Keeper is well-crafted tale of a soccer goalie’s journey

keeper

Keeper (Paul Faustino #1)

by Mal Peet

Faustino is ready for his interview with the goalie, El Gato, who just won his World Championship match. What he gets is a story that blends the mystical and magical with sports.

El Gato begins with the story of how he was called “the stork” growing up and couldn’t play soccer until he stepped into the jungle surrounding his home and encountered a teacher that seems to be part of the jungle.

El Gato tells of his childhood. How his father wants him to be part of the lumber crew where he works. How his mother would like him to get an education. How he was being trained to be a keeper by a spirit or something in the jungle. He never calls the keeper that, but he never calls him a man.

As the night wears on, Faustino goes from wondering whether he his being made fun of to wondering if his old friend has lost it. He comes up with the idea that this could be more than a one-article interview; that it could be a three-part series.

Story is well told. There is one swear word that has me put this in young YA over middle grade. Not a lot of action, but good lessons here.

#encouragereading, #kidsread, #kidlit

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