Keep Sweet

Keep Sweet

For Ages: 14 and up
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Alva Jane has never questioned her parents, never questioned her faith, never questioned her future. She is content with the strict rules that define her life in Pineridge, the walled community where she lives with her father, his seven wives, and her twenty-eight siblings. This is the only world Alva has ever known, and she has never thought to challenge it.

But everything changes when Alva is caught giving her long-time crush an innocent first kiss. Beaten, scorned, and now facing a forced marriage to a violent, fifty-year old man, Alva suddenly realizes how much she has to lose--and how impossible it will be to escape.
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  • Simon Pulse | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439157466 | 
  • March 2010 | 
  • Grades 9 and up | 
  • Lexile 930
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Read an Excerpt


“Alva Jane, meet me behind the barn before dark,
I have something important to tell you.…”

I CLOSED MY EYES AT THE MEMORY OF JOSEPH JOHN’S face, flushed with excitement as he whispered those words to me—the words that changed my life forever. Beside the barn washed white by the sun, Joseph John had taken my hand and said the words I had been waiting to hear. His father had agreed to our marriage; he planned to speak to my father and the prophet that very evening.

I knew I shouldn’t do it, that it was wrong, but I felt a rush of such excitement and joy that I... see more

About the Author

Michele Dominguez Greene
Photograph (c) Bobby Quillard

Michele Dominguez Greene

Michele Dominguez Greene is the author of Keep Sweet and Chasing the Jaguar. She is active in numerous writing and literacy workshops with inner city kids throughout Southern California, and speaks regularly at conferences around the country. She has published articles in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Animal Wellness Magazine, and Cuerpo Magazine, and has had a long-standing, successful career as an actress, appearing in television, film, and theater. She lives in Los Angeles.


Author Revealed

Michele Dominguez Greene
Q. how did you come to write Keep Sweet?

A. I started reading about the FLDS years ago and was stunned and outraged that young girls, American citizens in the U.S., are living in these communities where they have no control over their own lives. And that these groups operate openly, under the eye of law enforcement and our legal system....I still can't believe it! And since our government seems quite timid about actually going after these groups and putting an end to these illegal activities and human rights violations, I realized that it falls to the writers and the readers to make a change. I think it also opens up a lot of questions about self-determination, personal freedom, having choices and just being recognized as a whole human being with an intellect and a will and dreams....girls living in the FLDS are denied so many of those things and it's good to have a story open up our perspective on life. How it is and how it could be in different circumstances. And of course, I hope young readers want to get involved and help bring some positive change, to help the young people trapped in these communities. It will take young people speaking up, it always does!

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