Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 04/01/2019 Gr 5–8—August wishes to have friends and adventures, and to go to school, yet he's never left the crumbling house he shares with his eccentric Aunt Hydrangea, who lives in her past glory as Miss Chili Pepper Princess. The novel's setting in Hurricane County, a "soggy part of the nation…a place where water reigned, and nothing could truly be called solid ground," gives a nostalgic feel of a time gone by with formal teas and dinner parties. August's life is looking up when he finds himself invited to tea with an aunt and cousins he never knew existed. Then, he inadvertently reanimates a zombie, Claudette, who will not leave his side. August learns that not everything is as it seems when Claudette turns out to be his best companion. August's lonely character is well developed; he seems timid at first but gets braver as the book progresses. The ending is predictable yet lighthearted, hinting strongly at a sequel. Campbell's strong use of figurative language evokes vivid imagery and paints a picture in the reader's mind. VERDICT Reminiscent of Roald Dahl in uniting the macabre with realism.—Elena Schuck, Mattacheese Middle School, Marstons Mills, MA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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