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The Box and the Dragonfly (The Keepers #1)
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The Box and the Dragonfly

(The Keepers #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,095 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Artifacts. Miseries. Mysteries . . .

From the moment Horace F. Andrews sees the sign from the bus—a sign with his own name on it—everything changes. The sighting leads him underground, to the House of Answers, a hidden warehouse full of mysterious objects. But there he finds only questions. What is this curious place? Who are the strange, secretive people who entrust him wi
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by HarperCollins
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Katrina This adult is only 2 chapters in and had a nightmare about the thin man last night.
Jodee You'll be able to get this book on Tuesday, March 3, on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble or pretty much any bookstore near you. That's when it will go…moreYou'll be able to get this book on Tuesday, March 3, on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble or pretty much any bookstore near you. That's when it will go on sale to the general public. You can get it as a print book or an ebook or an audiobook. (less)

Community Reviews

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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,095 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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David Edmonds
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was rather excited about this book from the moment I was first told about it. The person telling me about the book generally doesn't like children's books, so when she was proving to be excited about it, I thought I should be paying attention to that. And you know what? She was right.

There is so much in this book that I liked. We're immediately introduced to Horace, our hero of the story, who immediately sees a sign that catches his eye, which immediately leads him to his first encounter with
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This will have to be on my list of top children's titles for 2015, since it's not out yet (cheater pants, with your advance copy). The book itself is titled The Keepers: The Box and the Dragonfly, so I think it is the prequel and the actual story. I will have to ask the Harper rep when she comes by to visit in two weeks. Not usually my bag, but our Harper rep was so enthusiastic about it, how could I say no when offered a copy?
I can't, apparently.
Horace Andrews is on a bus when he sees his name
Claire McNerney
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Even though it took me a while to get through, I loved this book. Okay, maybe I use the word ‘love’ too much. Let’s try this again. I was enchanted by this book. That’s better. The characters, Horace and Chloe, were interesting, multi-dimensional, and intriguing. When the book ended, I wasn’t done with them, because I had just gotten into it! The first 200 pages or so weren’t specifically memorable, and it was definitely the ending that shined. There were two paragraphs near the end that I just ...more
Beth Kakuma-Depew
An everyday boy from Chicago finds a secret shop and a magical talisman that's linked to him. A epic quest unfolds slowly, as he meets tall creepy villains and a spunky girl who also has a magic talisman. And then finally, they meet the old man and old woman who explain the epic war that's about to climax. This would be a great read-alike for Harry Potter, as it has the cozy magic buried under reality, and spooky sense of discovery. But this lacks the humor and mystery plot that kept Rowling's s ...more
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won't put myself through an entire 600 page book if it's not a lot of fun, but this IS a lot of fun. Some science, some fantasy, main characters I liked a lot, and a promise of COOL MOM in book two. I hope the old person wardens become an even dicier issue in the future. Good rec for Percy Jackson, Septimus Heap, and Amulet fans.
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read!!! I can SO get more kids to read this book here at Da Vinci!!!! Don't be afraid of the length as it's too short as it is!
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Got an ARC of this--couldn't put it down. What an ending! I'm already excited for the next one. Horace and Chloe are great characters. I will probably buy the hardcover when it comes out.
Hannah Belyea
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drawn to a particular box inside a mysterious store, Horace finds his new gift changing the way he looks at everything around him, as well as leading him to befriend the surly Chloe and join a group dedicated to protecting children like them from a terrible evil looking to capture them. Sanders will surely please fans of science fiction with this intriguingly complex opening that sets off a mystery of wondrous proportions. Horace and Chloe have made bonds that are going to change their lives for ...more
Benson Gardner
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was unprepared for what awaited me after my wife, who works in the media, brought home an advance copy of this book, and gave it our 9-year-old -- who after immediately devouring it gave it to me for my birthday.

Who would think that an exciting fantasy story marketed for kids would cast its most entrancing spell in the arena of normal human emotions and relationships? The story itself is exciting and like much successful fantasy, seems to describe a reality hovering in your subconscious that
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 actual rating

while about 75% of the way thru this I was feeling like it was a chore to finish, and wondered if maaybe it should've been edited down a hundred pages or more but couldn't put forth the energy to really decide if it was necessary. even if the buildup was a little too long and the details a bit too many, I do love this story. Lots of adventure, lots of mystery and intrigue, classic good vs evil overhead. reasonably likable characters (Chloe seemed alright at the beginning but she
Kristen Beverly
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sanders has done something rare in this book - he's managed to both have character development and action! Too many books these days only have one or the other. I'm excited to see what comes next in this new series.
Josh Plattner
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time travel with a
little bit of Hogwarts charm:
a superb combo.
Leov Grachev
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An awesome fantasy book that I enjoyed. Hope it gets all the popularity it deserves.
Matthew Kuns
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that is better than most- correction almost every YA book I've ever read. And I've read a lot of YA, it's my chosen genre to read, and my genre to write. Every side character is unique and well defined and none of them think they aren't the main character of this story. Every magical item isn't your tropey basic one (it lets me fly, or I can walk through walls), but they have unique twists, limits, and terrifying consequences that aren't the usual simple exhaustion. The main chara ...more
Stephanie C
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Madeleine l'Engle fans, and N.D. Wilson fans

Very exciting. Compelling characters. Intellectually stimulating. Even though the characters are young, it didn't feel like a middle-grade book. Can't wait to read the next one.

The Box and the Dragonfly reminded me of A Wrinkle in Time so much. These kids get swept up in a fight that is so much bigger than anything they have ever known. And it is frustrating and wonderful and scary. We as readers get to go along for the ride.

