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In a refreshed paperback edition with a bold cover, this novel by award-winning author Mal Peet transports readers to a fictional South American country and a world of soccer, celebrity, and strange occurrences investigated by sports reporter Paul Faustino.

When Paul Faustino of La Nación flips on his tape recorder for an exclusive interview with El Gato — the phenomenal goalkeeper who single-handedly won his team the World Cup — the seasoned reporter quickly learns that this will be no ordinary story. Instead, the legendary El Gato narrates a spellbinding tale that begins in the South American rain forest, where a ghostly but very real mentor, the Keeper, emerges to teach a poor, gawky boy the most thrilling secrets of the game. A seamless blend of magic realism and exhilarating soccer action, this evocative novel will haunt readers long after the story ends.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781511330176
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 09/08/2015
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 14 Years

About the Author

MAL PEET grew up in Norfolk, England, where he says the only worthwhile pastimes were reading books and playing soccer. These are still his main interests. Of KEEPER, his first novel for young adults, he says, "Many soccer stories seem to get stuck in the mud like a heavy ball on a wet Saturday afternoon, but there's no reason why they can't shift into a different and magical dimension. KEEPER is about soccer, of course, but it's also about the supernatural, about relationships and loneliness, about believing in yourself—and about having something you would do your utmost to protect and defend." Mal Peet now lives in Devon, England.

Read an Excerpt


By Mal Peet


Copyright © 2005

Mal Peet

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0763627496

You probably don't think this is remarkable. But if you knew the jungle, you would find it hard to believe me, because an open space in the jungle is not possible. Something, anything, will occupy any space where it can find light to live and grow. Yet here was this clearing, and it was covered in grass. Yes, grass. Short grass. Turf. Impossible. Absolutely impossible. I walked out onto this grass very slowly, far more alarmed by this clearing than by any plant or creature I had met in the jungle itself. . . .

I was in a space that was about one hundred yards long and maybe half as wide, and I had walked out of the forest at a point about halfway down its length. I looked at first to my left and saw how the clearing ended in a dense, shadowy wall of trees. Then I looked to my right. And froze.

Standing there, with its back to the trees, was a goal. A soccer goal. Two uprights and a crossbar. With a net. A net fixed up like the old-fashioned ones, pulled back and tied to two poles behind the goal. My brain stood still in my head. I could hear the thumping of my blood. I must have looked like an idiot, my eyes mad and staring, my mouth hanging open. Eventually I found the nerve to take a few steps toward this goal, this quite impossible goal. The woodwork was a silvery gray, and the grain of the wood was open and rough. Weathered, like the timber of old boats left for years on the beach. It shoneslightly. The net had the same color, like cobwebs, and thin green plant tendrils grew up the two poles that supported it.

It seemed to take an age, my whole life, to walk into that goalmouth. When I got there, I put out my hands and held the net. It was sound and strong, despite its great age. I was completely baffled and stood there, my fingers in the mesh of the net and my back to the clearing, trying, and failing, to make sense of all this.

And then my fingers began to tremble, and then my legs, because I was suddenly certain that I was not alone.


KEEPER by Mal Peet. Copyright (c) 2005 by Mal Peet. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.


