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Keeping Safe the Stars

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  742 ratings  ·  135 reviews
When crisis hits, a young girl becomes the only one left to take care of her family

Pride, Nightingale and Baby are the Stars. Orphaned and living with their grandfather, Old Finn, in rural Minnesota, the children, like their grandfather, are wary of outsiders. They believe, as Old Finn taught them, in self-reliance.

But then Old Finn falls seriously ill and is taken to the
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 11th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  742 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Martin
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Life has been filled with upheavals for the Stars. Their father died of cancer, their mother died in a car accident. The kids were in foster care until the grandfather they didn't really know came to get them out. He took them to his farm in Minnesota to raise. He was something of a hermit; a former history professor who got in trouble with the government for protesting the Vietnam War. He is determined to raise the kids to be independent. But when he falls suddenly ill with encephalitis, the ki ...more
Jill Dater
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This books feels similar to Homecoming by Cynthia Voight. A middle grade book where kids in 1972 are orphaned first and then temporarily (maybe?) abandoned by their grandfather guardian. They try and survive in their own on a remote farm. The book kept my attention.
Ms. Yingling
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
When Pride's grandfather, Old Finn, is taken to the hospital with encephalitis, Pride knows that she can't tell the authorities that she and her sisters, Nightingale and Baby, have no one to look after them except the elderly and slightly bewildered Miss Addie. The siblings were in foster care once, after the death of their parents, but have enjoyed being with Old Finn on his farm, being home schooled by him and keeping to themselves. In The Boxcar Children fashion, Pride sets out to feed and ca ...more
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In the tradition of WHERE THE LILIES BLOOM, THE HOMECOMING and the more recent SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS, this is a story about kids who try their mightiest to care for themselves on their land in rural Minnesota after their grandfather is stricken with encephalitis and hospitalized. It helps that Old Finn is suspicious of authority and has trained the three kids in self-reliance, but various adults in their community are inquisitive enough about what's happened to their grandfather and how the ...more
Rene Kirkpatrick
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable, absolutely charming, it is a great addition to the shelf that holds Savvy, The Exiles and the Casson Family books by Hilary McKay, and The Penderwicks series.

Orphans living with their Grandpa, Old Finn, they are funny and loving. They are independent and strong kids, home-schooled, but get thrown for a loop when Old Finn suddenly heads to the doctor but doesn't come back home.

The kids pull together and figure out what they have to do to find, and then bring back home, Old
Karen Arendt
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Pride, Nightingale, and Baby are three siblings taken in by their grandfather Old Finn after their mother died unexpectedly. Old Finn suddenly gets ill and is hospitalized. Pride, 13 years old, does her best to take of her two younger siblings; she had been taught to be self-reliant and independent while living on a commune with her mother and again with Old Finn, who prefers to live a quiet, hermit-like life.

Things spiral out of control after Pride, Nightingale, and Baby decide to start a busi
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an underappreciated book this year. While it doesn't make my top ten list, it is so much better than so many similar books this year (One for the Murphys, Summer of the Gypsy Moths). Please solve the mystery, someone, of why certain books get attention and others don't.

Sort of a HOMECOMING Jr. I liked all the characters and the setting. The grandfather's illness was distressingly realistic. I wouldn't have minded a little more magical thinking there... The cover blurb makes this sound mu
Read  Ribbet
I met Shelia O'Connor at the IRA Convention in Chicago so I could congratulate her on her first book for young adults Sparrow Road which won the IRA Award for Intermediate Fiction. She gave me an autographed advanced copy of Keeping Safe the Stars. Here is a new story about children living on there own. Meet the three Stars led by self-reliant Pride who keeps her siblings together after her grandpa Old Finn falls ill. Set in a Thoreau like Walden, the group uses what they have been taught to kee ...more
Kristi Bell
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pride, Nightingale, and Baby are three children that are living with their grandfather, Old Finn because their mother and father had passed away. Old Finn takes them in, homeschools them, and teaches them to be self-reliant. One day, Old Finn is sick and leaves them to visit the doctor. He doesn't come back and the children find out that he is in the hospital. They become very resourceful (I've seen Boxcar Children mentioned here) and are bound and determined not to have social services come and ...more
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children, tween-novel
Didn't like this much. Set in the early 1970s with way too many references to communes, hippies and Nixon's impeachment. Just the kind of tale every 12 year old in 2013 is dying to read.

