Keeper by Mal Peet


Written by Mal Peet

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Reissued to coincide with the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, this is the extraordinary debut novel from multi-award winning author Mal Peet. Set in South America, this compelling adventure is told as an interview between a top sports reporter and the world’s greatest goalkeeper. Not just for football fiction fans, this is masterful storytelling at its best.

This is the first in this extraordinary football linked trilogy. The second is Penalty and the final one is Exposure.

Winner of the 2004 Branford Boase Award

Winner of the 2004 Bronze Nestle Smarties Book Award

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Keeper by Mal Peet

This is an extraordinary debut novel, winner of the Branford Boase Award and the Bronze Nestle Children's Book Prize. In a newspaper office, Paul Faustino, South America's top football writer, sits opposite the man they call El Gato 'the Cat', the world's greatest goalkeeper. On the table between them stands the World Cup. In the hours that follow, El Gato tells his incredible story - how he, a poor logger's son, learns to become a World Cup-winning goalkeeper so good he is almost unbeatable. And the most remarkable part of this story is the man who teaches him: the mysterious Keeper, who haunts a football pitch at the heart of the claustrophobic rainforest...


Physical, spiritual - Arthurian, even - this is true enchantment. TES Teacher Tense and atmospheric [...] refreshing original story in which footballing familiars are shot through with curious and satisfying magical realism. The Guardian Has all the ingredients of a great children's novel with drama, suspense and an extraordinarily moving ending...children will love it. Daily Express A brilliant book, thoroughly and richly entertaining. The School Librarian Nothing for the 12-plus age range to beat Mal Peet's now classic World Cup novel The Daily Telegraph The ultimate football novel ... extraordinary Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Mal Peet

Mal Peet (June 1947 – 2 March 2015), winner of the Nestle Bronze Medal Award and the Branford Boase Award grew up in North Norfolk, and studied English and American Studies at the University of Warwick. Later he moved to south-west England and worked at a variety of jobs before turning full-time to writing and illustrating in the early 1990s. With his wife, Elspeth Graham, he wrote and illustrated many educational picture books for young children, and his cartoons appeared in a number of magazines. He and Elspeth lived in Exmouth, Devon.

Tamar won the Carnegie Medal and is a multi-layered tale of love and betrayal. He wrote three other linked novels, Keeper, The Penalty and Exposure, all featuring the football obsessed Paul Faustino, a sports journalist in South America who is reluctantly drawn into murders and mysteries.

Exposure won the 2009 Guardian Award for Children’s Fiction. On his award win, Mal said, “I’m totally thrilled to win the Guardian prize. I’ve been buying the newspaper for 35 years, so I’ve worked for it! In fact, if you subtract the prize money from what I’ve spent at the newsagents, the Guardian is way ahead on the deal! I don’t mind – the Guardian prize is very special. It’s judged by other writers so it’s pretty likely that if you win it, you deserve it.”

He also wrote a critically acclaimed adult novel, The Murdstone Trilogy

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Book Info


240 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Mal Peet
More books by Mal Peet

Author's Website


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

3rd May 2010




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