Sometimes the best of friends come from the unlikeliest of places, and from deep love, one gains courage--even enough to change an entire town including the lives of two recovering alcoholics and eight at-risk, over the edge, high school seniors. But how is that possible?
Ten-year-old Cody has spunk. He lives for finding his next adventure, whether it's playing basketball with the older kids or marveling the other kids with his card tricks. Cody's spirit never waivers even after he receives news of a terrible diagnosis, and the last thing he wants to be known as is the kid with cancer. But news travels fast in a small suburban town, and that's exactly what Cody becomes. That is, until he makes a new, unexpected friend. "Tomato Man," as Cody calls him, is Cody's golden ticket to being cool again. While their quirky bond grows, the tomato vendor shows Cody all kinds of things: a hip hop dance routine, fashion trends that soon catch on with the whole school, and even rides on the back of Tomato Man's impressive motorcycle!
Cody's friendship with Tomato Man takes on a new dimension when Cody bravely defends his friend from the town's real estate tycoon and the two become a longed for duo, even to those in the detention center, as they make rounds on the supercharged motorcycle, spreading good will and fresh vegetables. Then, tragedy suddenly strikes! With a small town left reeling, can Cody and Tomato Man's legacy continue?
"A beloved child dies of cancer. Will he be forgotten, or will his legacy help other young people build better lives, and bring hope and joy to a community? In Watch Keepers, Anne Carson has told a poignant story of love and healing. It will inspire readers of all ages, and--who knows?--perhaps encourage someone somewhere to create a watch-keepers program for his community." -Dee McRea, former Associate Editor, Associate for Reviews, Smithsonian Magazine
"Watch Keepers is a beautiful blend of joy, adventure, sadness and hope. The characters have had quite an impact on me as they have inspired self-reflection as well as a sense of connection to their struggles and achievements. Watch Keepers is unique in that it is an appealing read for all ages!" -Melinda Ruppert, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Mechanicsville, Maryland
"As a librarian, I am often approached by parents seeking a book that will present positive role models for their children. Watch Keepers is a book that will keep young readers engaged by an interesting plot, absorbing characters and an inspiring message. Highly recommended. -Robert Gatton, Children's Librarian, Calvert County Public Library, Maryland
"It is unusual to find a novel for young readers that helps them to understand themselves as individuals, family members and contributing members of the community. The Watch Keepers is a powerful antidote to the negative images that so often confront our children. The book does not flinch from presenting personal dilemmas and difficult situations, but ultimately shows the reader that it is possible to transcend difficulties through positive actions with their peers, through the guidance of compassionate adults." L. Steven Berns, LCSW-C, JD Psychotherapist, Solomons, Maryland
"After reading the book, I had a new understanding of true friendship and the commitment it takes. I really enjoyed the book and found it encouraging to have such a young kid have the heart to do good for others." Cameron Barford, Ryken High School, Leonardtown, Maryland