It tells the story of three orphans who are living with their Grandpa somewhere in Minnesota. Unfortunately, Grandpa gets sick and they are pretty much on their own and they are terrified of being found out. "Keeping Safe the Stars" could have been a goofy story, it could have been poignant. Instead it was just a
Aug 02, 2012 rated it liked it
A completely unrealistic story about children who start a business and try to survive on their own. Throughout the read all I could not push out my head these children as raggedy, white-trash kids in a run down, rural area not unlike the setting of the movie, "Winter's Bone." Keeping in mind the story is set in the 1970s and not 2012, it was still completely ridiculous that a 12-year-old with virtually no education would be able to accomplish the activities described in the book. I also do not f ...more
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Easy read, great characters, interesting story. The kids are the focus of this book and they are well-developed and resourceful. A charming story set it Minnesota (the best state) and brings in both a small town and big city to the story. Not the cliche happy ending but not sad either. It leaves it open ended and let's you decide how things work out.
Lauren Stringer
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A heartfelt story about surviving as a family with no adults, set during the Nixon's Impeachment. I loved how the theme of "lies and lying" took on new meaning throughout the book. Wonderful characters, especially the three kids, Pride, Nightengale, and Baby. Loved this book!
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
A quick read about three extremely strong and resourceful children. Already orphaned, but being raised by their grandfather, they found themselves suddenly alone again. This is a cute and heartwarming story about the goodness of people, and the power of hope.
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
Cute and well-written, but very slow moving. I just couldn't get into the story.
Great book!

Pride, Nightingale, and Baby are orphans who live with their grandfather in a secluded, 40-acre property of Minnesota, called Eden. Pride is a self-reliant, independent, girl who does whatever she can for her younger siblings, Nightingale is a girl with braids that dust the ground and an intelligent mind, and Baby is the youngest with a daring, adventurist spirit and a tendency to have innapropriate outbursts.

When their grandfather, Old Finn is sent away to a hospital in Duluth, Minn
Adulting is HARD!!! Kids shouldn't have to do it. :/

That being said, this was and absolutely beautiful story. Sad and sweet. I loved the kids. & the writing was amazing.

But I hated how Miss Addie refused to call someone. Like seriously, are you fucking kidding me? -_- and that first customer was s bitch. If I had acted like her kids, my mama woulda smacked me stupid.

But that cover? Absolutely gorgeous.

Recommended for fans of middle grade and contemporary fiction.
Ana Paula
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was super interesting when Old Finn was still alive but when the author started coming in towards the middle, it started to get less and less interesting. On the other hand, throughout the end the book started to become better becasue the kids are realizing who they really are. Overall it was a pretty good book
Leigh Statham
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Fantastic story about the strength of children and family. Suspense, humor, and heartbreak are neatly woven together with a very satisfying ending. A classic for sure and a great read-aloud. My kids loved it.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
For some reason I just couldn't put this book down once I started it. It's not that's it's so much better than other YA books ( although the fact that I couldn't stop reading it definitely is a testament to the skills of the author!) I just had to see what happened!
Molly Cartwright
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a really good historical fiction book about family, and determination. I read this in book club last year at school and my whole book club really enjoyed it.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Too young for me, I think
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Not really my genre of book, but it was okay.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters frustrated me all the way through with their bad decisions, but I think that was the point — how they learned from that.
Karen Prickett
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story. It moved quickly without bogging down the reader.
Loved it! Popcorn and pony rides! Great characters, fun adventure! Pride keeps her family, the Stars, safe as best she can! Also neat there was a Miss Addie (my name)! Moving and literary too :)
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was such a good heartwarming family story. It's a great read for juvenile (ages 9-12) readers. I would recommend it for that audience but older readers would enjoy it as well.
Simone Thorne
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing if you enjoy families trying to keep each other safe. Loving, caring, sweet and brave characters.
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Heartwarming and uplifting story!
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