Keeper
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Keeper

by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,998 ratings  ·  433 reviews
Keeperis abreathtaking, magical novel from National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt.

To ten-year-old Keeper the moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong ... and so much has gone wrong.

But she knows who can make things right again: Maggie Marie, her mermaid mother, who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gathe...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published May 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsOut of My Mind by Sharon M. DraperOne Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-GarciaCountdown by Deborah WilesMockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Newbery 2011
9th out of 148 books — 476 voters
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. DraperFinally by Wendy MassMockingbird by Kathryn ErskineCountdown by Deborah WilesOne Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Mock Newbery 2010/2011
16th out of 74 books — 183 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Betsy
I don't consider myself a particularly sentimental person. I don't really cry at movies (E.T. was supposed to go home, for crying out loud). Television shows leave me high and dry (sorry LOST finale). And books? Considering that I read most of them in quick bits and bites as I travel the New York City subway system, you're going to be some kinda book to crack so much as a sniffle out of me, let along an out-and-out bawl. So imagine my surprise the other day as I stood on the platform of the F tr...more
Becky
I am double minded about this book. As an adult I really enjoyed it - 4 stars worth. I really appreciated Appelt's poetic writing style and the self discovery that Keeper goes through during this story. I loved the community that the story is set in - the depth of relationships is important to the book. I also enjoyed the elements of fantasy and magic int he story. Are merpeople real?

On the other hand, as a teacher, I am more ambivalent about it. I think that it might be "a tough sell." First of...more
Susan
I found this at Powell's on sale, and autographed. I used my "random page" test and knew I must take this home to read with my daughter.

I'm usually a biography person because they are linear and easy to follow. This book was a pleasure from beginning to end, and unexpected. I was delighted by the back stories belonging to each character and found myself wanting to live on Oyster Ridge Road with these true friends.

I would recommend this book to anyone. My children begged for me to read this to th...more
Margo Tanenbaum
I'm hoping this one makes the short list for the Newbery...This is one of the most beautifully written children's novels I've read in some time. Our heroine, called by everyone Keeper, is a 10-year old girl whose mother left her when she was 3 in the care of her roommate, Signe. Born literally in the sea, Keeper believes her mother is a mermaid, and that her mother literally swam away from her to join the other mermaids. Keeper has made a life for herself in a tiny community on the Texas coast w...more
Elizabeth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suebee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shellie (Layers of Thought)


Mini Synopsis: This is a children’s and pre-teen book where the main character is Keeper. She is an almost ten year old girl who lives on the beach by the gulf of Mexico in Texas. There are a menagerie of animals in her life - two dogs, a cat, and a seagull, but what is special is that she can hear them talk.

She is well loved and cared for by Signe, her mom by default, their friend Dogie (a healing war veteran turned local surf board rental guy), and an old Russian sailor named Mr. Beauchamp. Ke...more
Cathy
I have very mixed feelings about this book. Two stars? Three stars? One star? I could make a case for all of those ratings. I am sure my expectations were way too high, after just reading "The Underneath" by the same author, which was absolutely amazing. "Keeper" just didn't do it for me. I had a hard time getting into the story, unlike "The Underneath" which entranced me from start to finish. I did enjoy it's originality, and the blend of reality and fantasy, but sometimes original became just...more
The Reading Countess
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stacy
Mothers of potential readers of this book should read this review...

I decided to give Kathi Appelt one more try (The Underneath, remember?) And I knew I wouldn't be disappointed! This one bugged me too! Bad attitude, eh? Classic example: (it's referring to a seagull pet named Captain and a young girl named Keeper)

"Keeper would sometimes hand over something else, a strawberry or a potato chip or even his favorite, his most beloved, his all-time highest exalted sublime most delicious stultifyingl...more
Brian Kelley
I have mixed feelings about Kathi Appelt's Keeper as I'm big fan of her initial novel The Underneath and I'm a fan of hers as a person. That said, Keeper wasn't The Underneath.

There wasn't a character in Keeper who I connected with on any level. The novel tells the tale of a significant day in the life of the title character. Keeper is a young girl starts the day by causing one calamity after another within her extended family. Each miscue has a deep seeded significance to a different character,...more
Mary Ann
Once in a while, I read a book that pulls me into a different world and wraps me the threads of its characters' stories. Keeper, by Kathi Appelt, is a mesmerizing, beautiful story that is one of the very best books I've read in a long time. It would make a wonderful family read-aloud, with many themes or issues to talk about and beautiful writing to enjoy.

