Coverart for item
The Resource Eight keys, Suzanne LaFleur

Eight keys, Suzanne LaFleur

Label
Eight keys
Title
Eight keys
Statement of responsibility
Suzanne LaFleur
Title variation
8 keys
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
When twelve-year-old Elise, orphaned since age three, becomes disheartened by middle school, with its bullies, changing relationships, and higher expectations, keys to long-locked rooms and messages from her late father help her cope
Storyline
Tone
Review
  • Grades 4-7 A few days before middle school begins, Elise is still playing imaginary games with her best friend, Franklin. Soon, she realizes Franklin isn’t cool, and she is not either, by association. School is turning awful, as her locker partner takes delight in making her life miserable, and she has gotten behind in her homework, seemingly never to catch up. To make matters worse, a wonderful life with her uncle Hugh and aunt Bessie is interrupted by the arrival of another relative and her baby. This might seem like plenty for one story, and it is, but the special part of the book comes when Elise begins to find keys that open doors to rooms designed by her late father to help her understand life and explain the hopes he has for her. Told in Elise’s authentic first-person voice, the deft narrative surrounds the everyday problems sixth-graders face with the aura of more meaningful and larger question, which are intended to move Elise forward. Although adults often get short shrift in middle-grade fiction, here they are strongly yet gently drawn, perfect guides for Elise’s journey. -- Cooper, Ilene (Reviewed 09-01-2011) (Booklist, vol 108, number 1, p119)
  • Gr 5 – 7 — Elise has just started middle school and has suddenly realized that playing the childhood games she once enjoyed with her best friend, Franklin, is making her the butt of her sixth-grade classmates' jokes. Her lunch is smashed daily by her locker buddy, she can't get to the bus on time, and she begins to take it all out on Franklin until she drives him away. In the midst of these problems, Elise discovers a series of rooms at home and eight subsequent keys that open them—a puzzle left behind for her from her father, who died when she was three. Her mother died when she was a baby, so she has been raised by her father's brother, Uncle Hugh, and Aunt Bessie. Each of the rooms is filled with mementos and a life lesson that her father wanted to impart, and it's up to Elise to figure out what it all means. While there are plenty of books about the pains of leaving childhood behind, this one stands out, particularly because of the way in which LaFleur portrays the subtleties of middle-school life. The character development is perfectly paced and readers grow right along with Elise. Her confusion about school, life, and friendships is honest and on target. The mysterious keys add a sense of wonder to the book, but ultimately the journey is about self-discovery. This is a heartwarming and thoughtful story filled with beautiful lines and ideas. It is sure to resonate with a wide range of readers and would be a great addition to any library.—Kerry Roeder, The Brearley School, New York City --Kerry Roeder (Reviewed August 1, 2011) (School Library Journal, vol 57, issue 8, p109)
  • /* Starred Review */ LaFleur's second novel is a quiet and emotionally honest coming-of-age story chronicling Elise's journey into middle school. Elise has lived with her aunt and uncle since her parents' deaths many years earlier. Before he died, Elise's father made eight rooms on the second floor of the barn for Elise to open when the time was right. After Elise turns 12, keys to the rooms appear, one by one, and Elise gets to know her parents, her aunt and uncle, and herself from the things her father has left her. At school Elise is dealing with a bully, falling behind in homework, and being embarrassed by her lifelong friend Franklin, who doesn't understand why bringing Star Wars toys to school or playing pretend games aren't cool anymore. LaFleur (Love, Aubrey) writes with uncommon sensitivity to the fraught period between childhood and the teenage years, when friendships balance on a razor's edge and nothing feels certain. The heart of the story lies in the layered relationships and characters that give the novel its powerful sense of realism. Ages 9–12. (Aug.) --Staff (Reviewed June 6, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 23, p)
  • Elise must unlock her past to learn what she comes from before she can decide who she wants to be. Before starting middle school, Elise was content in her own world with Franklin. Now, playing with him has become a liability and opens her up to bullying. An orphan, Elise lives with her aunt and uncle, in whose barn are eight locked doors. On her 12th birthday, she learns her father left messages behind those doors for her. Readers know that Elise lost her mother the day she was born and her father three years later, making her convenient discovery one that stretches believability. The messages in each room read like cryptic, inspirational self-help: Know What You Come From; Believe; Treasure Your Life. Using first-person narration, LaFleur quickly sketches Elise's descent into depression and her growing ambivalence toward Franklin, but her characterization lacks depth. Thus, when Elise betrays Franklin and shuns a new baby in the house, she appears unsympathetic. Elise is too self-aware when she questions her new habit of calling Franklin names:  "... did the name-calling come from a part of me that hadn't healed?" As readers might expect, Elise begins to make life better: She stands up to the bully, develops a new friendship and salvages the old one. This story of preteen angst contains many compelling, original moments that, unfortunately, do not combine for a realistic portrayal of blossoming maturity. (Fiction. 10-14)(Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2011)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10011841
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
LaFleur, Suzanne M
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
590
Intended audience source
Lexile
LC call number
PZ7.L1422
LC item number
Eig 2011
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 7
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Self-actualization (Psychology)
  • Middle schools
  • Schools
  • Friendship
  • Families
  • Orphans
  • Self-actualization (Psychology)
  • Middle schools
  • Schools
  • Friendship
  • Family life
  • Orphans
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
Eight keys, Suzanne LaFleur
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
216 p.
Isbn
9780545502245
Isbn Type
(paperback)
Lccn
2010040137
System control number
(OCoLC)689548681
Label
Eight keys, Suzanne LaFleur
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
216 p.
Isbn
9780545502245
Isbn Type
(paperback)
Lccn
2010040137
System control number
(OCoLC)689548681

Library Locations

    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797
    • Senoia BranchBorrow it
      148 Pylant Street, Senoia, GA, 30276, US
      33.297709 -84.561283

Library Links

Processing Feedback ...