Bound To Stay Bound

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 Fox & Phoenix
 Author: Bernobich, Beth

 Publisher:  Viking
 Pub Year: 2011

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 360 p.,  21 cm.

 BTSB No: 115113 ISBN: 9780670012787
 Ages: 11-15 Grades: 6-10

 Fantasy fiction
 Apprentices -- Fiction
 Magic -- Fiction
 Kings and rulers -- Fiction
 Princesses -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

Kai, a magician's apprentice and former street tough, must travel to the Phoenix Empire to help his friend Princess Lian escape so she can return home before her father dies.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG+
   Reading Level: 4.80
   Points: 10.0   Quiz: 147588
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 4.30
   Points: 18.0   Quiz: 56467

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
   Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure

   Kirkus Reviews (09/15/11)
   School Library Journal (12/01/11)
   Booklist (11/01/11)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (12/11)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2011 After Kai and his gang of ragtag misfits helped Long City’s princess to achieve her heart’s desire and scored some serious cash in the process, Kai was pretty sure he had an easy life ahead of him. He did not, however, expect it to be so boring: with his group disbanded to follow their own dreams, Kai is left as apprentice to his mother (a rather intimidating sorceress), executing all sorts of mundane tasks while trying to ignore his growing feelings for Yun, his fellow worker and former best friend. Adventure calls again, though, when the king of Long City falls ill, Kai’s mother goes missing, and a ghost dragon entrusts Kai with the task of traveling to the Phoenix Empire to retrieve Princess Lian so she can save her father and thus fend off a power-hungry emperor. His journey through the land reveals Bernobich’s intricately built world: blending fantasy and science fiction, the author offers up a place that is strikingly familiar to modern-day readers with its “talk-phones” and “vid screens” but that is powered entirely by a force called the “magic flux.” Enigmatic spirit companions and ferocious ghost dragons call up images of Chinese culture, and the result is a fascinating amalgam of ancient magic and modern technology. Unfortunately, references to Kai’s previous adventure (a short story in Berman’s Magic in the Mirrorstone, BCCB 4/08) make it clear to readers that they came in at the middle of a story, and the characters’ emotional resonance is dependent on knowledge of their history; the complicated romance between Yun and Kai will be particularly perplexing to those unfamiliar with the previous work. Despite this, Kai is eminently likable as the trouble-seeking hero, and the intriguing setting makes this an adventure that may appeal to both fantasy and techno-geeks alike. KQG - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 12/01/2011 Gr 7 Up—Drawing on Chinese language and mythology, Bernobich has created a new and exciting fantasy world. In a land where magic is a rare and coveted commodity and is the current that runs the technology, 16-year-old Kai Zou begrudgingly works in his mother's tutoring shop as an apprentice in conjuration and math. The King of Lóng City falls ill and his daughter, a friend of Kai's, seems to be out of communication's reach in a far-off city. At the command of the mysterious ghost dragon king, Kai and his friend Yún set off on the treacherous journey to deliver the news to the princess. Sophisticated readers should have no problem catching up with the tale as they join the characters and learn their backstories. While this device may be confusing at times, it makes the surprises that much more fun. A peckish griffin, a missing mother, young love, a double-crossing stranger, and a former friend who may be a smuggler add to the action, danger, and intrigue.—Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 11/01/2011 In Lóng City, Kai tries to reform after his street gang dissolves and continue the lessons his mother insists he learn about the magic flux and the old ways. Then his mother vanishes without a trace, the king becomes deathly ill, and a ghost dragon proclaims that Kai must travel to Phoenix City to rescue Princess Lian. Accompanied by the brilliant Yún, Kai must outwit and out-magic mercenaries who are trying to stop him, deal with a troublesome griffin, and, perhaps most challenging, determine Yún’s true feelings for him. An exciting tale of magic, courage, friendship, and sacrifice, this novel reads like what might have happened if Philip Pullman’s Lyra and Pan had lived in Hong Kong rather than Oxford. Bernobich has created a multidimensional world, in which flux is an everyday necessity, and spirit companions (Kai’s is the articulate pig, Chen) can simultaneously annoy and assist their human counterparts. The spooky, mysterious cover art will draw in reluctant readers, and the rich story line will hold them. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.

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