Ten-year-old Keeper has had a terrible day. Everything went wrong, and it was a blue moon - it was supposed to be a perfect, extra-special day...more
Minli
Keeper is really a three-star book for me, writing-wise, though emotionally it's probably 4 stars. Perhaps it's 3.5 stars? Ten-year-old Keeper lives in a small neighbourhood on the Gulf coast down in Texas, passing her days by helping Dogie wax surfboards and listening to Mr. Beauchamp's stories. She has no blood family--her mermaid mother swam away when she was a toddler, though she has a loving surrogate mother in Signe. On the day of the blue moon, everything goes wrong--broken treasures, ang...more
Lisa
Keeper is ten years old and believes her mother is a mermaid who has returned to the sea. She lives on a small sandy stretch of beach off of the Texas Gulf Coast with Signe, her adoptive mother, Dogie, who rents surfboards to toursits, and their neighbor, an elderly seaman. The cast of characters includes a charismatic seagull, 2 dogs, and an ancient cat. The story is blend of magical realism and a coming of age story as Keeper realizes that her mother may not be what Keeper has always believed....more
Kathy
Being a big fan of mermaids and having a small collection of mermaid pieces, I was excited about reading Kathi Appelt's novel, Keeper. I can happily say that it is a delightful read in which the possibility of mermaids and other magical occurrences capture your imagination and take it to a place of suspended belief. Another of my favorite objects, the full moon, is in play in this tale, too. In fact, it is a blue moon, the second full moon of a month, and I had just experienced a blue moon when...more
Michelle Delgado
This is a dreamy,mystical kind of book.It is not for everyone, but I loved it. I loved Keeper,Dogie,Signe and the animal characters.I live 20 minutes from the coast between Galveston and Corpus and I know exactly the kind of place the author was describing.I could taste the gumbo,the salt in the air,hear the seagulls etc.In fact,I have been out fishing (years ago)in a place like that on a night like that so I could relate to Keeper.I will admit that the pace was slow but I do think it fit the bo...more
Francesca Forrest
I was very much looking forward to reading this book, and it was as wonderful as I had hoped it would be, though not in the way I expected.

I knew it was going to be a story with small events and quiet magic, but at first it looked as if maybe the magic was going to be that grown-up thing that I always hated as a kid: “Oh, the real magic is the beauty of ordinary life, my dear.” Grrr. Yes, okay, ordinary life has magic to it, but sometimes I want more magical magic. And I wanted it for this story...more
Kim Van Sickler
My favorite mermaid book yet. The only reason I don't give it five stars is the slow and redundant beginning. I know the author was going for tension and she succeeded (more so starting at about the mid-way point of the book), but I was plenty annoyed more than a few times during the first half. Having said that, the target audience, precocious 10-year-olds, might like that redundancy and drawn out tension-building more.

LOVED the history behind the mer creatures and the character-building of th...more
Ed
Dec 04, 2012 Ed added it
Appelt, Kathi. (2010). keeper. New York: Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. 409 pp. ISBN 978-1-4169-5060-8 (Hard Cover); $16.99.

Ten crabs work magic on Keeper and turn what should be a perfect blue moon day into a perfect nightmare. Keeper creates the perfect plan for repairing damage. The key is finding her mermaid mother.

Somehow I missed reviewing this marvelous book last season! I love writing in which central metaphors are reinforced by the text structure—that perfect blend of form and style. I...more
Sinai C.
When I first started reading Keeper, I thought this was going to be a fantasy book. Hardcore fantasy with a whole world like Atlantis or something. But...it's honestly a story about a 10 year old girl, who believes her mother is a mermaid, and therefore, when the worst day of her young life happens...she goes to look at her. This will not have repercussions of course...she has the perfect plan! Which she memorizes to be sure nothing goes wrong. This includes--sneaking out into a row boat onto a...more
Shaun
I have mixed feeling about this book.

Beautifully written with lyrical/poetic prose, this carefully crafted story offers lovely imagery, powerful language, and poignant themes.

HOWEVER...

The frequent POV changes and repeated shifts from past to present make it a challenging story some young listeners to follow, not to mention the subdued action and the repeating of elements from different POV (including animals)slow the book down considerably and offer additional points of confusion.

