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Keeper (Paul Faustino #1)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,197 ratings  ·  228 reviews
"This stirring adventure — a soccer story? a ghost story? — defies expectations. . . . Both lyrical and gripping." — KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

When Paul Faustino of LA NACION flips on his tape recorder for an exclusive interview with El Gato — the phenomenal goalkeeper who single-handedly brought his team the World Cup — the seasoned reporter quickly learns that this
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 13th 2007 by Candlewick Press (first published October 6th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,349)
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Karina Espinoza
You may think this book is predictable but you’re in for a rude awakening. Keeper is an amazing story told by “El Gato” himself and his story of the mysterious keeper. It is an excellent gratifying soccer adventure with drama. This book contains easy to read material but enjoyable. If you ever thought you weren’t able to do something then this book is an inspiring self confident motivating inspiration. This book will leave you with a jaw dropping surprise at the end.
The author portrays the char
I got this young adult novel for my daughter to read, but ended up reading it myself. It's quite an unusual story. Keeper is set up as a first-person narrative by El Gato, the nickname of the world's greatest soccer player. He is being interviewed by a journalist named Paul Faustino. El Gato relates his boyhood journey and transformation into an almost supernaturally gifted goalkeeper. Faustino is skeptical and wonders if he's being lied to.

It is a strange tale. El Gato is the son of a poor logg
I am not, and will not ever be, a soccer buff - but this book gave me an appreciation for the game that I definitely did not possess beforehand. Peet has written a novel that weaves mysticism and football into one package that takes surprising turns.

Alternating between current day and El Gato's childhood, the reader is taken on a journey from his knobbly kneed, talentless beginnings to his World Cup winning present. It's a vivid journey, one where every event is written in action packed detail t
Courtney Johnston
What the little snippet in Goodreads about this book doesn't tell you is that it's a really quite weird mixture of sports story and supernatural mystery, with a bonus ecological message. All of which sounds like a lot to swallow (as does the description of Pett's even-better 'Exposure' when described as a retelling of Hamlet in the context of contemporary celebrity culture and lingering racism) but 'Keeper' is an engrossing read.

The book opens with El Gato - keeper for the team that has just won
Before I go into the details of this review I feel it ought to be said that I have been a football/soccer goalkeeper for just about 16 years now - come to think of it that's half of my life! I was browsing casually for football related literature and amidst the pool of typical football "oldstar" biographies "Keeper" by Mal Peet stood out.
The first thing I noticed about it was its fiction nature, the second that it was given the tagline of a "book for adolescents".
To my utmost shame I have to adm
Benji Boy
i decided to read the book Keeper by Mal Peet because i really enjoy reading sports fiction, most soccer.

The category on the bingo board this book is under is 'A book that teaches you about a culture other than your own' it told you about how different it was to grow up in poor places like the ones in south america and how education wasn't the main priority. Also it shows how the people over there had to live, and there jobs were a lot harder then the jobs here but get a lot less money for it.

The book review

The author of Mal Peet of the keeper, this story is about this boy who is about to get an opportunity of a lifetime. This boy is around 15 year old whose father works as a logger. Then one day he plays soccer in the plaza in town and one position was opened it was a new era in his life. After he arrived from a cruel day of soccer, he found a feeling to go in the forest and came across this clearing and saw a raggedy beat up net and saw a man standing there…

The keeper is a fantasti
I picked this book up at my local library, interested by the name and the cover. Being a goalkeeper myself, I was curious as to what the book was about. I really enjoyed it and I thought the author did a wonderful job describing what went through a keeper's mind when they are in the net. He captured the emotion of El Gato very well. I know what it's like to be frustrated when you don't block a shot, or when your coach or "mentor", so to speak, gets mad and yells at you. I really related to this ...more
Jake F
I never really liked soccer because I thought it was lame and they acted too much. I was more of a football, basketball and hockey fan. I hated watching soccer whenever I did because I thought it was boring. My friend told me to read this book called Keeper about a legendary soccer goalie. I feel that goalies get the most action in a game and I like sports books, so I gave it a shot. The book was written in a weird way but still effective with its meaning.
The main character is El Gato and he wa
Lynda Schmidt
Loved it! I had read this initially several years ago and it had stayed with me so much so that I sought it out for the reading group. Well worth a second read. The writing and the message are both beautiful and it was great fun to do as a reading group with some highly interested athletes from my class. I learned a lot more about soccer as well. Bonus. The structure of the novel, told mostly in flashbacks, allowed for interesting discussions in group and offered more challenge for the readers. ...more
Catherine  Mustread
Oct 20, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catherine by: #3 winner of Guardian Children's Prize
Read this because the third book about South American journalist, Paul Faustino, Exposure was recently awarded the Guardian Children's Prize. I found this to be a great literary sports story about how a gawky young boy becomes one of the greatest soccer players in the world. The supernatural aspect adds mystery and magic to this otherwise realistic novel. Although a bit slow starting, author Mal Peet adeptly deals with life choices, relationships, loneliness and believing in yourself while engro ...more
Tom Kirkland
I chose Keeper as a book to read when my friend recommended it to me.

