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Eight Keys

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  5,140 Ratings  ·  837 Reviews
Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor.
When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Stacey (prettybooks)
Eight Keys is a truly beautiful book. I adore everything about the cover, that it’s a hardback without being too big to carry around, and, of course, the story. Eight Keys is an emotional, moving children's book about a 12-year-old girl's realistic experience of life.

The main themes in this book are love, family, friendship, and bullying. Elise, our main character, is far from perfect but the reader cannot help but empathise and encourage her throughout her character development. Eight Keys expl
Nov 17, 2011 Kim rated it it was ok
I liked the book overall. I really like LaFleur's style with YA realistic fiction.

However, I am very disappointed in the way the bullying situation was handled in this book. Elise tried telling two adults at school and her own guardians to no avail. I hate that one of the messages sent in this book is that when you go to an adult with an issue they will not listen to you. That is the wrong message. All children need to know that they have an advocate in any adult when it comes to bullying. Adul
Jan 25, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing
i love this book so much!!!! it has so much detail, and it explains everything so well! i would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery books.
Nadine Larter
A relatively sweet read for younger kids. For a while I was disappointed in the attitude of the main character but she turns out ok. There was one point where her aunt tells her to never doubt a mother's love for a child and that sort of got me thinking. We say that a lot, don't we? Because it sounds nice and it should be true. But it isn't really true. Not always. And not nearly as often as it should be.
Apr 11, 2013 Anastasia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring. Unrelatable. Main character pissed me off from start to finish.
Jan 10, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it
Elise has just started middle school and things couldn’t be worst. Known for the scabs that covered her legs on the first day, Elise has been singled out by her locker mate, who teases Elise for being a baby. Elise’s best friend Franklin just makes everything worst, not knowing that there are certain things that cool sixth graders don’t talk about at school (like playing knights.) Elise lives with her aunt and uncle in an old farmhouse, her parents both having died when she was a baby. Adjusting ...more
Sep 20, 2012 Lo rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, badly-written
Based on my opinion of Love, Aubrey and the summary of this one, I decided to read this book.

I think I would've enjoyed it a little better about three years ago.

Elise, an orphan, has spent her life playing Pretend with her best friend Franklin and living without any parents. When she gets to six grade, her "locker buddy" Amanda squishes her lunch everyday. I know bullying is a big problem in a lot of schools, but Elise didn't even fight back. She didn't even attempt to. And when she tried telli
Eight Keys is a great story about self-discovery. There were so many things about this novel that reminded me of primary school, so the author did a really good job of portraying that period in time of a child's life when it felt like doing homework, being cool and liked and fitting in were a big deal.

I didn't like Elise much. She was easy to relate to but not very likeable. I felt Franklin was underdeveloped because it was hard to imagine that he was unaware of what people thought of him or how
Samantha Ange
Oct 25, 2013 Samantha Ange marked it as to-read
Parents dead, mysterious notes are found, bullied at school and a key that can open a door that will help or hold back.

In the book “Eight Keys” by Suzanne Lafleur, incoming sixth grader Elise Bertrand has her ups and downs entering sixth grade. On top of this drama she finds mysterious letters and a special key left from her father before his death….

Her classmate and best friend, Franklin is there for Elise every step of the way. Franklin and Elise hung out most of their summer vacation. There
Cathe Olson
Jun 11, 2014 Cathe Olson rated it it was ok
Elise is starting at middle school. Things start off badly as she is covered in scabs from a game of knights gone bad and becomes the target of her locker-mate Amanda. By not doing her homework, Elise antagonizes her teachers and she pushes away her best friend because his childishness is embarrassing to her. Thanks to her loving aunt and uncle, and mysterious notes and keys left by her dead father, she learns to be a butter person.