Excerpted from Keeper
by Mal Peet
Copyright © 2005 by Mal Peet.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Keeper 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Keeper I would recommend reading this book because it is very inspiring. This book is very full of joy and happy, it never losses my attention. I always hated reading but when I saw this book it was eye catching. The cover was beautiful, also the reason I read this book is because it was about soccer. This book was never boring it always had new things that I was not expecting. This book was about a Boy named El Gato. He was never good at soccer but then he meets a man in the middle of the jungle and he taught him how to become the best goal keeper ever. Eventually El Gato becomes the best goal keeper and wins the world championship and get the gold medal. This book really inspired me on not giving up because when El Gato started playing soccer he did not know how to play, matter a fact he was the worst in his whole town. His town was really into soccer and everyone played after school or work or get together in a café and watch soccer games. El Gato was never interested in playing but then when he meet this man (his name wasn¿t in it) he was very inspired on playing soccer, and eventually he became the best goal keeper. This book is truly an amazing book and I really enjoyed reading it. It inspired me to never give up even on things that I don¿t like. There are many things that I don¿t like out there but I know that if I try I could actually accomplish something amazing in life. This book has really touched me and I really has inspired me to do something that I don¿t like or try something that I never thought I would like. There were some moments in the book that were different from my culture and things I did not understand because El Gato and his town and family were all Mexican and all lived in Mexico. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others to read. Especially people who like soccer. This book is a touching book and is very interesting and never losses interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a good book for any one who likes sports. It tells you that you can follow your dream and it might come true one day. That is more in life to find out that you can do that. I really like this book because of all the characters and every event. This book gives out many emotions like sad, sacared, excited, and many more. If you read this book it will satisfy you. This book is more then just paper it is a realistic fiction so it probaly happened to a keeper before. I'm not saying that it has, but that is amazing if it did. That is what my review is on the book Keeper.
creighley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Soccer players would love this story. Nice action and a great feeling for being in the goal.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best YA books I've read in a long time and one of the best sports books (YA or other) that I've read in a really, really long time. Centered around a fictitious world cup winning goalkeeper, Keeper is an amazing story about the supernatural crossed with soccer. It's fun, funny, sad, beautiful and moving, all mixed in together. Peet's gift for words, his engrossing plot and exceptional characters make Keeper a brilliant book. I have so much love for this book. My only complaint is that it took me far too long to finally pick it up.
ljpage on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A transcendental book about soccer. El Gato begins as a young boy, too clumsy and dorky to play. Tired of sitting on the sidelines, he starts exploring the rainforest near his home. He finds a mysterious clearing and a ghostly mentor who helps him become a goalkeeper.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RKBookman More than 1 year ago
This book is facinating and a must read for boys 12 and up who have some knowledge of soccar. As someone who knows nothing of soccer, I got a little lost near the end of the book when a game was being described in detail. However, most of this book is not about a soccer game. It is about a boy growing up in the rainforest of South American and then in the world of professional soccar. It is about how that boy finds himself, his talent and his passion with the help of magic. It is a short but intense read with an amazing use of words to describe people and the world around them.
Israel_H More than 1 year ago
Keeper is a very interesting book written by Mal Peet. Mal Peet has created a very interesting story that keeps you wanting more. This book is about a boy who went from being the worst soccer player in his village to winning the world cup. The main character of the book goes by the nickname “El Gato”. El Gato lived in a small logging town in the middle of a forest. He was an ordinary kid who was tall, skinny and awkward. El Gato was not very good at soccer because of his size and also for the fact that he had large, uncontrollable feet. One day El Gato gave up on soccer because he felt that he would never be good enough to be noticed on the field. El Gato went into the forest around his village and would go for walks and look at the plants, insects, animals, etc. El Gato would go into the forest everyday and his mother knew this, so she gave him journals and books to write and draw what he saw and his experiences in the forest. One day El Gato sees a patch of light in between the trees in the forest and walks toward it only to find out that there is a soccer field on the other side. When El Gato steps into the light he sees an old soccer net and feels like time is moving in slow motion. After El Gato was finished taking in the sight a man appeared, El Gato thought it was a dream because the man seemed to move in slow motion like pictures melting into each other and did not seem to have a face. The book is told through the words of El Gato himself. He is being interviewed by a man named Paul Faustino after his victory of the world cup. The interview is about El Gato’s experiences growing up and how he became to be a great goalkeeper. The dialogue between the two men is very believable and sometimes makes me feel like I am in the room with them. This book really comes to life when it goes into detail about the training that El Gato went through and what the lessons end up teaching him. This book reminds me about the movie Karate Kid, in the Karate Kid the main character wants to learn how to fight and must go through a series of motions that seem like a waste of time but end up becoming his best skills during his tournament. This book had me reading page after page because I wanted to see what El Gato learned. The keeper was the man who had taught El Gato everything he knew. When the keeper would help El Gato train, he would teach him life lessons that apply to the soccer field also. If you are a sports fan, especially a soccer fan, this is the right book for you. This book tells about the rigorous training of the main character and how it leads up to him becoming the “world’s greatest goalkeeper.”
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I'm the assisstant golie for my soccer team so...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I totally love this book its so good im rereading it now!!!!!!
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Lorenzo Lamo More than 1 year ago
this is a good book and very descriptive
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Juanp More than 1 year ago
Keeper is about a kid that lives in the jungle and loves playing soccer but struggles to play soccer because he doesn't know how to play and what are the rules. Then he becomes the best goalie of the whole world. He became the best goalie by playing with a soccer ball that he found in the jungle. Well then check out KEEPER by MAL PEET. Am about to tell you a little about the book, there is a kid call EL GATO his the protagonist and there is the people that told him he couldn't play soccer and that he couldn't be the best soccer player of the world. He always used to go inside in one cave in the jungle after that he went more into the jungle than usual when he went inside he found a soccer ball and a goalie then a man came out of the jungle and came to him and told him be goal keeper if I make a goal we change and I will be the goal keeper. In the beginning of the book KEEPER EL GATO had won the world cup for being one of the best keepers in the world. Then Faustino was asking EL GATO how he did to be the best when he was little and what he did it was that took steps to become the best keeper of the world. Something that was going on at the middle of the book was that EL GATO was telling Faustino that if instead of putting the information into a newspaper he could put it in a book because that information (his life) he hadn't said it to nobody so it was so special and if Faustino put it on a newspaper people would just throw it to the floor but if he put it on a book people will keep it and save it. My favorite part of this book is when EL GATO went more deep into the jungle than usual and he found a soccer ball and a goalie. This was a good part because is like how EL GATO started playing good. EL GATO started playing good because he found a ghost so this ghost showed EL GATO how to play as a goalie. This is an interesting part of the book because I don't know if the ghost was saying the truth that his was going to help him play soccer or what if he kills EL GATO or rove him or something like that. As I read this book I was thinking about what was EL GATO going to tell Faustino about how he become a processional KEEPER. Teens usually connects to this book because a lot of kids have goals in life but they start from beginning until they have accomplished their goals and thats what happened to EL GATO he wanted to be a soccer player but he wasn't good but he didn't give up. He didn't give up until he became the best goal keeper of the world. This book helped me realize a lot of things about life but the thing that this book helped me realize about life the most is that sometimes you think that sometimes you can't accomplish your goals right away and that you think that you can't accomplish your goal but that you have to work hard to accomplish your goal. In my opinion I think that the theme of this book is to never give up when you have a dream or a goal. I think that this theme was clear in every part of the book or most of the beginning and some of the middle too. But the part that was the most clear was when EL GATO said "I will I never give up until I have my dream accomplish." In general this was an awesome book it was like one of the books I have never read it in my life. I will that this is one of the best book I had been reading in my life because I like soccer and this book was not a boring soccer book it was a fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Libra007 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. It blew me away. I read it during a camping trip last week and was hooked from the first page to the last page. Mal Peet is an AMAZING writer. The plot was so original and enthralling, I couldn't put it down. The Keeper was the best part of the whole novel. The ending gave me goosebumps. This book was full of vivid imagery of the rainforest, excellent characters, and some very poignant moments. Don't pass this soccer book up!
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