This book fits into my bingo board on the space book with a male main character.

I like this book because it is about soccer which meant i could relate to it. The book is set in the early 1990s. It is about a young boy who is living in a small town on the outskirts of spain. The boy likes to play soccer with his friends in a small dirt courtyard but he isn't very good. When the boy wanders into the local forest he comes to a sma
In this book the main character "el gato" is a famous soccer player that has succeeded his dream in winning the world cup. He in this book is giving a exclusive interview to a paper to publish on his thoughts of the world cup. He was said to be very poor and didn't have a very good life. Everything he did was a struggle yet he survived to tell the tale of his life. When he was young he was usually sent to work with his father to cut down trees and work in the jungle. Life was hard and everything ...more
Jonathan Linfield


Mal Peet

PP 240 New York

Candlewick Press 14.99


Jonathan Linfield


903 D


You open the book, you think about the book is going to go a different way. But then everything changes. You get into the book. You can’t get enough of it so you never put it down. You start to imagine your in the shoes of “El Gato” the soon to be world cup soccer goalie. You start thinking about your life and how it might go for you. You start to think maybe I can reach my goal but not th
Carter Richardson
The book Keeper by Mal Peet is a story about a soccer goalie who is from the forests of Puerto Rico. The whole book is an interview by a famous journalist of the time, Paul Faustino. Were he is from everyone plays soccer and only soccer, but not him. WHen he played soccer as a little boy, in the plaza, he didn't enjoy it as much as he did exploring the surrounding forest. On most days (while the other children were playing soccer in the plaza, the boy would be walking through the forrest explor ...more
This extraordinary book grabs you from the first paragraph and doesn't let go until the final page.

