Safekeeping

By Karen Hesse. Book Report by Kyle Ott.

Radley doesn't know what has happened to the United States. What is more concerning than this? She doesn't know what has happened to her parents.

Radley is a 17 year old girl, who has recently gone on a service trip to Haiti. When she comes back to America, she doesn't have any clue what is going on. There are many people being put in jail and many being forced to move because of a new presidential election. It is complete chaos. Once Radley finds her way home to Vermont, walking from the airport, she finds her house empty with police sitting outside.


Radley knows she has to leave, and flees to Canada for safety. She survives by sleeping in the woods and occasional sheds. She eats food out of dumpsters at gas stations or restaurants, as all credit card lines are down. Along the way, she encounters a girl named Celia. Celia does not wish to talk very much, but it is comforting for Radley to have someone to share the time walking with. They also save each other's lives along the way to Canada from sickness and interactions with people driving by.


Once Radley and Celia sneak into Canada, they convert an abandoned schoolhouse into their home. Radley gathers food from a ladies garden, and the lady starts to leave other survival items. Celia and Radley grow very close to each other, and Radley learns that Celia left because she had gotten pregnant and had a bad reputation at home. The lady who leaves things for the two leaves a train ticket and some money. Radley cannot wait to see her parents.


Radley goes back to Vermont and finds her house almost demolished. An old friend named Julian tells her of the tragic event that has happened. If you would like to know what happens to Radley, her parents, Julian, and Celia, you will have to read the book.

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Additional Information

Safekeeping is realistic fiction and is written in a first-person point of view, with Radley telling the story. The theme of the book is the importance of friendship and perseverance, as Radley seemed hopeless many times and depended on others, especially Celia.

What did I enjoy about the book?

I enjoyed how well the author was able to make me feel as if it were me in Radley's position, and how interested it kept me throughout the whole story. As Radley experienced highs and lows, I felt the same as she did at the time.

The author's writing.

The author did a great job writing the book, making me feel as if the book came to life. She was very descriptive in her writing, and was able to keep the non-action parts of the book from being too dull or boring.

Was the ending satisfactory?

The ending was very satisfying for me. While there were times when it felt hopeless, Radley had become such a strong individual by the end of the book. It was also enjoyable to see how Celia's life turned around while she was in Canada.

Why I would recommend "Safekeeping".

Safekeeping is very well organized and is not difficult to read. The other does not use over-complicated words or ideas, but keeps the book entertaining. While there is not a lot of action, romance, or comedy, the book did a great job of pulling me out of my own life and actually thinking that it was real at times. It is definitely one of my favorite books.