Donna's Reviews > Safekeeping

Safekeeping by Karen Hesse
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Oct 06, 12

it was amazing
bookshelves: mock-newberry
Read on October 05, 2012

Good story about life, friendship, and survival. Told in the first person, this story starts with our main character, Radley, finding out that the President has been assassinated. She is in Haiti volunteering and feels strongly that she should go home to be with her parents. The American People's Party had taken power before she left and things were not stable. Many restrictions were in place, citizens were not happy, and many freedoms taken for granted have been lost. Radley’s trip home is nerve racking and when she finally gets to Vermont, her parents are not there. With no money, a dead cell phone, and police knocking at her door, she decides to escape to Canada.

Radley’s journey is one of hope, fear, danger, and very personal. Hesse has included many black and white photographs that complement Radley’s journey from southern Vermont to a small town just across the border of Canada. The photos depict a future that may not be too far off. The reader learns what it takes to survive; dumpster diving, stealing, living without many things we take for granted.

There is a lot of character growth in this story. Radley has to make some decisions that students will find realistic if not scary. There is friendship, kindness of strangers, and also violence and hatred. It is a great story for a read aloud that could generate many discussions.
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