Growing up playing on a top national soccer team in the 1980s, Kelcey Ervick and her teammates didn’t understand the change they represented. Title IX was enacted in 1972 with little fanfare, but to seismic effect; between then and now, girls’ participation in organized sports has exploded more than 1,000 percent. Braiding together personal narrative, pop culture, literature, and history, Ervick tells the story of how her adolescence was shaped by this boom. Ervick also explores her role as a goalkeeper—a position marked by outsider status and observation—and reveals it has drawn some of the most famed writers of our time. With wit and poignant storytelling, The Keeper brings to life forgotten figures who understood the importance of athletics to help women step into their confidence and power—and push for equality. Full of 1980s nostalgia and heart, The Keeper is a celebration of how far we have come and a reminder of how far we have to go.
from Alison Bechdel, author of the New York Times bestselling Fun Home and The Secret to Superhuman Strength: “The Keeper is a triumph! Kelcey Ervick’s rollicking visual storytelling makes this information-packed lesson in women’s sports history both hilarious and surprisingly moving. Do not be deceived by her loose, exuberant drawings—the level of writerly control at play in this beautiful book is prodigious.”
from Briana Scurry, World Cup Champion U.S. Goalkeeper, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and author of My Greatest Save:
“Kelcey Ervick's The Keeper [is] about sisterhood and the sacred bonds between teammates. It’s about the love of the game and the deep sense of joy and power it provides. It's about the collective strength of women and how we have built on each other's achievements, one generation passing the baton to the next, to ensure a future without limits for the girls who will follow. The Keeper is equal parts inspiration and motivation.”
from the New York Times Book Review:
"[R]eaders will certainly want to linger on the beautiful depictions of birds, people and scenes from her life. She weaves in historical context in graceful and necessary ways."
from Publisher's Weekly:
"[A] work of disarming emotional power."
"This thought-provoking title will draw readers' attention to the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX while also satisfying fans of graphic memoirs, sports, and feminist history."
Resource for Teachers and Book Groups
Discussion questions and drawing prompt here.
excerpt at Lit Hub:
excerpt at Publisher's Weekly:
on TIK TOK
Check out this fun Tik Tok video, which pages through THE KEEPER, taking you on a scavenger hunt of 1980s drawings in the book: Prince, Madonna, Sun-In, Swatch watch, etc.