Kathi Appelt follows her award-winning and "New York Times "bestselling novel "The Underneath "with this stunning, mysterious, and breathtaking tale of a girl who outgrows fairy tales just a little too late and learns in the end that there is nothing more magical and mythical than love itself."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 52.
- Review Date: 2010-05-03
- Reviewer: Staff
When you’re 10 years old and you’ve had a really bad day, you look for your mother. That’s what Keeper is doing—only Keeper believes her mother, who left when she was three, is a mermaid, so her plan involves getting a rowboat out into the sea late that night. And because Keeper has let down Signe, her guardian; Dogie, her best friend/employer; and even Mr. Beauchamp, her surrogate grandfather, she has to carry out that plan alone. Amid scattered pieces of August’s dreamlike spot art, Appelt unfurls Keeper’s magical story slowly, looking back over Keeper’s day and forward to her longed-for reunion with the mother. As in her Newbery Honor–winning The Underneath, the point of view shifts between characters human, animal, and otherwise, but with less of the precocity that sometimes encumbered its predecessor. Texas’s Gulf Coast, alive with Cajun spice and superstition, provides a mysterious haven for them all. A narrative thread based on a tender love story between two teenage boys may draw controversy, but Appelt masterfully balances themes of loss and renewal and demonstrates that magic works in unexpected ways. In so doing, she has written another keeper. Ages 8–12. (May)