Keeper of Secrets (pre-order)


Sarah J Dodd | 9781913102456 | Out 2nd September


Eleven-year-old Emily doesn’t think Badger Cottage – where she’s had to move with her vet father after her mum died – will ever be home. But there is something out there that needs her; a bright pair of eyes in the darkness.

In the middle of a fierce battle between a conservation project to rewild the lynx in the woods and the local farmers, Emily tries to shield a baby lynx she calls Lotta, afraid it will be killed by the person who killed its mother. Can Emily work out who the illegal hunter is in time? Who can she trust?


Available on backorder

Praise for the book

‘A story of loss and loneliness, and finding new friends and hope in the bleak of winter – and of wild things that change everything. I loved it!’ Amy Wilson, author of A Girl Called Owl, A Far Away Magic and Snowglobe

2 reviews for Keeper of Secrets (pre-order)

  1. Amelia Cameron

    Keeper of Secrets is a touching story of family, loss and grief, and change. A real standout element of this book is that it deals remarkably well with addressing these subjects for younger readers. The book manages to acknowledge the difficulty of dealing with grief at a young age while those closest to you, your support system, are also grieving. Another bonus is that the book is set around Christmas- a time that can be difficult for those who have lost someone.

    Keeper of Secrets was an absolute delight to read, and the story is something that can truly be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age (I’ve already started recommending it to friends!).
    I read the entire book in one sitting, and not once did I lose an ounce of interest in the story. The pace of the story keeps you wrapped up in the book for its entirety. The writing style is simplistic yet immersive enough for the story, and it even manages to be comedic at times- there were many points in the book where I found myself having a little laugh at some descriptions. At the same time Keeper of Secrets really pulled on my heartstrings, and I found while reading that there were a few moments I had to pause because I could feel myself welling up with tears. Overall, it’s a perfect winter book and I do not doubt that Keeper of Secrets is going to be a book that helps and comforts younger children and teens who are going through loss and change in their lives. It’s absolutely a five-star book!

    Thank you to Firefly Press and NetGalley for the E-ARC!
    #KeeperofSecrets #NetGalley

  2. Gwen Morris

    As someone who’s spent a lot of time working with young people, Emily’s character felt utterly real to me. From her quiet observations of the people around her to her distrustful attitude towards adults, I’ve met many students like Emily who would surely benefit from reading this thoughtful and sensitive novel.

    Keeper of Secrets covers themes such as grief, nature and coping with change, and provides plenty of opportunities to spark discussions around these topics. I’d be particularly interested to find out how young readers respond to the lynx debate as Dodd explores different characters’ perspectives in such an empathetic and balanced manner. Though Emily faces some painful realisations throughout the course of the novel, I was genuinely touched to see her grow in confidence as she learns to prioritise what is right over what is easy (though this doesn’t always go to plan!).

    Dodd also has a habit of ending chapters on a cliff-hanger, which forced me to keep reading when I should have been doing housework, though I suppose I can’t blame all the mess in my flat on Sarah J. Dodd. The end result is a gripping and evocative read which will capture the imaginations of young readers and adults alike. Keeper of Secrets is a beautifully-written, faced-paced book which is perfect for middle-grade readers. Its language is accessible throughout, but retains enough subtlety to keep readers guessing until the ending is revealed.

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