Bound To Stay Bound

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 Lost track of time
 Author: Britt, Paige

 Illustrator: White, Lee

 Publisher:  Scholastic Press
 Pub Year: 2015

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 306 p., col. ill., 22 cm.

 BTSB No: 153036 ISBN: 9780545538121
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Time -- Fiction
 Imagination -- Fiction
 Self-realization -- Fiction
 Mother-daughter relationship -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

Penelope is an imaginative girl, whose every day has been rigidly scheduled by her mother--until one day she falls through a hole in her calendar and lands in the Realm of Possibility, where she discovers that it, too, is stuck in a track of time, and only she can save it.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.90
   Points: 8.0   Quiz: 174421

   Kirkus Reviews (01/01/15)
   School Library Journal (02/01/15)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (07/15)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 02/01/2015 Gr 4–6—Penelope never has enough time. At least, not enough to do what she wants. Her mother has her scheduled every minute of every day, even over her summer vacation. She hopes to pursue her dream of becoming a writer and is just coming to the realization that her parents will never understand her desire to tell stories when she's suddenly faced with a whole day, accidentally unscheduled. Running to her eccentric neighbor, Miss Maddie, Penelope suddenly finds herself in the Realm of Possibilities, a place where kids can moodle (imagine and dream) as much as they want and where those Ideas, Fancies, and even Worries appear in the world as actual things. Well, at least they used to when the Great Moodler was in charge. Penelope soon learns from her new friend Dill that those things have been outlawed and that the terrible Chronos has turned everyone into Clockworkers, whose lives are tied to the sound of the great ticking timepiece in the center of the gray, paved city that is taking over the Realm of Possibilities. Penelope and Dill set off to find the Great Moodler, with the help of some mushrooms and a Coo-Coo bird. The book makes clever use of wordplay, such as in a scene in which Penelope and Dill happen upon a Wild Bore, who turns out to be a very nice man who bores listeners to death with excessive talking. Muted purple illustrations are sprinkled throughout and match the imaginative and mercurial quality of the text. Unfortunately, the plot seems a bit too forced and didactic, particularly in attempting to teach Penelope, and thus readers, about the dangers of being overscheduled. VERDICT An additional purchase; good for collections looking for titles that emphasize the importance of imagination and free time.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2015 Every minute of preteen Penelope’s life is scheduled, even on summer vacation. Between piano practice, SAT vocab drills, doctors’ appointments, summer reading, and chores, she has to steal moments before breakfast to get all her story ideas on paper (and then under her bed, alongside all other items of whimsy her mother wouldn’t want to see). The only person in her overly structured life who embraces downtime is Miss Maddie, her salt-of-the-earth neighbor who knows the importance of doing nothing. It is during a brief escape to Miss Maddie’s that Penelope finds herself gazing at a blank spot in her calendar—a stare that brings her into the Realm of Possibility, a land where once anything could happen, but now overlord Chronos has made the effective keeping and efficient usage of time paramount. With her newfound friend Dill as a guide, Penelope sets out to find the Great Moodler, whose ability to muse and ponder makes her the only person able to defeat Chronos. Along the way, Penelope encounters all manner of punnily named beings and places, from the Wild Bore to the Fancies (who fly when tickled) in this twenty-first-century answer to The Phantom Tollbooth. The book is clever in its personified concepts and relevant in its championing of the value of unscheduled time. However, its languid pacing and borderline burdensome detail bog down the whimsy, and, though the lesson may elicit knowing nods, its heavy-handedness makes it more a musing on modern childhood for wordplay-loving adults than for actual child readers. White’s jaunty drawings lighten the self-conscious text, and there are laughs to be had for those precocious, determined readers who enjoy puns and allusions. AA - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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