keeper. A combination dystopia - fantasy, two of my favourite genres.

I was a bit disappointed, though. I couldn't get emotionally invested in the main characters, who were underdeveloped. Max was an extremely passive protagonist. Instead of deducing and investigating and discovering and being ingenious, he coincidentally overhea
Nov 14, 2011 Val rated it it was ok
I so wanted to love this book. The idea for the story was great but the stilted dialog and under developed plot really made it lack. I can see younger readers who might not care too much about the little details, enjoying this book. However, as a librarian I was very disappointed in how the author failed to resolve or describe some of the side stories and the reason as to why the world was in such turmoil. Where did the High Echelon come from in the first place?? Why were they imprisoning childr ...more
May 11, 2010 Teeyanna rated it liked it
It was one of the weirdest books I have ever read in my life! But....................I loved it. I really loved this book. How you didn't know if the two main characters would make a love story,or just a classic friendship one. It was very good. The suspense will eat you up. Especially the parts when you find out something that you never knew. Its a big deal.
Mar 21, 2012 Lily rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book. It was scary in some parts. My favorite part is when they were chased by the Misshapens.
Aug 16, 2015 Lilibeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
With only memories of his Gran, small treasures that were sneaked past Mrs.Cumlin's inspections, Maxwell Unger lives through the night and dark of the High Echelon's world. Getting monthly injections of grotesque liquid was a result of Max's allergy to "sun particles." The stories of silver owls and Silver Prophecies are practically forbidden to speak. So is Max's Gran's death. With the slow deterioration of his memory, Max tries to visit his owl tree and his silver owl every night. One night he ...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
I am so captivated by the cover. It's beautiful. The illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are just as intriguing. Get ready to be swept away into an amazing world where nothing is what it seems, and as the darkness is taking over the world, the hope of many rests on two eleven and twelve year olds.

Max and Rose live in a world that has been taken over by The High Echelon. They have destroyed everything that was good in the world, and have killed off most of the animals, altered the wea
Jul 14, 2010 Cat rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, fantastic story. I will certainly buy more books from this author. Brilliant debut!

(from my blog)
This book was beautifully written. The story was beautiful, the descriptions were beautiful the relationship between Max and his owl and yes, even Rose was beautiful.

This story was also creepy in a way that I was not expecting. Guess what? I stumbled into yet another dystopian novel and didn’t even know it! I was just so happy that my crappy library had this book when none of the
Kitty Honeycutt
Jan 18, 2013 Kitty Honeycutt rated it it was amazing
My overall reaction to this novel is extremely favorable. I have definitely found another all time favorite children's author. My 12 year old daughter read the book and demanded I read it right after she was done. In her words, "Mom, this is one of the greatest books I have ever read, there has to be a second book!" She promptly made me stop what I was doing and look up the author to find out. When I told her there were other novels by Mrs. Jones she let me know with profound importance that she ...more
May 08, 2013 Julie rated it did not like it
This book was an exercise in frustration. The main character, a 12 year old boy, was unbelievably dumb; and I felt an insult to all 12 year old boys. The main themes were beyond a fantasy distopia. Do you really want themes of all government is evil; and don't trust your baby sitter-she's drugging you, for 10 year old kids? I was offended too that the main character's parents were "too tired from working all day in the chocolate factory" to notice that the baby sitter was evil?! Owls are hugely ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Martin rated it really liked it
This book includes some of my favorite elements in a story. This story revolves around Maxwell Unger, an eleven-year old boy living in a country ruled by the High Echelon, a corrupt government with absolute power. Maxwell has never been outside during the day due to his supposed allergy to sunlight, instead he sneaks out at night to play with a silver owl he has cared for, believed to be the last in existence. It is on one of these nights that he meets Rose, a spirited girl who slowly coaxes him ...more
May 21, 2015 Stephen rated it liked it
Shelves: library-checkout
After the Great Destruction, much of the world is uninhabitable. The shady and oppressive government, The High Echelon, is building massive domes for people to live in while spreading fear about the outside world. Max is a boy allergic to sun particles, who spends his nights with a silver owl he found in a tree. His grandmother told him that in a time of absolute dark an Owl Keeper would emerge to save the world. After he meets a girl named Rose who opens his eyes to what is happening around the ...more
Nicole Dykeman
Jan 04, 2016 Nicole Dykeman rated it it was ok
This is a relatively quick read. I finished in a few hours. It was somewhat enjoyable, definitely meant for a younger audience, which I was unaware of when I started reading. It was like an elementary/middle school dystopian-ish novel but it had magic too? I'm not sure which category to sort it into.
The novel was incredibly predictable, I guessed the ending after reading the first quarter of the book or so. Sometimes, plot points didn't make much sense. There was too much rushing from action
Aug 23, 2015 Caspian rated it did not like it
The premise of The Owl Keeper and the concept were amazing- the idea had massive potential. The history was interesting, and the prophecy-poem was captivating, perfectly getting at the right mood and feeling. In theory, this book should have been amazing. In practice, it was terrible. The execution of the idea ruined the potential, and it ended up a cliché-packed failure. In the first few chapters of the book alone, there were dozens of examples that force-fed the idea of 'totalitarian, evil gov ...more
Tara Lane
Apr 10, 2016 Tara Lane rated it really liked it
I thought this was a rather good book, a little slow in the beginning, gonna be real here, and it took awhile to build up to the actual plot, then suddenly left you with a slight cliff-hanger, ya know the ones where you think everything is resolved and all is good in the world, but the more you actually think about the more you realize that, no, the government is still psycho whack and in control. ANYWHO, I did get captivated by it eventually and found myself invested in it and in Max's wellbein ...more
Aug 24, 2014 Diane rated it liked it
The Owl Keeper is written for a juvenile (grades 5-8) audience. The plot is interesting - good vs evil, life in a culture where science is worshiped and the High Echelon governs all. Max is a sickly, fragile child who must stay away from sunlight but his new found friend, Rose, and a wounded silver owl help him discover his real purpose. Kids like to see the underdog succeed and with this book they will not be disappointed. My problem with it was with the writing - more telling than showing, mor ...more
Dec 31, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it
Spoiler alert of sorts, though so very predictable:
Add this children's book to the collection of books in which a humble child is destined to save humans from the rise of dark forces. I have been looking for books that will be enjoyable for young readers (8-year-olds), but still have enough literary tension to challenge their thinking and engage them with the story. This book fits the bill. There is no nuance here--the characters are all written with a large stereotypical swipe of the pen. The
Jun 13, 2010 Kari rated it really liked it

