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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.
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.
This stirring adventure—a soccer story? a ghost story?—defies expectations. . . . Both lyrical and gripping.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)