Tuesday, January 18, 2011
By Kathi Appelt
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010. 399 pages. Fiction.
Keeper is a 10 year old girl who was abandoned by her mother when she was 3. She lives on the Gulf Coast of Texas with her guardian, Signe. Legend in the Gulf Coast is that mermaids gather in the waters on the night of a blue moon. Because Keeper believes her mother is a mermaid, she sails out to sea one blue-moon night to try to find her. Keeper is accompanied by a seagull and a dog. Her night on the sea is sometimes mystical, and definitely adventurous.
Keeper is ultimately a likable book, though not right for reluctant readers. It is quite long, and includes many narrative points of view (both animal and human). The language is soothing and melodic, which parallels the surroundings in which Keeper lives. A warning for parents: As told in flashbacks, Keeper's neighbor, Mr. Beauchamp, has an overall innocent romance with another young man.