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Mine for Keeps (Copeland Family)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  459 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Away at school, Sally Copeland has always dreamed of going home, but now that she’s there, she feels frightened and unsure of herself.Will her brother and sister accept her? Will she be able to do things for herself? And what will it be like to go to a regular school and be the only one with cerebral palsy?
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 6th 1996 by Puffin (first published 1962)
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This is fantastic. (And it's actually great when read back-to-back with Light a Single Candle.) Sally's coming home to stay for the first time in a long time, after spending years in a school for children with cerebral palsy.

I don't even have the words for how loving and beautiful and beautifully specific this storytelling is. Sally's terrified - of her family (even though she knows they love her), of her new classmates, of being in a school and standing out, of not making friends... And then t
Okay, overall, I liked this a lot. (Especially Sally and her dog! <3) It felt very real and NICE and not preachy.

But two things bugged me! (view spoiler)
Melissa McShane
Read for the 2016 YA/MG Book Battle.

This book about a girl with cerebral palsy learning to function outside her special school was fun to read, but slight compared to others of this year’s Book Battle that are also about family and friendship (Binny in Secret and The Penderwicks in Spring particularly). Sarah Jane (Sal) has been living at a school for children with “motor handicaps” for many years, but her parents have decided she’s finally capable of integrating into a public school. Once at ho
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Mine for Keeps by Jean Little is a long-time favorite book of mine. Little so perfectly captures the emotions of her characters that all readers will relate to them, whether they’re the intended audience of elementary-school children or forty-something-year-old adults like me. Mine for Keeps, along with Little’s other stories about young people with disabilities, remains among the best fiction out there on the topic. As an additional perk, Little’s books are set in Canada.

The main character of M
Mrs. S
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
This is one of the few longer books I really remember my mother reading to me. I know I was read to a ton as a kid, but I started reading on my own so early that I don't always remember what I read and what my mom read to me. I recently tracked down a copy and gave it a re-read.

I was surprised to find how un-dated this book felt. Aside from some of the terminology (like "handicapped") and the notion that a young girl with some physical limitations would have no options other than a far-off board
Aug 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Sal has cerebral palsy and has always lived in a special institution for the handicapped but now it is finally time for her to go home to live with her family. However, she finds the adjustment to her siblings and classmates much harder than expected. A dog and friends help Sal turn the corner and gain self confidence.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Pierce
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Liked it, but didn't love it.
Mary Mackie
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insightful. How to overcome your fears, in an excellently presented story
Lori Faiella
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite book when I was younger! I was just going thru my books and found it. I"m going to re-read it and remind myself why and come back! :)
Elise Wyma
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was really good. All time favorite book in the world!!! The main character is Sally Copeland. She lives in Canada with her family. She just came home from a handicap school, where she had everything done for her. When she gets back home she realizes that she will have to learn to do things by herself. The family gets her a dog, because she is the only one in the family without a pet. Her dogs name is Susie. She has a friend named Elsje who just recently moved to Canada from H ...more
Heidi Busch
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I was so happy when I saw this in our collection at the library. I remember reading it when I was younger and thinking how great it was that Sally, who has cerebral palsy, was able to train her dog. When I was reading it today I thought about how this book probably helped me realize, when I was young, that children with special needs just want to be treated like everyone else. This is a great book for children to read to help them develop an understanding of and empathy for other children.
Erin G
Jan 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like slowly progressing books
This book is a heart warming story of a young girl, Sally, who faces a horrible dissability that will not allow her to be able to walk. Feeling as if nobody in the world cares for her do to her dissability she finally finds truth when she befriends a new puppy that her parents purchase for her. This new friend helps her through her tough times and allows her to finally feel that there is a place for her in the world and that others do not look at her differently do to her being handicapped.
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I was given this book by one of my elementary school teachers. Two decades down the road, I can't remember if it was Mme Duval (2nd grade) or Mme Testa (4th grade), but it was a) a lovely gift and b) thoughtfully chosen. I am not differently abled like Sally, but I did have trouble fitting in at school. Although the book suffered from a shortage of the kinds of things I generally like in my fiction (space, magic, epic quests, etc.), Mine for Keeps was a reminder that friendship and acceptance ca ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, general, kidlit
Rec'd to me because I'm a Westie owner. Not really my normal fare, but it's a sweet story and definitely good for middle grade. Although, the text could stand some updating. The book takes place in Canada, but the students all stand for God Save the Queen and not Oh, Canada, which is a bit disorienting. Otherwise the story is pretty timeless, maybe make those changes, Penguin? I'd expected a real heart-wrenching element at some point in the story, one that would really get me and make me cry. Th ...more
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was more pleased with Mine for Keeps than Mama's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird, maybe it was because I knew how she got the idea ... and maybe how I knew Jean Little knew how Sal felt being an impaired child. I don't know ... Mine for Keeps just had more of that "Jean Little sparkle" I love so much.
Melissa Channell
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I think I was a pre-teen when I first read this book. In this book a child with cerebral palsy comes home from an institution to live with her family. She is a rather timid child and often over reacts before knowing the facts about things. She must adjust to living with her family (instead of in a school full of other girls), a new house from what she remembers, and going to a public school and interacting with peers there. I believe it is set in Canada.
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book as a kid! I even wrote to Jean Little and I got an answer three years later.
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
a truely amazing story !
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very sweet story about a girl, a dog and friendship. Fun!
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Love everything by Jean Little. Her books were among the first chapeter books I read growing up. Fun fact: Her mother was our family doctor.
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember really liking this novel as a child, one of the few disability-related novels I found engaging (even though it was older, and a bit antiquated).
Amy Oakley
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: girls
A favorite of mine from when I was young- it was fun to share with my girls.
Feb 10, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2016
Temporarily Classified: For BATTLE (part three)
Jun 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
Fantastic story about a little girl with Cerebral Palsy who must learn to adjust to life at home after living in an institution.
Karannina Schonwetter
rated it it was amazing
Jul 22, 2012
rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2018
Patti Ransom
rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2010
Jade Atkins
rated it liked it
Jun 18, 2017
Amanda Foster
rated it it was amazing
Jul 11, 2016
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Jean Little is a Canadian author, born in Taiwan. Her work has mainly consisted of children's literature, but she has also written two autobiographies: Little by Little and Stars Come Out Within. Little has been partially blind since birth as a result of scars on her cornea and is frequently accompanied by a guide dog.
More about Jean Little

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