Safekeeping by Karen Hesse


         Safekeeping by Karen Hesse, Square Fish, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-250-06817-0

Format:  paperback

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5

Genre:  dystopian fiction

What did you like about the book? Seventeen-year-old Radley comes home from volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti and finds the United States in chaos. The president has been assassinated, a vicious new political party is in charge, and martial law is the rule. With travel forbidden across state lines and the country’s infrastructure crumbling, Radley finds herself walking from the airport in New Hampshire to her home in Vermont, and then attempting to cross the border into Canada. On the way she searches for her parents, and befriends another teen girl, Celia. Karen Hesse’s writing is beautiful, and both Radley and Celia are multi-faceted, believable characters. The novel is bleak but hopeful, with beautiful moments and a satisfying ending.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No, I liked everything about it.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Read Alikes? Recommend to readers who enjoy dystopian fiction. Although it has much less action than The Hunger Games, readers who enjoyed that trilogy should enjoy rooting for Radley and Celia. Also recommend The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Who should buy this book? Middle schools, high schools and public libraries should consider purchasing this book.

Where would you shelve it ?  Young adult fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Somewhere in the middle of the pile, for sure.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA

Date of review: August 1, 2017

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