What Educators are Saying about CATCHER’S KEEPER…
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 (Retired)
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