Eight Keys

Suzanne M. LaFleur, Author
Suzanne LaFleur. Random/Lamb, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-385-74030-2
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-14-196788-2
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-0-375-87213-6
Open Ebook - 120 pages - 978-0-375-89905-8
Library Binding - 216 pages - 978-0-385-90833-7
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LaFleur's second novel is a quiet and emotionally honest coming-of-age story chronicling Elise's journey into middle school. Elise has lived with her aunt and uncle since her parents' deaths many years earlier. Before he died, Elise's father made eight rooms on the second floor of the barn for Elise to open when the time was right. After Elise turns 12, keys to the rooms appear, one by one, and Elise gets to know her parents, her aunt and uncle, and herself from the things her father has left her. At school Elise is dealing with a bully, falling behind in homework, and being embarrassed by her lifelong friend Franklin, who doesn't understand why bringing Star Wars toys to school or playing pretend games aren't cool anymore. LaFleur (Love, Aubrey) writes with uncommon sensitivity to the fraught period between childhood and the teenage years, when friendships balance on a razor's edge and nothing feels certain. The heart of the story lies in the layered relationships and characters that give the novel its powerful sense of realism. Ages 9–12. (Aug.)
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