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Release Date
May 18, 2010
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Keeper is a breathtaking, magical novel from National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt. To ten-year-old Keeper the moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong ... and so much has gone wrong. But she knows who can make things right again: Maggie Marie, her mermaid mother, who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gather at the sandbar, and that's exactly where Keeper is headed - in a small boat. In the middle of the night, with only her dog, BD (Best Dog), and seagull named Captain. When the riptide pulls at the boat, tugging her away from the shore and deep into the rough waters of the Gulf of mexico, panic sets in and the fairy tales that lured her out there go tumbling into the waves. Maybe the blue moon won't sparkle with mermaids and maybe - Oh, no ... "Maybe" is just too difficult to bear.

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A Once in a Blue Moon Day
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Plot/Characters/Writing Style
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It was supposed to be a Once in a Blue Moon day. Signe was going to make her famous crab gumbo. Dogie was going to sing his two word song, asking Signe to marry him, without stuttering even once. Mr. Beauchamp was going to sit on his porch with his one-eyed cat, Sinbad, in his lap waiting for his night-blooming cyrus to blossom, which it only did on a blue moon night. Everyone was going to be happy. But that was not to be.

Because, when 10 year old Keeper came into the kitchen and saw the pot of crabs waiting to be put into the gumbo, she swore she heard those crabs call out to her to save them. She could hear them because she knew her mother was part mermaid. Keeper did save the crabs, shuttling them to the pond using Signes pot, the only souvenir she had from her mother, her favorite pot. But BD, Keepers Best Dog, saw Sinbad and ran across the road to Mr. Beauchamps, tripping Keeper who dropped the pot, which broke. And in the animal melee the pots in which Mr. Beauchamp kept his flowers, his roses and night-blooming cyruses, were broken. And when Keeper went to tell Dogie that she freed the crabs he so laboriously caught, the ones he woke up at the crack of dawn to catch, his ukulele became another animal casualty, crushed.

So, there was no gumbo and no night-blooming cyruses and no two word song and no perfect once in a blue moon night. All because of the CRABS!!!!

Keeper is a marvelously told tale about a 10 year old girl who learns what family and love are all about. Appelts lovely use of words, her descriptive phrases, her poetic tone will make you want to read from start to finish, without putting the book down. Appelt has filled Keeper with wonderful characters: Dogie and Signe, Mr. Beauchamp and most of all, BD and Sinbad and Too (Dogies dog) and Captain (the seagull who crashed into Keepers kitchen window and became best friends with BD). It has mermaids and manatees and stingrays. The animals are smarter than the humans in this heartwarming story. It has adventure. And it has home.

Keeper is a story for children of all ages. It might even be a book youll read more than once. But youll have to read it once in order to read it a second time. Theres no time like the present to start Keeper.
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