Ellie's Reviews > Eight Keys

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur
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Aug 29, 11

bookshelves: girls, sad, school-age, middle-grade, orphan, bullying
Read from August 27 to 29, 2011

Elise is starting middle school and everything is weird. She's embarrassed by her longtime best friend Franklin, who doesn't understand why playing Knights (a pretend sword-fighting game) and being interested in Star Wars isn't "cool", there's a new baby living in her house, and her new locker partner hates her for no reason and does her best to make Elise's life miserable. To top it all off, her twelfth birthday is the last time she'll get a letter from her father who died when she was young. However, her dad also left her eight locked doors and eight hidden keys to help Elise find herself and figure out the kind of person she wants to be.

Oh Suzanne LaFleur, you never fail to make me cry! The story started kind of slow - I wanted the pace of the story to be a bit quicker in the beginning, but we got there eventually. The bullying was hard to read and I imagine other adults will feel the same way, but I think it's also a really realistic portrayal of bullying and the way kids react to it, becoming depressed and withdrawn and blaming themselves. Next time I have a parent/teacher/grandparent looking for a chapter book about bullying (and helping their child get through a bullying situation), they're getting Eight Keys.
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