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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


A Novel of Tomorrow

Karen Hesse

Square Fish


Radley's parents had warned her that all hell would break loose if the American People's Party took power. And now, with the president assassinated and the government cracking down on citizens, the news is filled with images of vigilante groups, frenzied looting, and police raids. It seems as if all hell has broken loose.

Coming back from volunteering abroad, Radley just wants to get home to Vermont, and the comfort and safety of her parents. Travel restrictions and delays are worse than ever, and by the time Radley's plane lands in New Hampshire, she's been traveling for over twenty-four hours. Exhausted, she heads outside to find her parents—who always come, day or night, no matter when or where she lands—aren't there.

Her cell phone is dead, her credit cards are worthless, and she doesn't have the proper travel papers to cross state lines. Out of money and options, Radley starts walking. . . .

Illustrated with 50 of her own haunting and beautiful photographs, this is a vision of a future America that only Karen Hesse could write: real, gripping, and deeply personal.

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year

part one

I stare out the small window over a vast field of clouds.
New travel restrictions ban even backpacks from the cabin of the plane.
I haven't brought much out of Haiti anyway. The orphans at Paradis des Enfants...

Praise for Safekeeping

“The realistic treatment of the experiences of ordinary people in suddenly harsh circumstances makes for an absorbing character study, and the tale is suffused with an understated sadness and a vivid sense of place.” —BCCB

“Hesse offers some of her best in lavish descriptions of nature and mood…” —Kirkus

“Hesse (Brooklyn Bridge) beautifully captures the changing landscape of a journey…” —Publishers Weekly

“A masterfully written powerhouse of a book.” —School Library Journal, starred

“Mature high school students will especially appreciate this book, perhaps as they embark on the next step in their journey of life.” —VOYA


Reviews from Goodreads

Karen Hesse

KAREN HESSE is the winner of the MacArthur Genius Award, and the acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including Brooklyn Bridge and Out of the Dust, a Newbery Medal Winner. She has received numerous honors for her writing. She lives in Brattleboro, Vermont.

image of Karen Hesseo

Karen Hesse

Square Fish

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