74 pages 2 hours read

Shannon Messenger

Keeper of the Lost Cities

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2012

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Chapters 1-13Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

At a San Diego museum, brilliant 12-year-old high-school senior Sophie Foster hides in the back of her group and listens to her iPod. The music helps smother the noise of everyone else’s thoughts, which intrude into her mind. It’s “like being in a room with hundreds of TVs blaring different shows at the same time” (4). Since age five, when she hit her head, Sophie has suffered from this. The noise gives her headaches; sometimes, she pulls on her eyelashes to distract herself.

The teacher asks Sophie to explain the nearby dinosaur exhibit. Sophie has a photographic memory, and she’d glanced at the exhibit’s explanatory card earlier, so she repeats that information. She hears the other students' sour thoughts: None like that she’s a prodigy, and they call her “Curvebuster.”

The teacher moves the group to the next room. Sophie hangs back and notices a tall boy, perhaps 15, reading a newspaper with her picture on it. Her parents won’t let her attend Yale, which has accepted her, because they fear it’s too high-pressure for her; a reporter picked up the story. The boy turns and looks right at her. She’s stunned by his good looks, especially his teal blue, glittery eyes.