I don’t remember much about the book’s plot except that it’s basically about a boy who goes into a store with a lot of objects and finds one that calls to him. The object gives him some sort of ability (don’t remember what exactly).

At some point he encounters a girl who has a different object that lets her turn semi-incorporeal. She can travel underground and it was either her or her mom (the mother had the same object) that accidentally lost control while sinking in the ground and broke her legs. Also, there’s a lady who can touch objects and see into their past.

I read the book sometime in the last decade. Sorry if this isn’t much to go off of. Thanks!


  • There is only one object per person because only a very particular person can actually use each object. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know.
  • Whoever ran the shop (an eccentric man if memory serves) had been searching for someone who could use the particular object given to the boy. More likely than not, the boy was given the object.
  • This particular object was chosen by the boy because he felt drawn to it (it drew him).
  • The setting is likely urban United States though I wouldn’t completely rule out the U.K.
  • The boy is probably caucasian though I don’t recall whether an exact description was given.
  • The description of the store made it feel musty and cluttered, probably something an eccentric old man would run.
  • Do you remember whether the book was set in the Americas? France? Mars? Was the boy caucasian? Black? Asian? Did he have to buy the object, or was it given to him? Is there any explanation why some people find objects? Is it only certain types of people who can? Only one object per person? Apr 16 at 13:12
  • I appreciate you asking for clarification to improve the post, I added some additional details.
    – twiddler
    Apr 16 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


Found it, the book is called The Box and the Dragonfly by Ted Sanders, first book of the The Keepers series.

Front cover of The Box and the Dragonfly

From the moment Horace F. Andrews sees the sign from the bus—a sign with his own name on it—everything changes. The sighting leads him underground, to the House of Answers, a hidden warehouse full of mysterious objects. But there he finds only questions. What is this curious place? Who are the strange, secretive people who entrust him with a rare and immensely powerful gift? And what is he to do with it?

Horace quickly discovers that nothing is ordinary anymore. From the sinister man lurking around every corner to the gradual mastery of his newfound abilities to his encounters with Chloe—a girl who has an astonishing talent of her own—Horace follows a path that puts him in the middle of a centuries-old conflict.

Horace’s journey leads him and Chloe deep into a place where every decision they make could have disastrous consequences. Most important, it links Horace to the Box of Promises and a future he never saw coming.

  • Mild chiding, self-answers are expected to be at the same level as any other answer, and include content showing that they are correct. :-D But congrats on finding it! Apr 18 at 15:50
  • Oh apologies, I'm new to this. Thank you for editing the answer, I'll make sure to follow that rule of thumb in the future.
    – twiddler
    Apr 18 at 18:16
  • No worries. :-D Frankly, I'm very glad that you came back and posted an answer instead of saying, "Huh, that's what it was," and never coming back to us. Apr 18 at 18:42

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