The Keepers: The Box and the Dragonfly by Ted Sanders(5 out of 5)
The image is there because it will not move once it’s uploaded. More questions on why??? No idea! Similar to all the questions in the book…… Anyhow….
This will have to be on my list of top children’s titles for 2015, since it’s not out yet (cheater pants, with your advance copy). The book itself is titled The Keepers: The Box and the Dragonfly, so I think it is the prequel and the actual story. I will have to ask the Harper rep when she comes by to visit in two weeks. Not usually my bag, but our Harper rep was so enthusiastic about it, how could I say no when offered a copy?
I can’t, apparently.
Horace Andrews is on a bus when he sees his name on a sign. That’s not something that happens everyday, especially in a children’s book. The curiosity over his name on the sign leads to an underground cellar of secrets, known as The House of Answers. Here is where- he hopes- he finds an answer to why his name was on that sign. Of course, that only uncovers more questions. Who are all of the people working at this warehouse? Why is he picked to have this special gift? And again, what’s the deal with his name on the sign? More and more questions, and less and less answers from The House of Answers.
Working with this gift that he now has, Horace tries to do his best with his newfound gift and come to some sort of conclusion about what the hell is going on. He encounters Chloe, a young girl with whom he strikes up a special friendship (and of course, she’s got an amazing talent of her own, as do many of those hanging out at the House of Answers). Horace ends up walking the line between what turns out to be a war between two factions that has waged for years. Can he figure out what happened? How do he and Chloe figure into this? Again, more questions, less answers!
Horace and Chloe end up in a deep, dark place where the wrong move could end up in dire consequences for everyone involved, and everyone beyond. The Box of Promises, another clue in this everlong maze of questions without answers, brings Horace a new number of challenges and the future. More importantly, is Horace ready for what lies ahead for him? For Chloe? For mankind as they have known it? Lots of importance lying on the shoulders of these two kids.
You’re got some science fiction, some fantasy, and some really great characters in Horace and Chloe. If you’re stuck for time, you may want to wait a bit longer, because this is almost 550 pages, and you will want to devote a lot of time to it once you start reading it. Definitely to answer all the questions, or get an idea of what the hell Horace has stumbled into. There were references to Harry Potter for the younger set. I only got a small measure of Harry Potter. A lot of this book reminded me of the Sixty Eight Rooms series with a bit of Brandon Mull thrown in for good measure, more than Harry Potter. The book doesn’t drag at all, it clips along at a pretty good pace, so again, make sure you have time to devote to that 544 pages!
One thing I didn’t quite get was that while Sanders makes you fully aware of the characters’ mindsets, family relationships, etc, you really are searching for a physicality of the characters. There are no real discernible physical descriptions of the characters. Maybe Sanders wants you to craft your own visualization?? Not sure, but that was a little unusual. Having said that, let me make it crystal clear that it does not stop you from reading and wanting to get to the finish.
This book is fabulous! I hope it finds the core audience it strives for. I also can’t wait for the next book (I believe it’s going to be a series) to see what fates befall Horace and Chloe next.
The Keepers: The Box and The Dragonfly is out from Harper on March 3, 2015.It’s geared toward the 8-12 year old group, but it felt a more like the 8-10 group, in my opinion. Add it to your to be read lists now. More importantly, make sure you pick up a copy from your nearest (indie) bookstore when it’s released.