Keeper of the Doves

Keeper of the Doves

by Betsy Byars
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Keeper of the Doves by Betsy Byars

Amen McBee, the youngest of five sisters, gobbles up words the way other children gobble up sweets.  She couldn't be more different from her elder twin sisters Arabella and Annabella-called the Bellas.  The mischievous Bellas constantly frighten Amen with stories of Mr. Tominski-the old recluse who lives in the woods nearby and mysteriously tends to a flock of doves.  The Bellas insist that Mr. Tominski is a dangerous bogeyman who eats children whole, but Papa vows that the "keeper of the doves" wouldn't hurt a soul.  When tragedy strikes the family Amen must decide once and for all who is right.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142400630
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/09/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile: 590L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Betsy Byars began her writing career rather late in life. "In all of my school years, . . . not one single teacher ever said to me, 'Perhaps you should consider becoming a writer,'" Byars recalls. "Anyway, I didn't want to be a writer. Writing seemed boring. You sat in a room all day by yourself and typed. If I was going to be a writer at all, I was going to be a foreign correspondent like Claudette Colbert in Arise My Love. I would wear smashing hats, wisecrack with the guys, and have a byline known round the world. My father wanted me to be a mathematician." So Byars set out to become mathematician, but when she couldn't grasp calculus in college, she turned to English. Even then, writing was not on her immediate horizon.

First, she married and started a family. The writing career didn't emerge until she was 28, a mother of two children, and living in a small place she called the barracks apartment, in Urbana, Illinois. She and her husband, Ed, had moved there in 1956 so he could attend graduate school at the University of Illinois. She was bored, had no friends, and so turned to writing to fill her time. Byars started writing articles for The Saturday Evening Post, Look,and other magazines. As her family grew and her children started to read, she began to write books for young people and, fortunately for her readers, discovered that there was more to being a writer than sitting in front of a typewriter.

"Making up stories and characters is so interesting that I'm never bored. Each book has been a different writing experience. It takes me about a year to write a book, but I spend another year thinking about it, polishing it, and making improvements. I always put something of myself intomy books -- something that happened to me. Once a wanderer came by my house and showed me how to brush my teeth with a cherry twig; that went in The House of Wingscopyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Betsy Byars’ creation, Keeper of the Doves, is a beautiful, simple story with entertaining characters and teachable moments.  Amen (nickname “Amie”) McBee is a child who loves words while growing up in the shadows of her older sisters.  The chapters are in alphabetical order and supports Amen’s love of words.  Amen learns to forget the prejudices against the old Mr. Tominski who lives on the outskirts of the family’s land in a run-down chapel.  This book is a lesson for everyone to spend the time in order to know someone before judging the person.  It is a great summer read packed with life lessons for all ages. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Another girl! Not another girl? Don't tell me I've got another daughter!' Those were the first words Amen McBee heard when she was born. It was summer at the willows in 1899 and the Bella's (Amen's twin sisters), Abigal and Augusta (also sister's of Amen), and Mr Tominski are about to encounter some adventures that could turn their small world upside down. They will be faced with new inventions, death, and new people coming to their world. Amen herself has to witness the death, the birth, and the unforgiving anger. In this book the pages really fly and I really felt as though I were being sucked into the novel as it got more and more in depth and intenser. You other middle schoolers will have a greater sense of self after reading this book I guarantee it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very good and well written. It is about Amen and her pesky sisters mainly, the Bella's. But when Amen becomes curious about Mr. Tominski, the mysterious man who lives in the cemetary, the Bella's start telling her stories. They tell her things that frighten Amen, and makes her terrified of Mr. Tominski. But Amen soon learns the family history with Mr. Tominski, the keeper of the doves, and could change her feelings about him forever. I enjoyed this book very much! Some parts are suspensful and if you like that in a book, Keeper of the Doves could be a book for you. I felt like I was in the book, right there with Amen and some of her fears. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.