August 11th 2011
Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor.
When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn...
Eight Keys is a cute and touching book about bullying, family and friends that despite it being written for slightly younger children, I thoroughly enjoyed (and maybe even cried a little at... It was sad!) But it really is a great book, and Elise's journey is really great... It's nice to see someone sort of discovering who they were and who they are now, you know?
Elise was interesting. I didn't always like her, I'll admit, because she could be quite mean herself to Franklin, but she's like, only 11, and I know that if other people take the mick out of someone and you don't want the mick taken out of you too, you just sort of go along with it. Elise didn't really know what she was doing to her friendship or anything. And she was getting bullied and everything too... She just didn't know how to handle everything. But it was really great seeing her as she went through all that and how she was at the end of the book.
I did feel so bad for Franklin though when Elise was being mean to him! He's so adorable! Why anyone would be horrible to him, I just don't know... But then again, being an adorable innocent nerd is a good enough reason to bully someone most of the time... How could anyone call him a name and then not think that it was like kicking a puppy or something! But I liked him even more for how he didn't care if people called him names, and how it was only when Elise was mean to him that he got upset (well, I didn't like it of course, but you get me...) But he was such a good friend! How Elise could even try and hang out with him less because it made her look more cool, I don't even know!
I think my favourite part of the book though was the eight rooms. I loved finding out what was in all of them, and what all of them were for, and how they each made Elise understand things about her dad, and her family situation, and her getting more of an understanding about school, and what was happening to her and what she was doing to Franklin. Plus, one of the rooms was a library. Which makes it awesome.
Eight Keys is a moving book, with characters that might not always be likeable, but are incredibly realistic, and a story that shows how bullying can effect people and change them and how they get back from that.