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Stay!: Keeper's Story Paperback – March 9, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

PW admired Lowry's "warm sense of humor and vivid imagination" in this "whimsical tale told from a dog's eye view." Ages 9-12.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8. A puppyhood spent in a trash-strewn alley behind a French restaurant may not seem like the most auspicious of beginnings, but luckily Keeper was born with three great assets?a glorious tail, a way with words, and a healthy ego. His natural charisma leads him to relationships with several humans, from a homeless man to a photographer who turns the pup into a model famous for his sneer, but it is only after he meets little Emily that he finds his true home and his true name. Keeper tells his own story, sprinkling it with many keen observations about the natures of dogs, cats, and humans. He has a particular fondness for rhymed couplets, as in the gem (composed to pacify a couple of fierce felines): "Fur so fine! Eyes agleam!/You rival me in self-esteem!" Keeper's slight tendency toward pomposity will amuse readers, especially when they can come up with a rhyme that eludes him, and though a final rendezvous with his lifelong enemy does damage to one of his assets, he retains enough of the other two to make this story a "glorious tale." This book will find an audience, but it is more sophisticated in voice, tone, and vocabulary than Lowry's other titles for young readers, and the references to the fashion world, French foods, and Gourmet and Vanity Fair magazines may elude children. Kelley's pen-and-ink illustrations portray a dog whose rather ragtag appearance is amusingly at odds with Keeper's own vision of himself.?Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 960L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (March 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440415241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440415244
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After several years at Brown University, she turned to her family and to writing. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader.s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association.s Children.s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at www.loislowry.com

author interview
A CONVERSATION WITH LOIS LOWRY ABOUT THE GIVER

Q. When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

A. I cannot remember ever not wanting to be a writer.

Q. What inspired you to write The Giver?

A. Kids always ask what inspired me to write a particular book or how did I get an idea for a particular book, and often it's very easy to answer that because books like the Anastasia books come from a specific thing; some little event triggers an idea. But a book like The Giver is a much more complicated book, and therefore it comes from much more complicated places--and many of them are probably things that I don't even recognize myself anymore, if I ever did. So it's not an easy question to answer.

I will say that the whole concept of memory is one that interests me a great deal. I'm not sure why that is, but I've always been fascinated by the thought of what memory is and what it does and how it works and what we learn from it. And so I think probably that interest of my own and that particular subject was the origin, one of many, of The Giver.

Q. How did you decide what Jonas should take on his journey?

A. Why does Jonas take what he does on his journey? He doesn't have much time when he sets out. He originally plans to make the trip farther along in time, and he plans to prepare for it better. But then, because of circumstances, he has to set out in a very hasty fashion. So what he chooses is out of necessity. He takes food because he needs to survive. He takes the bicycle because he needs to hurry and the bike is faster than legs. And he takes the baby because he is going out to create a future. And babies always represent the future in the same way children represent the future to adults. And so Jonas takes the baby so the baby's life will be saved, but he takes the baby also in order to begin again with a new life.

Q. When you wrote the ending, were you afraid some readers would want more details or did you want to leave the ending open to individual interpretation?

A. Many kids want a more specific ending to The Giver. Some write, or ask me when they see me, to spell it out exactly. And I don't do that. And the reason is because The Giver is many things to many different people. People bring to it their own complicated beliefs and hopes and dreams and fears and all of that. So I don't want to put my own feelings into it, my own beliefs, and ruin that for people who create their own endings in their minds.

Q. Is it an optimistic ending? Does Jonas survive?

A. I will say that I find it an optimistic ending. How could it not be an optimistic ending, a happy ending, when that house is there with its lights on and music is playing? So I'm always kind of surprised and disappointed when some people tell me that they think the boy and the baby just die. I don't think they die. What form their new life takes is something I like people to figure out for themselves. And each person will give it a different ending. I think they're out there somewhere and I think that their life has changed and their life is happy, and I would like to think that's true for the people they left behind as well.