Having a daughter who just started middle school, I was excited
May 25, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing
This is such a wonderful book for tweens. It's about a young girl's journey of self-discovery and beautifully done. Discussion of interesting topics such as entering middle school, bullying, self-esteem. I would definitely recommend it for that age group, or people interacting with them.
Nov 14, 2016 Shainna rated it it was amazing
There is this girl name, Elise. She was playing with her friend Franklin, her best friend, but as middle school came, everything wasn't the same between them. Anyways, she lives with her Uncle and Auntie, her parents died. When she was in the house, she went to her father's office and found 8 different keys in each room, she explored the 7 doors, but one thing that was mysterious is the 8th door, the 8th door is a secret room that she and her Uncle and Auntie didn't know. She then explored the ...more
I liked parts of this book - I liked Elise's family and I liked the setting. I liked that she had a friendship with her Dad's best buddy. I even liked Franklin, as young as he seemed. He was funny and I think I would totally want to be his friend. I liked that her dad made plans to have things for her after he passed away - that was really sweet. Unfortunately, I didn't must care for Elise.

First of all, the middle school characters all seemed way too young. The words they used reminded me of how
I fell in love with this book. I've read some of the comments where people didn't like how the main character behaved for most of the book, but I think that was the point of the book. Here is Elise, turning 12, entering a big new middle school with a swarm of new kids feeding into it from other schools. Here's her best friend Franklin who is a geek and totally proud of it. On the first day of school he embarrasses her and then it just goes downhill from there. Elise's parents have been dead for ...more
Dec 27, 2012 babyhippoface rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-fiction
I may have liked this more if I had read it as a young girl. I know the mystery of the keys and the locked doors would have intrigued me. As it was, it was fine, but I didn't love it.

Even though I understood most of what she was feeling, Elise made it pretty tough for me to keep liking her. She was mean to Franklin, let Amanda treat her like garbage (sorry, but I would've been telling the teacher or principal or somebody every single day she wrecked my lunch), and she never did her homework just
Oct 17, 2013 Lejla rated it did not like it
Ok I just don't get this story. It feels too much like the book Jeremy fink and the meaning of life except really bad. The girl doesn't even have to look for the keys they just "appear".
And the main character was also annoying. She was a total *** to everyone and she was a dead beat in school and when all the doors were open everyone suddenly forgave her- totally unrealistic. Really bad story!
Rachel Peden
Sep 27, 2015 Rachel Peden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My thoughts about this book are that this book is good for all ages it gives a mystery and a good background story. This is a very good book and I definitely reomemend it.
Feb 10, 2016 Emily16 rated it it was amazing
I loved the book a lot!!
May 15, 2014 Lyndsif rated it it was amazing
Summary of Novel
This book is about how this 11 year old girl named Elise and she finds keys everywhere she goes. The keys opens doors to the doors in the barn.She thinks that her mom and dad left them for her to have memories of her mom and dad. Her mom and dad died at early age. She has a best friend named Franklin. When they were little they would always play dragons together. One day they went to school and they got made fun of because that person saw them playing the game dragons. There is t
Nov 10, 2015 J.C. rated it it was amazing
Eight Keys by Suzanne Lafleur is a beautiful book with a great writing stylebut what book by Suzanne Lafleur isn’t? I just finished re-reading it for like the hundredth time and it currently is my favorite book!

The story is about a girl named Elise. Elise’s parents died when she was young, so she lives with her Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh. In the beginning of the book, Elise starts middle school, and suddenly everything is different. After an unfortunate incident in the woods,
SJH (A Dream of Books)
‘Eight Keys’ is the first book I’ve read by Suzanne LaFleur but it certainly won’t be the last! I’d heard fantastic things about LaFleur’s debut novel ‘Love, Aubrey’ so I was really excited to read her second book which sounded wonderfully intriguing.

Aimed at a slightly younger teen audience, ‘Eight Keys’ absolutely captured my heart. It was a quick read but it’s one that stayed with me long after reading the final page. Some bits had me absolutely sobbing and I found the story incredibly moving
Linda Lin
Mar 20, 2013 Linda Lin rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2011 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have heard such good things about this book and I was really looking forward to reading it. Eight Keys is a middle grade story about a 12 year old girl called Elise.

I’ve heard this book described a few times as ‘cute’, and it was cute and a nice easy read with a sweet, albeit sad storyline which will definitely have you snivelling and reaching for the tissue box.

