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Keeper by Mal Peet
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Keeper (2007)

by Mal Peet

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4281924,653 (4.17)33

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This is a cute ghost story about sports, or a cute sports story that has ghosts. A boy from a logging town on the edge of the Brazilian rainforest finds a supernatural clearing where a mysterious goalkeeper takes him under his wing and shows him how to be the best keeper he can be. His talent and work are rewarded, he finds his way out of the working classes, he excels, he wins the world cup, but always with an edge of the supernatural to him.

I loved the technical side of this; you genuinely learn about what it feels like to be a goalie, all the considerations that have to be internalized and instinctive to make you one of the best. The book is set in a world where talent is recognized, hard work is rewarded, and enlightened self-interest leads to the best outcomes for the right people; you can argue about whether that world is this world, but the interest of the book is specifically in how you react to a gift from heaven, not so much in other kinds of struggle. As such it's single minded and satisfying, with a nice twist at the end. Recommended if you like soccer stories, or ghost stories, or if you have a goalie in your life. ( )
  WilliamWhyte | May 15, 2018 |
The South American goalkeeper who has just led his team in winning the World Cup tells his life story to the most famous South American sports writer in an exclusive interview, but Paul (the writer) gets so much more than he bargained for in El Gato's story, and the keeper has his own motives for telling all of his secrets.

I honestly didn't think I'd like this book, because I couldn't imagine enjoying any book about any kind of sport. But this one is about so much more than soccer. It combines a deep-set love of the game with a coming-of-age story wrapped in magical realism and with a healthy dose of environmental consciousness. In short, it's a winner. ( )
  electrascaife | Apr 3, 2018 |
RGG: Fantastical story about the making of a World Cup soccer goalie. Part is set in a rain forest being destroyed by logging.
  rgruberexcel | Oct 2, 2017 |
RGG: Fantastical story about the making of a World Cup soccer goalie. Part is set in a rain forest being destroyed by logging.
  rgruberexcel | Oct 2, 2017 |
A sports novel set in South America. A young boy feels disconnected from his peers. In the forest he meets up with a 'being' who trains him to become a world renowned soccer player. A YA read. ( )
  MelbourneSharonB | Nov 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Paul Faustino slid a blank cassette into the tape recorder and stabbed at a couple of buttons. Then he slapped the machine and said, "Who is the top soccer writer in South America? Who is the number one soccer writer in South America?"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763632864, Paperback)

"This stirring adventure — a soccer story? a ghost story? — defies expectations. . . . Both lyrical and gripping." — KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

When Paul Faustino of LA NACION flips on his tape recorder for an exclusive interview with El Gato — the phenomenal goalkeeper who single-handedly brought his team the World Cup — the seasoned reporter quickly learns that this will be no ordinary story. Instead, the legendary El Gato narrates a spellbinding tale that begins in the South American rainforest, where a ghostly but very real mentor, the Keeper, emerges to teach a poor, gawky boy the most thrilling secrets of the game. A seamless blend of magic realism and exhilarating soccer action, this evocative novel will haunt readers long after the story ends.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:41 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In an interview with a young journalist, World Cup hero, El Gato, describes his youth in the Brazilian rain forest and the events, experiences, and people that helped make him a great goalkeeper and renowned soccer star.

» see all 4 descriptions

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763627496, 0763632864

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