The Folk Keeper



Lyrical and exciting novel with strong heroine.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Corinna lies and exacts revenge.


Murder and attempted murder. The Folk are violent and cruel.

Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the protagonist is deceptive and vengeful, but proves to be a strong and admirable heroine.

What's the story?

When orphan Corinna is sent to the Rhysbridge Foundling Home, she disguises herself as a boy, Corin, and takes on the job of Folk Keeper. In the vaguely medieval world of the story, the Folk are mysterious underground creatures whose anger must be kept in check. This Folk Keepers do this by providing them with food and, when necessary, absorbing their anger and cruelty.

But then she is sent to be Keeper at Marblehaugh Park, on the edge of the sea, where the Folk are stronger, mysteries abound, and Corinna's true heritage and latent powers begin to surface. As her blossoming womanhood becomes harder to hide, she finds her life threatened by Sir Edward, master of the Hall, and falls in love with Finian, his cousin.

Is it any good?


This lyrical and exciting novel has something for everyone: breathtaking adventure, romance, fantasy, revenge, humor, mystery, folklore, and a tough-minded, self-reliant heroine. Corinna tells her own story in journal format, with entries dated by numerous saints' days. Her voice is wickedly clear, though she herself is often confused, the voice of one who was powerless, and who has learned to find and take power wherever she can.

Though she lies and engages in petty and spiteful revenge on all who trouble her, she is an appealing heroine nonetheless, for her journal reveals her uncertainty, and the reasons for her behavior, as well as the sacrifices she willingly makes to ensure that none can take advantage of her. And as she begins to discover who and what she really is, young readers are both excited and satisfied.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about power. Why does Corinna keep so many secrets? Why can't women be Folk Keepers? Does your view of Corinna change over the course of the book? If so, how?

Book details

Author:Franny Billingsley
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:December 30, 2003
Number of pages:162
Publisher's recommended age(s):10 - 14

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byTripFoot August 9, 2013

Great for all ages!

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 10 year old Written byeinnor333 August 12, 2009


This book is confusing at the starts. Creates a few characters out of nowhere. Has parts about getting deadly revenge, and beasts attacking humans.
Teen, 14 years old Written bybookfriend1993 April 9, 2008
This was pretty good. I liked the story and the legends. But I read it a while ago, and I kind of forget a lot of it.


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