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Keeper Hardcover – 22 Feb 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann Educational Publishers (22 Feb. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0435120107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0435120108
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 12.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 751,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This book has something for every reader, not least those who revel in excellent writing." THE GUARDIAN Quote
"Written with skill, humanity, and a vibrant passion for its subject, KEEPER is irresistible. . . . This is true enchantment." TES TEACHER (London) Quote
"Even if you hate soccer, read this superbly written book and be captivated by it." SCHOOL LIBRARIAN (U.K.) Quote" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'This stirring adventure – a soccer story? a ghost story? – defies expectations ... Both lyrical and gripping.' (Kirkus Reviews)

‘This book has something for every reader, not least those who revel in excellent writing.’ (The Guardian)

‘An unusual novel by Mal Peet, Keeper will fill a gap in the market for many readers. You do not need to be a football fan to enjoy the mystery and celebration encompassed in this story.’ (The Bookseller)

'Peet achieves his expressed desire to write an entirely new kind of soccer story, not only including the experience of play, but also mesmerising readers with a supernatural mystery in a tale about relationships, loneliness, and believing in oneself. This is a well-written, fast-paced sports story that addresses far more than just the sport itself. Fans of Chris Crutcher's sports-themed novels will want to pick up this selection by a new and talented writer.' (School Library Journal) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always felt that football, whatever its often ugly aspects, is a superb metaphor for life itself. It's easy to scoff at the notion that it can be a source of fine literature - and many do. They are unwise and they only have to read this book to see why. It's an epic of trial, honour, achievement and trust: it epitomises great human qualities and is written with an instinctive involvement in and understanding of a stern professional discipline. Wonderful, moving,gripping stuff.
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Format: Paperback
Mal Peet has delivered an absolute gem of a novel; ostensibly aimed at teenagers it certainly would appeal to any football-loving adult as well!
While football is the focus, the sub-plot focusing on the gradual rape of the rainforests is equally absorbing; the relationship between the central character and his father will echo in many a household.
The book tingles with mystery and suspense, the enigmatic keeper remains just that and the gradual transformation of our hero - El Gato - from gawky teenager to World Cup hero keeps you riveted until the end; great twist too!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this book is suitable for ages 7 and up. It is especially good for people interested in football and has surprises around every corner; I loved the surprises.

This book is really interesting, helpful, and exciting. When the main character was being taught by the Keeper, I was also learning about football.

The Author explains the settings so well that you can picture them in your brain, just like a movie. The characters come alive as they are explained wonderfully. This book reminds me of the movie Goal and Manchester United. I loved it!

Patrick (12)
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Format: Audio Download
For a non-football fan, this did manage to keep my attention. I see reviews exclaiming that this book has helped non-readers to 'click' with books, and I can see why it would connect with boys of a certain age and inclination.

It's a quite magical story about football, about training hard, about an ethereal coach, sporting success, football games and moments broken down and dissected, characters in love with the game. Amazing that I did finish it really, but it is very well written and I was intrigued.

The goalkeeper of the latest World Cup winning team is being interviewed by a famous sports journalist about his success and history. But the interview takes turns he didn't expect... The whole book is the interview between El Gato (the Cat) and Paul Faustino, flitting from El Gato's story back to their discussions. This works well, and reminds us of why he is telling this story, and also that it MIGHT be just a story.

The nature of the Keeper (a mysterious character who teaches El Gato the skills he will later need to become a world class player) is never revealed, but I actually found myself with a lump in my throat at the story's conclusion, and I"m not one for magical realism/supernatural tales.

I've never tried Mal Peet before, this was me dipping my toe in the water so to speak, and I would definitely explore the author's work further. I read this as an audiobook and the version I listened to was very well narrated, clear and kept my attention throughout.

It's definitely one for boys (especially but not exclusively) of around 8 to 12. Dads wanting to read to older children at bedtime might use this as a great excuse!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really loved this book. It was my first by this author and I was vey impressed. A great read for football mad children who need more than the basic Rob Child books. I have suggested it to many of my pupils already.
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Format: Paperback
My 12 year old son read this book in 1 day and loved it. He got into the story and characters, especially the Keeper, and it clearly is a well written and imaginative story. Very timely that it arrived just as the world cup in Brazil concluded. I liked that it wasn't just a book about football but had a real plot and focus beyond football - namely environmental issues and the Brazilian Rainforest.
I would recommend for readers 11 and over.
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Format: Paperback
This book will be enjoyed by teenagers and adults alike, but will be enjoyed most by goalkeepers. It is written brilliantly, and the plot interweaves human emotion with technical goalkeeping points against a background of the dying rain forest. It is certainly original.

The story is of a directionless teenager that discovers a supernatural mentor who teaches him the art of goalkeeping. The story unfolds brilliantly and there is much to enjoy here whether you are a fan of football or otherwise. I found the book to be very similar in its base theme to the seminal goalkeeping novel 'Goalkeepers Are Different' by Brian Glanville. I read that book as a teenager and it taught me an awful lot about the plight of the goalkeeper. Having now played in the position for many years, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself learning things from this novel too. I am not exaggerating when I say there are technical insights in this book as good as in any goalkeeping manual.

The more outlandish elements of the story are underpinned by great detail in the footballing element - Mal Peet creates a parallel dimension which, while fictional, is instantly recognisable to the football fan. I would recommend this book - and what I see as its natural partner, Goalkeepers are Different - to all young goalkeepers, as both have a lot to impart not only on the technical aspect, but on the profoundly human experience of being a keeper.
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