professornana (professornana) wrote,

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literature is the best medicine

For those of you who have been following the saga of my eye problems, I saw a specialist today who ordered a ton more tests including a CAT scan tomorrow and lots of blood work. Gee, all I wanted was this lump removed from my eye/eyelid. Now it is turning into an episode of some TV hospital show. I despise all of it. The one ray of sunshine: a terrific new book by Kathi Appelt that helped me while away the waiting time.

KEEPER (Simon and Schuster/Atheneum) is Kathi's follow up to her Newbery Honor, NBA Finalist, THE UNDERNEATH. It is a lovely, lyrical and magical story of a young girl named Keeper who lives with Signe, someone her long absent mother picked up from the side of the highway years ago. Signe is, for all intent and purposes, Keeper's mother. She has a surrogate father in Dogie who runs thew local surf shop, and a grandfather in old Mr. Beauchamp. These are the only residents of the Oyster Creek road in Tater, Texas. Keeper hopes for this very day to be filled with magic: Dogie will sing his two word song to Signe (called Marry Me) and Signe will say yes and Keeper will have a new family, a real one. However, first thing in the morning, events conspire to make the day unravel.

Pacing is crucial and Appelt proves that she can drive this story at whatever pace best suits a scene. Some chapters are short, pushing things ahead quickly. Then other chapters force the reader to slow down and fill in some important missing pieces. Appelt's talent for finding just the right words is evident here, too. Tweens will gravitate toward this book about family and mystery and magic all skilfully combined into one fabulous tale.
Tags: kathi appelt, tween books
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