The Dream Keepers
by Linda Keen is a rollicking ride that follows two young characters, Starlight
and her older brother, Thatcher O'Day as they set out on the adventure that
will shape their lives in inscrutable ways, from the Deep South to the West
Coast. The kids are seven and eight when — together with their grandfather —
they must embrace change at the break of a new Millennium. Grandma Gloria has
followed the advice of the social worker and has asked Star and Thatcher to
leave their regular middle school for the unknown. So, from the treacherous and
dangerous journey to settling into a new environment, the young hero and heroine
must face challenges bigger than their age. Follow them as they evolve through
each year and trying circumstances.
Linda Keen's book is a delightful read for fans of YA, a story that opens with a mysterious tragedy unfolding before the eyes of the young characters. Being uprooted from one's immediate and familiar environment is a strong plot point for a compelling premise and the author grounds the novel on this experience. As the story progresses, the young characters must learn to adapt, accept uncertainty, and treasure the great moments that life throws at them occasionally. The bond between brother and sister is ingeniously written, and themes of kinship, adventure, trials, and triumph are dominant in this deftly plotted, immersive story. The narrative voice is strong, mirroring the worldview and inner worlds of the characters. This story brings the adversity faced by two young characters to the forefront while exploring strong and resonant themes and a society falling apart. Linda Keen skillfully builds narrative and emotional suspense by crafting the needs and expectations as well as the frustrations of the characters with realism. The Dream Keepers is a great and enjoyable read.