Monday, June 25, 2012

Eight Keys

Elise is about to start middle school.  She's excited...and nervous.  Her worst fears seem confirmed on the first day when she's assigned to share a locker with Amanda, a girl who seems determined to make Elise's life miserable.  She still has her best friend, Franklin, but even before the problems with Amanda start, Elise is starting to feel a little embarrassed by the way Franklin wants to "play."  Kids in middle school don't play, right?  This is confirmed when her friendship with Franklin makes Amanda's taunting even worse.

When she tries to tell her teacher about Amanda, the teacher doesn't want to listen, and Elise doesn't want to bring thoughts of all her school problems home, so she doesn't tell Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hugh either.    Elise's mother died when she was born, and her father died of cancer three years ago.  All the changes in her life are making Elise feel like she doesn't belong anywhere, and she can't even bring herself to get on the bus some days.  To make matters worse, she's so behind on her homework, that it seems pointless to even try.

That's when she finds the first key, a key left by her father that unlocks one of eight rooms in the barn that she's never really thought about.  As she discovers each key and room, she finds messages, images, and ideas left by her father that slowly help her to see her life and herself in a different way.

Suzanne LaFleur's new book will make you think about the relationships in your life, too.

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