Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 03/15/2018 India Wimple loves watching the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and spelling every word correctly. When her family suggests she try out for the next competition, India has doubts. Ever since she flubbed the starring role in her school play because she saw her brother go into an asthma attack in the crowd, India has feared being away from him. Lucky for her, however, her family and neighbors all pitch in to help her get over her stage fright, and she passes the first round. Further rounds bring tougher challenges, including a boy who is sweet on India and a very conceited rich girl who believes she is entitled to the trophy. India makes it to the finals, but will she be named the ultimate speller? Abela adds a lot of tricky new vocabulary words for readers to pick up in a way that makes subtle spelling lessons fun and not tedious. While the plot is predictable, India is a darling of a character that many readers will relate to and cheer for in this breezy read. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 04/01/2018 Gr 3–6—India Wimple is painfully shy. She resides in a small Australian town with her supportive nuclear family. Her little brother is gravely ill, money is tight, and her world is small, but India has a secret weapon: she can spell. When the opportunity arises to audition for Australia's popular game show, The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee, India wants to go for it—only she gets stage fright. India's family and community band together to support their rising star and, despite jitters and financial hardship, she overcomes the odds and finds herself in Sydney with other contestants, both friendly and otherwise. The colorful cover and cartoonlike illustrations in this Australian import will draw in readers, while the gently humorous and rollicking plot will keep them turning pages. India's family is warm and slightly zany. In one particularly memorable scene, various townsfolk don animal onesies to make India more comfortable during a practice session. India stays grounded and hits her stride as the competition rolls along, bringing her to a fairy-tale conclusion that will satisfy readers who appreciate a tidy ending. Chapter titles contain a boxed spelling word with its meaning that describes the contents of the chapter ahead. This results in some sneaky learning and vocabulary growth, making this a great choice for school settings. VERDICT Humorous and poignant, this title will inspire readers with its kind, courageous heroine and may teach some new words along the way.—Kate Nafz, Fair Lawn Public Library, NJ - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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