Eight Keys

 
Author: Suzanne LaFleur
Reading Range: 3.8 (AR BookFinder)
Interest Range: 4-8 (AR BookFinder)
Plot: Elisa is starting her first year of middle school and already things are not going right. Her locker partner does not like her and starts to bully her. She falls behind in her homework. A new baby moves into her house making it harder for her. She is not getting along with her best friend, Franklin. She discovers a key that opens a door in the upper part of her uncle’s workshop. There she discovers a gift left for her by her dead father. More keys come and open more doors for her allowing her to learn more about her dead parents. The more she learns about her parents leads to her learning more about herself. She does a bad thing that may cause her to lose her friendship with Franklin. Can she repair what she broke?
Review: Elisa has lost both of her parents before she even started school. She lost more then most people have but she discovers she still has a lot left. It was interesting reading the clues her father left for her and the rooms he left. It shows how much love that her parents had for her. She gets to have a connection to her parents that she did not have before. With her going to middle school, it showed her going out of her comfort zone and preparing her to learn about her parents. Learning about her past helped her with her present. She was able to grow strong enough to confront her bully. The girl who is her bully, Amanda, makes her feel uncomfortable because she seems so much older then her and cooler. Elisa is a tomboy. She starts to accept those differences about her and it helps her relationship with Franklin. She was pulling away from Franklin because she felt so babyish with him. I recommend this book to just about any age.
Additional Info:
Main Characters:
Elisa-She is starting middle and already she feels she does not fit in. Amanda starts to bully her. She has to get used to the new baby in the house. She comes to love the new baby.
Franklin-He is Elisa’s best friend. They have been friends since they were small.
Uncle Hugh-He is her father’s brother. He took her in after her father died. He is a carpenter.
Aunt Bessie-She is Uncle Hugh’s wife. She offers Elisa a lot of advice.
Amanda-She is Elisa’s locker partner. She does not like Elisa and she bullies her.
Caroline-She was Amanda’s friend. She stops liking her after she starts bullying Elisa. She becomes Elisa’s friend.

Theme: Coming of age, Empowerment, Family, Identity crisis

Bibliographic Info:

LaFleur, S. (2011) Eight Keys. New York: Wendy Lamb Books

Tagline: Eight secrets. Each will unlock the past.

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