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Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) Hardcover – September 28, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Keepers Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2010: In the city of Jewel, safety and temperance are prized above all other virtues. Goldie, an impetuous girl with a talent for petty thievery, is eagerly awaiting her Separation, in which her silver guardchain connecting her to her parents for safety is finally cut. When tragedy strikes and the city’s sly and deceptive ruler, the Fugleman, cancels all Separations indefinitely, Goldie decides she’s had enough of safety and runs away to the fascinating, mysterious Museum of Dunt. Yet this museum is no dusty educational edifice, as Goldie soon learns: it has moods and feelings like a living being. Its shape-shifting rooms house not historical artifacts, but great and terrible powers that, if unleashed, could destroy the city. In the museum, Goldie meets a quirky cast of misfits, including Toadspit, an Oliver-Twist-like ragamuffin living in the museum; Sinew, a harp-toting spy; and Broo, a talking dog with secret powers of his own. Before long, however, the Fugleman discovers the secret of the museum and tries to use its powers to tighten his control of the city, and it’s up to Goldie, Toadspit, and Broo to stop him. Lian Tanner’s Museum of Thieves is filled with characters who are oddball but meaningful, a dystopia-for-beginners plot that is at once serious and silly, and a pace fast enough to draw in even reluctant readers. The thrilling conclusion teaches that courage and freedom are virtues, too, even if they mean a few scrapes along the way. --Juliet Disparte

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–In the city of Jewel, children are chained to their parents or to the Blessed Guardians from birth until Separation at age 16. Now the Grand Protector has lowered the ceremony to age 12, and the Blessed Guardians are furious. When a bomb interrupts 12-year-old Goldie Roth's Separation Day, she takes advantage of the chaos to run away, ultimately finding her way to the Museum of Dunt. Its four Guardians teach her how to survive on her own, how to steal, and how to live within the mysterious institution, which is much bigger than it seems, since it is constantly changing and home to all of the long-ago perils that filled Jewel back when it was the dangerous city of Dunt. When local politics endanger the existence of the Museum and its Guardians, and release war, plague, and other horrors on the city, Goldie and Toadspit have to come up with a plan for defeating the forces within in order to preserve the existence of Jewel. Tanner creates an enticing world, and the action picks up rapidly when Goldie enters the Museum. Readers are drawn into Jewel's past and present, learning along Goldie and wishing that they could acquire some of her nearly magical talents. A fun read and an intriguing start to a new series.Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Keepers (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385739052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385739054
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,478,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By Kate Coombs VINE VOICE on October 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This new fantasy is something of a parable, which can be a didactic choice. But Tanner mostly gets away with it, thanks to some colorful world building and equally colorful characters.

In the city of Jewel, people are so worried about the safety of their children that kids are basically leashed, hooked to the Blessed Guardians by day and their parents by night with fine silver chains. (The harassed children have invented what they call fingertalk for communicating with each other). If children misbehave, they are chained more severely, in heavy Punishment Chains. When children reach the age of twelve, their chains are unfastened. Think of the chains as training wheels, preparing kids for sensible behavior. Only--how awful!

But just as Goldie Roth is on the brink of freedom in the public ceremony known as Separation, conducted by the city's kindly Protector, another official called the Fugleman bursts in with news that his office has been bombed and a child hurt. It is decided that Jewel is unsafe, and the Separation is canceled. Goldie, whose silver chain has been replaced by a white ribbon for the ceremony, can't bear the thought. She impulsively cuts the ribbon and runs away.

Her parents are jailed in the House of Repentance for what she has done, and if Goldie is caught, she will be placed in a reform school called Care. Before that can happen, though, she is taken in by the odd crew of the seemingly decrepit Museum of Dunt--admitted only after they have happily concluded that she is a thief!

And so Goldie starts learning the mysteries of the museum, assisted by a begrudging boy named Toadspit, the other three keepers, and a terrifying yet loyal dog called a brizzlehound.
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Format: Hardcover
I love dystopian stories, especially when they have a little bit of fantasy thrown in. (Or a lot!) This one is written for the middle grade age range and it would be pleasing to boys or girls. The main character is a girl, but she quickly teams up with a boy around her age as well. The Museum itself has magical properties and it can feel and change where rooms are located and where stairs will lead you to. There is an entirely different world once one goes to the right places within the museum.

I was a bit lost as the story didn't ever explain why those that worked at the Museum felt that Goldie (the main character) was needed there, a plot point that seemed to have been overlooked. But, as that didn't really seem to matter in order to move the plot along, it wasn't a major issue. The story did have good moral values, which is another plus for the younger readers and I expect that they will enjoy the powers of the Museum as well.
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By A. Blake on September 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book!!
Goldie lives in the city of Jewel, where people are overprotective with their children. All children are guardchained to the Blessed Guardians. The Blessed Guardians are suppost to take care of them and protect them. Until Separation Day.
As Separation Day arrives, Golde finds it has been cancelled. She runs away. She eventually finds the Museum of Dunt, wth its own mysteries and secrets. Follow Goldie and her new friend Toadspit(just gotta love that name) as they uncover secrets and villianous plans. Plans that threaten everyone.
Magic, Friendshp, danger, mystery, and self discovery---this book has it all!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has a great deal going for it, but the missed opportunities may weigh down your enjoyment of it.

Goldie starts out as a fine character - spunky, independent, alert and common sensical. She has some real spirit, and after the first chapter you feel she may be able to carry the whole book. But then she gets overwhelmed by the other characters, who are not nearly as compelling as she is, and by a clunky plot.

In a nutshell, things are so good and calm and safe in the City of Jewel that everyone is afraid of everything. Adults are controlled through a cult of fear of injury to their children. The Guardians of the children exercise tremendous power, and the most repressive measures are always justified by reference to what is best and safest for the children. The head guardian has designs to take even greater control, and acts villainously to grow and consolidate his power. Now, this is a pretty sly commentary on our excessively safety conscious culture and on "helicopter parenting", but it wears a bit thin as the main driving force of the action in the book.

Goldie ends up in the "Museum", which is peopled by strange keepers and seems to be a living organism, the repository of all of Jewel's suppressed dangers. O.K., you can have a lot of fun with this as a metaphor, but it gets very clunky very fast as the framing magical fantasy idea of the book. These keepers are never ever developed. What exactly the Museum is and what all it contains are never really addressed. There are a few brief set action or intrigue or fantasy pieces, but none of it hangs together and none of it withstands any thought.

And that, of course, marks the book's strength and its weakness. It is a light, quick, undemanding read. It is intro level dystopia and fantasy.
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