Becky's Reviews > Keeper

Keeper by Kathi Appelt
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Feb 19, 11

bookshelves: 2011, youth, fiction
Read in February, 2011

4.5 stars. This is a very, very good book. A wonderful book. I love how the author plays with words. Poetic.
Genre-bending. Mostly realistic with a bits of the mystical/fantastical/mythological/magical thrown in. Does knowing the thoughts of animals make it fantasy? Does the possibility of mer people make it fantasy? Does the story of Jacques de Mer make it mythological? Is it a fairy tale? Or are these things simply part of a 10-year-old girl’s rich imagination? How to classify? Is it necessary to classify? (Similar to Appelt's The Underneath in this way—though without all the darkness and evil).

Nontraditional families and nontraditional relationships—beautifully drawn.

Child reader must be able to handle a story with forward motion but many flashbacks (like waves, like the tides?) Could be frustrating for some. Most of the story is told from 10-year-old Keeper’s perspective, but other voices weigh in at times. In the end the story is complete, but you need good retention to make all the connections. The author's ability to create suspense/tension in this framework is beyond skillful. And most of the story takes place on one very eventful night. Could work best with adult guidance.

Some familiarity with oceans and tides a plus.

Loved, loved, loved the occasional drawings.

Emotional ending.

Dipped into the audio (read by the author) for 1 disk and dipped back out. Liked the reading experience better with this title.

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