Q. In what way is your book Gathering Blue a companion to The Giver?

A. Gathering Blue postulates a world of the future, as The Giver does. I simply created a different kind of world, one that had regressed instead of leaping forward technologically as the world of The Giver has. It was fascinating to explore the savagery of such a world. I began to feel that maybe it coexisted with Jonas's world . . . and that therefore Jonas could be a part of it in a tangential way. So there is a reference to a boy with light eyes at the end of Gathering Blue. He can be Jonas or not, as you wish.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#11 in Books > Teens
#11 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a delightful tale about a dog named Keeper. The story is narrated by Keeper from a dog's point of view. He takes us back to when he was just a puppy born behind a restaurant and separated from his brothers and sisters and eventually his mother. All alone, Keeper sets out to find his family, especially his sister Wispy. His journey is filled with adventure that puts him in different situations. He becomes a homless man's companion, a photographer's model, and a little girl's pet. It is also peppered with danger as Keeper makes and eventually fights his enemy Scar a tough, mean dog from the streets. It is not without its tender moments either as Keeper and his long lost sister Wispy are eventuallly reunited! If you love dogs you'll love this story. Even if you don't I think you will enjoy it all the same. It is a story for all ages and tastes. So "stay" and read for awhile!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
keper is a dog that goes through alot at the biggining of his life, from losing his family to living with a homeless to becoming a dog model to running away and living with a child, which has been his dream.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lubug on March 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is one of those amazing children's books that would entertain a young person and an adult equally well. There are "good stewardship" messages all through it -- the plight of homeless animals, the way to take care of a dog. There are funny little asides that may pass over the heads of its young audience, but will make adults chuckle. There's even a little poetry-completion as Keeper the dog writes sweet little couplets but struggles to find a rhyming word:
"Unbidden, new poetry came to me:
'Upright, my tail! Forward, my legs!
'I think I smell some ham and biscuits!
'No, of course it had to be EGGS! I began to see how poetry worked."
Keeper is a delightful dog, commonsensical and poetic at once, loyal forever to his mother and his sister Wispy. (I have always wondered whether dogs truly DO forget their birth families. In this story, they don't.)
He faces many challenges along the way but his story has a happy ending that fits just perfectly into the book. Although I might be a few decades older than the intended audience, this is one of the best books I've read in a lonnnnngggg time! See for yourself, even if there are no young people in your home!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Stay!Keeper's Story is a really good book. It was about a dog named Keeper who loves to write poetry. He was born in the back of a French resturant.He has two brothers,Tug and Tussle,and one sister,Wispy. Keeper looses her and is always promising himself that he will find her. He goes through three different homes to find Wispy. Through out his life he has an enemy,who he calls Scar. Keeper is always saying that he will beat Scar in a fight. To find out what happens to Keeper,Scar,and if Keeper finds Wispy,read the book. There are a lot of French words and big vocabulary words. This is a great book for a parent to read to a child. If not,it is a good book for a 6th-7th grader and up. If you are a dog lover then you will enjoy this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Stay!Keeper's Story is a really good book. It was about a dog named Keeper who loves to write poetry. He was born in the back of a French resturant.He has two brothers,Tug and Tussle,and one sister,Wispy. Keeper looses her and is always promising himself that he will find her. He goes through three different homes to find Wispy. Through out his life he has an enemy,who he calls Scar. Keeper is always saying that he will beat Scar in a fight. To find out what happens to Keeper,Scar,and if Keeper finds Wispy,read the book. There are a lot of French words and big vocabulary words. This is a great book for a parent to read to a child. If not,it is a good book for a 6th-7th grader and up. If you are a dog lover then you will enjoy this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was a very enjoyable pleasure for me to read because it is a funny fantasy about a poetic dog who had a variety of names such as Lucky, Pal, and then finally, Keeper. Keeper had many happy experiences and some not so happy with his companions. His care givers were Jack, Emily, Emily's mom, and Christopher (the photographer). All his life, no matter which of the people he was living with he always had a gift for poetry. He was fond of his sister, Wispy, and his tail. Although he was usually a happy, friendly canine, he had a rival who he despised. His rival's name was Scar. I was enthralled with this book because it leaves you hanging and with an idea - (Are dogs really this poetic and brilliant?).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I loved this book!!!! It was great with an extreme ending and an exciting base! You can't put it down but I had to put it down when my Mom said time for bed! When I finished it, I still wondered what happened next to Keeper. Stay is a story about a dog that tells his own story. Keeper gets seperated from his family and is owned by many friends. This dogs life is almost perfect except one thing. I recomend this book for ages 10 through adult. Read the book to see what happends to Keeper!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was interesting because it is written from a dogs point of view. Also because the dog experienced many things in his life. He started to make poetry since he was a puppy. Then he experienced living on the streets with his homeless human friend Jack. He also had fights against his enemy dog Scar. Finally he found his long-lost sister whom he missed a lot.
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