Though this is a middle grade novel with a main character who is 11, close to 12, this book is certainly not written on a elementary level. The writing is strong and the descriptions thorough, giving a great overall image and making it enjoying for readers of all ages. Particularly for this book, the age choice works beautifully, pulling the story in a way it wouldn't otherwise go if the main character was even just a few years older.

Max leads a unique life even in this dystopian setting, confin
Jul 23, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
I was super excited about this book; dystopia/fantasy for Middle Grade, what could be better? After reading Uglies about a year ago I have been reading all the dystopic, futuristic YA I can find, but I haven't really found many Middle Grade dystopias. So as soon as I heard about The Owl Keeper I knew I had to read it.

Brodien-Jones has crafted a beautiful, exciting, action-filled story perfect for middle graders. I couldn't put it down; I had to keep reading to see what was going to happen to Ma
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
May 21, 2010 Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, read-in-2010, arc, own
Years in the future, the world we all know has been transformed and the High Echelon is in charge of everything. The citizens are assigned to jobs and lives and the once beautiful land and wildlife is nonexistent. The silver owls that once roamed the skies are said to be extinct and both their song and their magic is gone. Max Unger is an often scared, frail eleven year old boy who has lived much of his life in the dark. Max is told that he is allergic to sun particles, so the majority of his ti ...more
L. Gibbs
Jan 15, 2012 L. Gibbs rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA readers
I read this book at my daughter's request. It reminds me of The Giver and 1984 with a positive twist and is clearly written for the YA market. Though it seemed a bit slow right on into the middle of the book, it still held my attention for I was caught up enough to expect any moment for the things to go very wrong for Maxwell. There were several times I was wondering why the main character didn't just leave home, but how often do children feel they can just up and leave, especially when they are ...more
Miss Clark
Jun 29, 2010 Miss Clark rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle Graders
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bluerose's  Heart
I just adored this story!! It’s very clean and appropriate for all ages. A great thing about this book is, it’s great for boys, too. Sometimes it seems like there’s more options for girls to read. This is a book that will go on my son's book shelf for when he gets older. I loved it enough, that I’m sure I’ll be borrowing it from him to read again.
I loved that the author was able to “sneak in” little bits of educational facts into the story. I don’t know if she did this intentionally, but I think
I was a little skeptical about this one, mostly because of the dystopian type setting, however I persevered and read it through to the end! :) I would really shoot more for a 3.5 star rating, but not as far as 4 stars. Don't get me wrong this is a great book! (Before I get too in-depth, remember this is my personal opinion only, you may completely disagree with my entire review, but you should still read the book, despite what my or any review says!) :)

Now, first the cover is absolutely beautifu
Mar 13, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very... pleasant. Now, I don't know if anyone else sees this the way I do, but I categorize books into two categories: The 123 this is what happens books, and the dreamy, skimming the surface books that are kinda deep-ish. It's just a feeling I get when I read the book, it's almost like I picture the setting according to the mood, like if the plot and words and characters are bright and clear, the mood of the book is just 'sunny' to me. If it's really deep and kind of wavers in ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Daykeeper's Grimoire (Prophecy of Days, #1)
  • Quest for Merlin's Map (Jumper Chronicles, #1)
  • The Mark
  • Over the Moon
  • Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles, #1)
  • Fractured: Happily Never After? 3 Tales
  • The Thirteenth Chime (Sense of Truth, #1)
  • Stranded
  • The Mermaid's Pendant
  • Riding Invisible
  • Songbird
  • Thief Eyes
  • The Midnight Tunnel (Suzanna Snow, #1)
  • The Immortality Virus
  • Grace
  • The Forest of Adventures (Knight Trilogy, #1)
  • The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams
  • Prophecy of the Flame
I've always been drawn to the mysterious “other worlds” we inhabit as children: the invisible secret worlds that adults never seem to notice. Much of my childhood was spent immersed in books (the library was just around the corner) and I wrote my first story at age seven about a girl and a dragon.

Branches of trees were the best places to read books. My favorites were fairy tales, fantasy and scien
More about Christine Brodien-Jones...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Just because there were times you were frightened doesn't mean you weren't brave.” 4 likes
“Without doubt, it is the greatest act of courage that is often the most fearful.” 2 likes
More quotes…