Sunday, October 7, 2012

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur - ESSENTIAL

LaFleur, Suzanne  Eight Keys  Wendy Lamb Books (Random), 2011.  $16.99  216 pages.  Content: G.  

Elise lives with her Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh and is starting sixth grade at the middle school.  She lives next to her best friend Franklin and has always enjoyed playing in the woods with him, but when a girl from school starts to make fun of Elise and Franklin, Elise starts to wonder if Franklin should still be her friend.  Elise finds that she doesn’t like middle school and all of the responsibilities that come with it and is starting to wonder who she really is.  She finds a key in her Uncle Hugh’s barn that has her name on it, and she tries it in one of the eight doors at the top of the barn.  She finds a room that has a message from her father and includes photographs of her life with her dad before he died of cancer.  Eventually she uncovers seven other keys that open seven other rooms, with messages from her father and mementos from where she came from.  As she unlocks the puzzle that her father made for her, she starts to learn who she is now by learning where she came from.  

This is a very touching coming of age novel.  The characters are well developed and it handles issues that kids face when going into middle school.  I thought the emotions of the characters were genuine.  

EL (4-6), MS-ESSENTIAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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