I really enjoyed Horace, who is detail-oriented, kind, intell
Elizabeth Smart
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I forgot about this book! It was SO INTERESTING and it takes place in Chicago! I need to read the rest of the series.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-the-kids
Great book for middle readers!

And can I just say -- the last 2 pages?! OMG! It's rare that a book for this age group drops a major bomb in the last couple of pages, you know, the kind that makes you want to immediately re-read the book with new knowledge. Dang!
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
When Horace wanders into the House of Answers, he can't imagine the questions that visit will dredge up. For he finds himself in possession of a box with mysterious power, and also the focus of the sinister, not-quite-human Dr. Jericho. With the help of a girl with her own powerful dragonfly pendant, can they protect their talismans and themselves?

This is another one I didn't finish. I tried. The concept was intriguing (although not quite what I had expected from the jacket description), and the
I enjoyed this fun fantasy set in contemporary Chicago. Horace finds himself drawn to a mysterious location (he is inexplicably drawn toward a sign with his full name on it) where he is allowed to choose one item from a large collection of magical, somewhat scientific objects. He can only touch the one item he means to claim, adding to the idea that this item is somehow destined for him alone. Horace chooses a small box and is attracted to it somewhat like Bilbo is drawn to The Ring in LOTR—it b ...more
Ms. Yingling
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This sounded so awesome when I first heard of it and I dived right in when I got a copy. It was an action packed and unique adventure and one I know any child (or adult) will enjoy.

Right from the get go we are introduced to the action. The adventure begins when Horace sees a place that seems to have his name on it. He is on the bus though and decides that he needs to check it out the next day. So he gets off the bus early and goes in search of the shop. What he finds though is a strange place,
James Swenson
In giving this young-adult novel 3 stars, I'm not making any special allowance for its intended audience. I enjoyed reading it, but for my taste, it spent a bit too much time on exposition. I like the concept: the magic system is coherent, and the characters' magical powers are sufficiently limited that they are vulnerable as individuals, but become a formidable team as they learn the nuances of their abilities. However, the characters strike me as flat, with the important exception of Chloe, wh ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
The Keeper: The Box and the Dragonfly is fantastically complex middle-grade that's part fantasy, part (accessible) science fiction. With its fully developed cast of characters and the fascinating hidden world, The Box and the Dragonfly has all the charm of Harry Potter while remaining wonderfully original. This is a dense book to be sure, packed full of believable science and mysterious places (and people and objects) and centuries old conflicts, but the plot never feels weighed down. It's been ...more
Kate Schreffler
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I picked up an ARC of this book recently, and was really excited to read it, and it was suggested as something like Harry Potter. I was disappointed in that it was nothing like Harry Potter. I was also not drawn into the story like I was expecting. Also, some of the concepts seemed a little advanced for young readers. But I did like the idea of the items choosing people and creating a bond, and having to figure out how to use the item on your own. I also really liked the very last bit between Ho ...more
Katherine Kendig
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In many ways this is a classic children's book: preteens with great powers (and great responsibilities), magical objects, sinister villains, adventure. But the characters are a little more deeply developed than in your typical kids book; the language is more precisely chosen and varied; the metaphors feel richer -- and so it reads well for adults, too. In fact, I particularly like the way this book treats parents and other adults: while some authors seem to think the only way to make kids intere ...more
Meg Severance
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was a lovely book. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale it told. It presented a different side to "magic" that I'd never even considered before - for, having grown up with Harry Potter, my general idea of magic involves wands, spells, and pointy hats.
I, for one, am looking forward to the sequel. Throughout the story, questions were raised that were not answered in the first book, so I hope everything will be put to rest in the second. Also, there were a few characters that I still feel I know not
Clare Doornbos
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Horace is smart, but not very adventurous; Chloe is a rebel with almost nothing to lose. Together, they are pulled into a secret war between the wardens and the makers of the Tanu. These magical objects bond with the user to give them magical powers.

This book comes like a breath of magical fresh air in a season filled with gritty realistic middle grade books. I love the way Sanders creates a magical world without a school. These kids need to learn to use their powers though some terrifying edge
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
The various editions of this yet-unpublished book vary in length. The ARC I read has 602 pages. Despite the number of pages, this is a physically small book in terms of the size of the pages. But even Harry Potter didn't start with a 600-page book. My concern is that the size of the book will deter a lot of kids that would otherwise enjoy the story. As for the story itself, simply fabulous. Can't wait for No. 2.
Mar 04, 2015 marked it as gave-up-on-it
It was a bad idea to start reading this to my 9 yr old son at bedtime. Instead of making us drowsy, we both wanted to keep reading. I kept it to the first chapter, but what a chapter. An abnormally tall, thin, male character is introduced who spooks Horace (the main character) on a public street. The thin man spooked us, too.
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Goodreads Librari...: Box and the Dragonfly cover change 21 43 Dec 09, 2014 07:21PM  

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Ted Sanders is the author of The Box and the Dragonfly, the first book in the new middle grade series The Keepers, coming in 2015 from HarperCollins Children's. His first book, the short story collection No Animals We Could Name (Graywolf 2012), was the winner of the 2011 Bakeless Prize for Fiction. His stories and essays have appeared in publications The Southern Review, Cincinnati Review, Georgi ...more

Other books in the series

The Keepers (4 books)
  • The Harp and the Ravenvine (The Keepers #2)
  • The Portal and the Veil (The Keepers #3)
  • The Starlit Loom (The Keepers #4)
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