There is also...more
Gary Paulson
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 co...more
nicole
Dec 30, 2010 nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010, 7up
Can see this one taking home a Newbery honor this year. The story covers a single day in the life of Keeper, a 10 year old Texan who fancies herself part mermaid, and her Oyster Road family, essentially a foster family of neighbors who have been looking after Keeper since her mom ran off (or did she swim off?) when she was just three years old. And it's a doozey of a day. What is supposed to be a perfect afternoon of preparation followed by a perfect blue moon evening (with a traditional blue mo...more
Sharon
I'm not big on animal fables, but Kathi Appelt's "The Underneath" was one of my favorite books written the year it came out. That being said, maybe I just set the bar too high for this book. It immediately invites a lot of comparison to "The Underneath" with a very similar style of poetic, lyrical writing, short vignettes, and the weaving of mythology (in this case mermaids and guardians of the sea) into a very well-defined setting (in this case, small coastal town in Texas).

I love Appelt's styl...more
Gregg
As a big fan of The Underneath, I was really looking forward to this book. However, it took me awhile to get into this one, but by the end the author had won me over again. I really like the unique way she mixes the mythological with everyday reality. Like The Underneath, however, I'm not sure many kids would enjoy this book.

I listened to the audiobook version read by the author. That was probably my biggest hesitation in giving 4 stars. This author should NOT be allowed to record her own books!...more
Angelica
I was previewing this book before handing it to my 11 year old daughter and got drawn into the storyline so much that I decided to keep reading. I'm glad I did. More than half-way through the book, the author very subtly started introducing a homosexual love relationship in a very commonplace way, as if it's not at all unusual for an ancient, former sailor from France to be pining over the merman (disguised as a boy) he fell in love with when he was 15. The author very clearly desires to normali...more
Julie
I love, love, love this book!!! It's under fantasy, yet there isn't a lot of fantasy in it. I love the use of flashbacks and watching the characters unfold. I could completely relate to Keeper, and I love the way the author wove the origin of Keeper's name into the story. So wonderfully fantastic!
Laura
Oh, I loved this book so much. I couldn't get into it at first, but I'm so glad I gave it a chance. Kathy Appelt is an amazing storyteller and she really pulls you in. Most of this 400-page book takes place in one day, but it never drags on; in fact, it almost left me wanting more. The characters in this book are rich and layered; Appelt gives you a little more of the characters as the book goes on. The setting was also an important part of the story. Appelt paints a vivid picture of the tiny to...more
Meri
I loved this one more than The Underneath, if such a thing is possible. Keeper evokes the author's childhood visits to her grandmother's house on the beach in Galveston. It's about a girl who goes after her mother, only to discover that her unconventional family has far more to offer her. It is a marvelous pastiche of stories, each richly imagined. Appelt captures the setting perfectly, as well as the motivations of all of the characters, from a seagull to an emotionally scarred veteran. And, as...more
Sammie Pedersen
The book was very hard to get into, the beginning was very slow. It took me about 80% of the book to actually start enjoying what I was reading. It was also slightly confusing at the beginning because each chapter was switching between different characters views.
When the little girl kept messing things up I felt bad for her and related on some level. I also liked the underlying love story between Signe and Dogie, it was cute that they both took care of Keeper and cared so much about her. I also...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 Dreamer
  • What Happened on Fox Street
  • The Water Seeker
  • Falling In
  • The Night Fairy
  • The Adventures of Nanny Piggins
  • The Center of Everything
  • Countdown
  • Northward to the Moon (My One Hundred Adventures #2)
  • Bird in a Box
  • Word After Word After Word
  • One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters, #1)
  • Touch Blue
  • Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze
  • The Trouble with May Amelia (May Amelia, #2)
  • Small Persons with Wings
  • The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis
  • The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe
29011
Lives in College Station, TX with husband Ken and four adorable cats.

Two sons, both musicians.

Serves on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.
More about Kathi Appelt...
The Underneath The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky Kissing Tennessee: and Other Stories from the Stardust Dance Bubba and Beau, Best Friends

Share This Book

“He put his hand in his pocket and found the porte-bonheur, still warm. He looked back at the pier. The one-eyed cat waited. All at once, Henri Beauchamp spun on his heels and stretched his arms wide to the morning sky. It didn't matter, did it, what Jack was? It only mattered that he loved him.” 2 likes
More quotes…