The main characters, Elise and Franklin were nice kids. Very genuine and innocent and I really liked that about them. Things started
Sep 15, 2012 Heidi rated it it was amazing
I always find I relate to protagonists in YA novels, particularly when they are girls who are a little "rough around the edges", or those who just don't fit in with most other girls, struggling to find the truth of the emotions they're experiencing. Perhaps it's merely because that is something I have always struggled with. Elise is my kind of girl. Middle school is throwing a lot at her and forcing her to discover, or rather, rediscover herself, and she is hesitant to share the struggles and ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not care for this book. The plot is too predicable and the main characters seem like little babies. The tile tells you about half of the story. Anything I would change? Yes, add more twists, turns, and surprises. Have the main characters grow up and please, please don't make it so darn dramatic! A little summary for all of those who STILL want to read this book. Elise is an ordinary 11 year old. Her mom died while giving birth to her and her dad died with cancer while she was three years ...more
Oct 25, 2011 Maryam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-tour, reviewed, 2011
Also reviewed on the blog:

This is going to be one of those awkward reviews where I'm struggling to get my thoughts down on paper...or the internet in this case.

I loved how cute this read was. An eleven, turning twelve, year old who discovers a key meant just for her is going to be a cute character no matter what happens.

The secret behind the key is so sweet and heartbreaking that it makes the book worth reading anyway but apart from that the book wasn't t
Feb 06, 2012 Brenda rated it really liked it
Eight Keys is a remarkably quick read with some very heavy topics. The story centers on Elise who lives with an aunt and uncle after both of her parents die (her mother during childbirth and her father of cancer). Elise has a wonderful friend named Franklin but things get complicated when they both enter middle school. This is where the story tugs at my childhood heart strings, there is bullying, the whole feeling of not fitting in and making mistakes. What makes the story though is the main ...more
Tammi Peterman

I agree with the sentiments illustrated by School Library Journal which says, "the character development is perfectly paced and readers grow right along with Elise. Her confusion about school, life, and friendships is honest and on target". This book goes beyond simply addressing the strife of middle school and moves to a piece of self discovery. I think this piece is something students can really relate to whether they have experienced a loss and are sear
Kylee v
Sep 18, 2014 Kylee v rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Elise had 8 keys each unlocking a new door in her barn upstairs she has seen them for years but never knew what they where for and what was in them. Until now, she now knows that life isn't a game its the journey. She got all eight keys differently, and at different times without her knowing who is giving her the key, by laying them out some where not to hard but not too easy as well. Learning the different messages inside the doors, the way her family used to be or just something her dad left ...more
Valerie Barnhart
Jan 19, 2015 Valerie Barnhart rated it really liked it
Review for book:

Some of the surprising details of the reviews include the character of Elise is "carefully drawn." Despite the many changes and developments that she goes through in the book, Elise is given meaning for the changes through the keys that she finds from her deceased father. Since we see the events through Elise, the reader sees a lot of things going on in the story. As a emotionally sound and reserved young lady, she goes through the changes
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Future Teachers, ...: Review #5 1 3 Nov 04, 2016 05:34AM  
Future Teachers, ...: KaraDaisy's Review 4: Eight Keys 1 1 Oct 23, 2016 05:09PM  
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Eight keys 9 20 Sep 02, 2014 05:07PM  
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I grew up outside Boston in Newton, and later Natick, MA. During the school year I went to Catholic school, did a lot of homework, and read a couple books a week. During the summer I read a couple books a day and spent hours swimming and playing outside at our local pool or beach. I was very much a planner, dreamer, and writer, creating plays and shows for my siblings and the neighborhood kids to ...more
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“But in life people come and go. We don't always have control over it. But we can control how we respond. We can keep going, keep living the best we can. We can love the people we have instead of shutting them out. We can do our best to get to know them in the time we have.” 24 likes
“A good friend is one of the hardest things to keep in this life. Don't forget that sometimes you have to work at it.” 19 likes
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