Square Fish
Farrar, Strauss and Giroux

January 2013

$9.99 US

120p pb

ISBN: 978-0312641276

fp April 2003

Keesha's House

Helen Frost

from the book...

At Joe's, Keesha has found a safe place to live, and other kids gravitate to her house when they just can't make it on their own.


They are:

STEPHIE - pregnant, trying to make the right decisions for herself and those she cares about;

JASON - Stephie's boyfriend, torn between his responsibility to Stephie and the baby and the promise of a college basketball career;

DONTAY - in foster care while his parents are in prison, feeling unwanted both inside and outside the system;

CARMEN - arrested on a DUI charge, waiting in a juvenile detention centre for a judge to hear her case;

HARRIS - disowned by his father after disclosing that he's gay, living in his car and taking care of himself;

KATIE - angry at her mother's loyalty to an abusive stepfather, losing herself in long hours of work and school.

and KEESHA - struggling to find a way to take care of herself and protect her younger brother after her father kicks her out.


Written in traditional poetic forms, Helen Frost's extraordinary novel weaves together the stories of these seven teenagers as they struggle to hold their lives together and overcome their difficulties.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

Keesh’a House is a compelling verse novel about seven teenagers on their own in the world for either a short period of time or the rest of their lives. This book is full of drama and an easy read, despite the dramatic issues dealt with.

Keesha’s house is a communal house owned by Joe. Joe doesn’t ask questions about the children he takes in; he respects their privacy and understands how they feel as he needed somewhere to stay when he was a teen himself. I really liked Joe and thought that he is the sort of person that our current society is severely lacking in.

My other favourite character is Stephie, mainly because I can associate with her and I think that she accepts all the problems thrown her way with an air of grace and a kind heart.

Overall I have to say that I really enjoyed this book and its look at teenagers on the depressing side of life.

Alex, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

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