Bound To Stay Bound

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 Tessa Miyata is no hero
 Author: Abe, Julie

 Publisher:  Little, Brown (2023)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 354 p., ill., map, 20 cm

 BTSB No: 040251 ISBN: 9780316448529
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Gods -- Fiction
 Japanese mythology -- Fiction
 Japanese Americans -- Fiction
 Grandparents -- Fiction
 Fantasy fiction
 Tokyo (Japan) -- Fiction
 Japan -- Fiction

Price: $21.88

On a trip to visit her grandparents in Japan, Tessa Miyata inadvertently releases the spirit of an evil samurai god who wants to destroy Tokyo, and stumbles upon a hidden part of the city where gods and mythological creatures walk among humans.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.50
   Points: 11.0   Quiz: 523470

   Kirkus Reviews (06/15/23)
   School Library Journal (12/08/23)
   Booklist (07/23/23)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 07/23/2023 Yikes and Yakult! From internet bullies to ominous ancient spirits that only she can see, Tessa Miyata can’t seem to catch a break. So when she and her sisters are invited to spend the summer with their grandparents in Japan, Tessa is excited to start over. But then a vengeful samurai spirit attacks a local shrine, and Tessa and her friends, both mortal and spirit, have to find a way to save the city (and Tessa’s self-worth, while they’re at it). Tenuous world building and inconsistent characters keep the story from more meaningfully exploring its supernatural and emotional premise, but readers interested in the mythology can enjoy a light-hearted take on figures from Japanese lore. This fast-paced middle-grade fantasy feels like a book dreaming of being an animated series, complete with training sequences, quippy talking-animal sidekicks, and plentiful pop-culture references. Informed by the author’s own summers in Japan, Abe (Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch, 2021) revisits familiar themes of determination and learning to believe in yourself in this high-energy—if somewhat underdeveloped—coming-of-age story. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 12/08/2023 Gr 4–7—Meet Tessa Miyata, the definitely-cursed protagonist of Abe's ("Eva Evergreen") new middle grade series. Gran sends Tessa to spend the summer after sixth grade with Obaachan and Ojiichan in Japan. Tessa has always had extraordinarily bad luck (which surely doesn't have anything to do with her invisible kitsune charm bracelet) but when she and Jin, a neighbor boy, find themselves the last line of defense against the manifestation of an ancient samurai keen on absorbing all the life-force in Tokyo, her misfortune may turn deadly. Secret identities, lost memories, legendary warriors, and mythical creatures abound in Takamagahara, the City of Legends. Abe balances humor, action, and identity in this first series installment. Kit, the (potentially) powerful kitsune, provides delightful banter as a quest guide for Tessa and Jin. While Tessa's story will feel familiar to seasoned fantasy readers, she is notable in her choices and perseverance; Tessa is willing to do what needs to be done, even when the (literal) gods won't. This blending of chance and choice makes Tessa a lovable and inspiring heroine. A rich Japanese glossary and small illustrations supplement the text well. This is a great series starter and an easy recommendation for fans of myths, legends, and fantasy-adventure. VERDICT Action with myth and heart. Recommended as a general purchase.—Taylor Worley - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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