Catcher’s Keeper was chosen as Finalist in 2014 Indie Excellence Book Awards. The National Indie Excellence® Book Awards contest is proudly sponsored by Smarketing LLC.  The competition is judged by independent experts from all aspects of the indie book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. They select award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in addition to the writing. “Your book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you and your fine work.” – Ellen Reid, President & CEO, National Indie Excellence Awards


Out of 10,000 submitted entries, Catcher’s Keeper was one of only 500 quarter-finalists (top 5%) in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) contest. The annual contest, sponsored by, Penguin Group, Hewlett Packard, CreateSpace, and BookSurge, publishes and promotes winning manuscripts by unknown or unpublished authors.


What people are saying about Catcher’s Keeper:

“Holden Caulfield, the narrator of The Catcher in the Rye, possesses one of the most distinctive voices in American literature, and JD Spero captures it perfectly in the fascinating and thought-provoking Catcher’s Keeper. Narrated by Holden, his brother and sister, the book spins an alternate reality where Catcher is published two decades later, and puts its publicity tour on a collision course with the murder of John Lennon. Spero does a great job of distinguishing the three sibling’s voices, and keeps us guessing whether they can change history, right up to its exciting conclusion. A great debut novel.”

– Steve Alcorn, Theme Park Designer and Writing Instructor


“Catcher’s Keeper by J.D. Spero was one of the quarter-finalists among the thousands of entries in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) contest organized annually by in association with Penguin Group, Hewlett Packard, CreateSpace and BookSurge. It is a spin-off of the highly edgy J.D. Salinger’s classic, The Catcher in the Rye, which was first published in 1951. The Catcher in the Rye follows the cynical adolescent attitude of sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield shortly after he has been ejected from school. It was included among the list of banned books.

In Catcher’s Keeper, J.D. Spero crafted an incredible story with a hypothetical question: What if Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, is around when John Lennon was shot? John Lennon was shot on December 8, 1980 outside The Dakota apartment building in New York City by Mark David Chapman, who believed he was Holden Caulfield. While waiting for John Lennon to appear, Chapman read The Catcher in the Rye. He also offered the book as “his statement.” Interestingly enough, Chapman wrote several letters to a NYPD cop Stephen Spiro and asked him to read the book, hinting that the novel could explain what sparked the Dec. 8, 1980 murder.

J.D. Spero’s Catcher’s Keeper is tantalizingly irresistible with plot twists and turns that defies characterization. In the story, Alden goes to New York to recover the journal stolen by his brother which he published as his own. Unfortunately, one delusional reader misconstrues the meaning of the book and prepares to kill John Lennon. Alden and his brother must do everything within their power to foil the killing.

The story is enjoyable, and J.D. Spero’s creativity is astounding. The book raises questions seldom found in a novel. All in all, this book which is inspired by a true story makes for a great read.”

– AMAZON Top 500 Reviewer


What Educators are Saying…

My excitement at finally seeing what would have happened to “Holden” came home with the publication of “Catcher’s Keeper” by JD Spero. From the beginning to the end the characters make one comfortably uncomfortable. The MD character was as disturbing as one would have expected and the integration of the three siblings Jerry, Alden, and Fiona make the journey as one would hope; intense, loving, and deeply moving. The novel is one I will be using in my classroom this year and for years to come because of its intensity, compassion, and commitment to truth, innocence, AND reality. An amazing piece of work by JD Spero. Thank you for letting your creativity flow while connecting to the iconic character Holden Caulfield.

–          Steve Malenfant, Newburyport High School, MA


Having taught “Catcher in the Rye” for 25 years, I was eager to attend Johannah Spero’s discussion of her sequel, because, like my students, I always worried about what would become of Holden and his family. “Catcher’s Keeper” is set about 20 years later and is told from multiple viewpoints, so it is a continuation, but also a departure regarding time, point of view, characterization and narrative style.

I really liked being back with the Caulfields, warts and all. The vulnerability of the mother and her inability to handle the grieving of her children explains much of what ensued after Allie’s death. The Phoebe-like character retains her sensitivity and generosity into adulthood, while the D.B.- like character assumes a more significant role. I read it very quickly as I know many students will do the same. Invariably, when we would finish Catcher.., they would ask, “What else do you have that is like this?”

Johannah’s enthusiasm is contagious and I could only think how much her students must love her classes. I wholeheartedly recommend this presentation.

–          Suzanne Merrril, Queensbury High School, NY (Retired)

What a day!  My first impression of Johannah’s was that it’s obvious she is a former teacher. She not only spoke with clarity and ease, but she engaged a class full of teenagers on a hot summer day all without breaking a sweat. Her presentation was flawless. She kept students engaged by asking them questions and allowing time for them to chat, write and ask their questions. She even led them through an activity designed to help anyone outline a novel. It’s obvious by her ease with teenagers that Johannah is still a teacher at heart.  We were very lucky to land a visit from this upcoming rock star and wish her luck on her newest novel!​ Thanks again!

      Kristina Peterson, Exeter High School