It's unusual for me to read a sport related book, and even more unusual for me to read a book about soccer. But his is more than just a book about soccer. This is the story of a young, awkward man, who plays soccer so badly that he doesn't even get put in goals. H eis the village joke. Disillusioned and bored he wanders further and further into the South American jungle near where he lives, and whe
Keeper is thrilling story about a champion soccer player and his past. The story starts when Paul Faustino, a sports reporter, interviews the current number 1 in soccer. El Gato starts out with saying that he was not always a great player but was called the stork for his tall and skinny built. One day El Gato goes into the forest behind his house to find a small clearing with nothing but a goal, Suddenly a darkfigureappears and points at the goal and says "you belong here" For the next few years ...more
May 29, 2011 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Julie by: Alex
El Gato, the World Cup-winning goalkeeper, sits down for an exclusive interview and starts from his beginnings in a poor logging village. There, as in much of the world, soccer is the all-consuming activity, but instead he spent much of his time exploring the surrounding rainforest. So far the story is fairly realistic, but it takes a big turn into magical realism when Gato stumbles upon a perfect soccer pitch in the middle of the forest and meets the ghostly Keeper, who becomes his mentor. The ...more
Keeper is about the world's greatest goal keeper's life story. He is interviewed by South America's most prominent reporter, Paul Faustino. El Gato, the goal keeper, sits down with Faustino shortly after winning soccer's most prestigious award, the Fifa Cup. El Gato tells Faustino about his life and how he trained when he was younger. He talks about the long hours he spent training with a mysterious man in a cleared part of the forest. I would suggest this book for anyone, even if they are not s ...more
This was quite an intriguing novel. Set in South America somewhere, it tells the story of El Gato, The Cat, a young soccer player who was key to his Italian team winning the world cup. He tells a journalist how he came to be so good at soccer and how his skills helped his team to the ultimate prize. But his story is more than just a soccer story. As he tells it, he was coached by a ghostly presence to become the best Keeper in the world. The presence is finally revealed to be the star keeper of ...more
Tatjana Ravnik
The analysis of goalkeeping and futbol absolutely captured my attention. Descriptions seems almost lyrical with a air of spirituality and grace. At one point the movement of the panther is compared to the graceful movement of a goalkeeper reaching for the ball, twisting and landing while protecting himself and the ball. I couldn't decide if I wanted to turn on the TV and watch a World Cup qualifying match or go outside and kick the ball around. It certainly gave me a whole other appreciation for ...more
4.5 stars. I have ZERO interest in soccer, and not much more in the South American rain forest, and I still loved this story. Mal Peet's writing is clear and understated. He makes soccer meaningful and comprehensive for even an athletic avoider like me. (I took a book with me, just in case, the one time my husband took me to a professional soccer game.) Yet the interactions between his characters always ring true. This is a book I would recommend to anyone, especially a teen age boy. A book abou ...more
This is a very interesting story. I felt that the first couple of pages weren't really interesting, but later on it really became a page-turner. I can't stand really slow books, and if the book I'm reading is slow until around 5-10 chapters into the book, I just stop reading. With this book, I thought the story was enrapturing. It is for those who like sports, especially soccer, but I would push others to read it because this story really brings you into it. I could imagine everything in the boo ...more
In a newspaper office, Paul Faustino, South America's top football writer, sits opposite the man they call El Gato "the Cat", the world's greatest goalkeeper. On the table between them stands the World Cup. In the hours that follow, El Gato tells his incredible story – how he, a poor logger's son, learns to become a World Cup-winning goalkeeper so good he is almost unbeatable. And the most remarkable part of this story is the man who teaches him: the mysterious Keeper, who haunts a football pitc ...more
I thought that it was an alright book. Through out the book an until the end I was considering this to be a five star book but the final chapter pulled a twist and it kind of ruined the plot for me. Despite the ending, the book kept me reading and it was actually fun to read in my free time. I would reccomend this book to about 7th grade people and up considering the violence and some harsh language. So overall I would rate this book a 3 out of 5 fro readers my age because the beggining and midd ...more
Caroline Youngman
This book is about a young boy who lives in a forest with his family and after school days he and all the other boys in town would go and play soccer. He was so bad at soccer that people called him stork because of his long legs that he could not balance well on one leg with while kicking the ball the boy go so mad the he decided to quite soccer and go in the forest after school to pass time. He meets a mysterious person when he travels to far into the woods one day after finding a abandon socce ...more
“The Keeper” by Mal Peet, is a super natural soccer story. This novel takes you on the ride of a lifetime, from the day El Gato first walks into the clearing to the day he wins the World Cup. This story consists of El Gato, the best goalie in the world, recounting his childhood as a poor boy in a logging village. He tells the story of himself walking into a forest clearing and coming face to face with the keeper, the most crucial and influential person in his life. The life lessons taught by th ...more
When Paul Faustino of LA NACION flips on his tape recorder for an exclusive interview with El Gato — the phenomenal goalkeeper who single-handedly brought his team the World Cup — the seasoned reporter quickly learns that this will be no ordinary story. Instead, the legendary El Gato narrates a spellbinding tale that begins in the South American rainforest, where a ghostly but very real mentor, the Keeper, emerges to teach a poor, gawky boy the most thrilling secrets of the game. A seamless blen ...more
THE KEEPER by Mal Peet is about an interview between Paul Faustino, and El Gato the goal keeper from a World Cup winning team. In the interview El Gato explains his journey to becoming a goal keeper, from a poor logging town to a Worlds best goal keeper. When El Gato was a young boy he was scrawny and wasn't very good at soccer, but then he met the keeper, a ghostly figure that teaches him how to goal keep. The book goes through the ups and downs that El Gato went through to become what he was. ...more
Alec Mcclure
Keeper is a story of a world famous soccer goal keeper who recently won the world cup with his home country, Brazil. He is being interviewed by Paul Faustino. In the interview, the goalie, El Gato is going through his life story and how he came to the top. Part of El Gato becoming the man he is today had to do with the harsh training he had to go through inside the jungle just outside of his childhood town with a mysterious figure, The Keeper. El Gato's story is unique from all others, and he ha ...more
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The Ultimate Teen...: Keeper - Mal Peet 7 4 Mar 26, 2014 11:03AM  
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Mal Peet grew up in North Norfolk, and studied English and American Studies at the University of Warwick. Later he moved to southwest England and worked at a variety of jobs before turning full-time to writing and illustrating in the early 1990s. With his wife, Elspeth Graham, he had written and illustrated many educational picture books for young children, and his cartoons have appeared in a numb ...more
More about Mal Peet...

Other Books in the Series

Paul Faustino (3 books)
  • The Penalty (Paul Faustino, #2)
  • Exposure (Paul Faustino, #3)
Tamar Life: An Exploded Diagram Cloud Tea Monkeys Exposure (Paul Faustino, #3) The Penalty (Paul Faustino, #2)

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“Fast unmittelbar darauf sandte der Dschungel seine schlanken grünen Finger auf die Fläche die Gato velassen hatte, und tastete nach neuen Stellen, wo er wachsen konnte.” 1 likes
“Let me tell you something. When there is a penalty kick, most people think that the penalty taker is in control. But they are wrong. The penalty taker is full of fear, because he is expected to score. He is under great pressure. He has many choices to make, and as he places the ball and walks back to make his run, his mind is full of the possibility of failure. This makes him vulnerable, and it makes the keeper very powerful.” 0 likes
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