A Finders-Keepers Place
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A Finders-Keepers Place

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Esther Page has been trying to keep things together for as long as she can remember. Valley—that’s her mama—has always gotten funny notions like gardening indoors or living as the Amish do, without any electricity. And Esther has always cleaned up after those notions and watched our for her little sister, Ruth.

But Valley’s notions are getting wilder, and too many people ar...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Anne Leal’s new book about a daughter of a mentally ill mother tugged at my heartstrings. Esther is a young adolescent who desperately wants to find her father, Ezekiel, care for her mother, and keep her sister safe from the inquisitive eyes of society. Esther’s father mysteriously disappeared a number of years ago and when he left Esther’s life, all of the sense of safety began to crumble away. Jolly, Esther’s mother began to lose track of reality and became angry and forgetful. The story begin...more
Esther is eleven years old but has a lot of responsibility. She has to look after her younger sister Ruth, keep track of her mom Valley's moods and keep the prying eyes of society off of her family. Esther and Ruth don't always have food to eat or clothes to wear. Valley has moods that make her forget about things like that. She goes through notions like living like the Amish or remodeling their house that don't always work out. Esther wants to find her father but all she knows about him is that...more
Katherine Cuevas
It seems like parents are supposed to be the adults of the family and home, but there are some exceptions to this rule. A Finders-Keepers Place by Ann Haywood Leal shows that children, in this case, daughters take the responsibility of their mother. Esther, the oldest sister, instead of being just a sister for Ruth, the youngest daughter, is like a mother. Cleaning the house, taking care of her little sister, bringing food to the house, and even argument to a boss why her mom did not work, are s...more
Laurie Thompson
In the interests of full disclosure, I'm happy to say that Ann is a friend of mine. Ann does such an amazing job with her books about disadvantaged youth, though, that it really makes me wonder about what her own childhood must have been like! How else could she get inside the heads and hearts of these kids unless she had lived unfortunate circumstances herself? In truth, I think it comes instead from her experience as an observant teacher. I can easily picture Ann as the kind-hearted and concer...more
Esther and Ruth grab your heart from the beginning of this book as these sisters, ages 11 and 8 must fend for themselves, finding clothes, food, and even a place to sleep, eeking out an existence with a mentally-ill mother who is not fit to care for them, but to whom they are fiercely loyal. With very well-drawn characters and situations, in some ways this is one of the saddest books I've ever read. Even though the author chose to set it in 1973, it could be at any time in history, anywhere, wit...more
Annie Oosterwyk
I did not enjoy this book as much as Also Known as Harper. The main character takes on responsibility for her mother as well as her younger sister in this tale of neglect and mental illness. The girls look for their father to save them from their mother, but are missing any real information about him. The girls must find their own clothing, food and supplies in an effort to appear safe and normal and keep the social worker away. Their mother alernately abandons and abuses them but the girls stru...more
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The Finders Keepers Place leaves you warm and happy. You will watch two young sisters trying to find their father that disappeared one day. The sisters are hoping that their father would help cure their mother's depression and notions when they find and hit the hard truth. This book shows two little girls who won't give up can change their life and turn it back around.
Story line was engaging, but ultimately frustrating when the problems that Esther and Ruth face are not satisfactorily resolved. Not a good choice for children who may have suffered neglect, abuse or abandonment.
Kate Jaimet
The characters were interesting, but the writing was stilted and the happy ending -- mommy takes a little pill and everything's better -- was a little too Deus ex Machina, or in this case Deus ex Pharmacopia.
Valerie Mabrey
Think the topic is way over the age of the readers, which would pick up this book. I thought the story did not draw up in a conclusion that felt finished.
I liked the way the explained valley's extra marital affair but I still think the children should have been removed from valley's care
Carol Williams
Well written, yet tough subject to read as children's fiction. I appreciate the author's addressing this subject.
Not as good as her first book, "Also Known as Harper", but still a good read. Great for middle school students.
Stefanie Wass
Loving the voice!
My heart is breaking for the main character and her sister.
So much heart.
This one pulled at my heart.
Liked it.
Lauren H
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