Friday, February 3, 2012
I belong to a book group that reads an assortment of books - mostly adult, some fiction, some non-fiction with the occasional ya novel. This past month we read Keeper by Mal Peet. I had never heard of it before, but it was a very fun read.
Keeper tells the fictional story of El Gato, the world reknowned goal-keeper who has just helped his team win the world cup. The story is told through the means of an interview. El Gato is telling his story to the top sports journalist, Paul Faustino. El Gato grew up in the jungle in South America playing soccer on the dirt. However, he was not any good. He was nicknamed El Ciguena - the stork and eventually stopped playing altogether. With his afternoons now free he began to explore the jungle that stood at the edge of his town. The jungle was thick and deep but one day El Gato came upon a huge clearing in the middle of the jungle - a soccer field. And thus El Gato's relationship with The Keeper - a mysterious figure, living in the midst of the jungle, begins.
The story is very well written and is a fun coming of age novel. It begins at the near end of the story - with El Gato having already won the World Cup, and being about 30 years old. While reading it I did find myself wishing that it started at the beginning and left the end unknown until the end, however, the journalist definitely adds a healthy skepticism to the story and leaves the reader wondering who this Keeper could really be.
I think this a great read for any soccer loving child and especially would invite in any reluctant readers who are sports fans. Apparently there are a few "Paul Faustino" books by Mal Peet - featuring the journalist found in Keeper. Paul Faustino even has his own website found here.