Bound To Stay Bound

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 We were here
 Author: de la Pena, Matt

 Publisher:  Ember (2011)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 357 p., ill., 21 cm

 BTSB No: 266025 ISBN: 9780385736671
 Ages: 14-18 Grades: 9-12

 Juvenile delinquents -- Fiction
 Runaway teenagers -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Guilt -- Fiction
 Brothers -- Fiction
 Vulgarity in popular culture -- Fiction
 California -- Fiction

Price: $9.83

Haunted by the event that sentences him to time in a group home, Miguel breaks out with two unlikely companions and together they begin their journey down the California coast hoping to get to Mexico and a new life.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 5.00
   Points: 16.0   Quiz: 133424
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 9-12
   Reading Level: 5.70
   Points: 24.0   Quiz: 48092

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 09/01/2009 After being sentenced to a year in a California group home, Miguel Casteñeda, 16, breaks out with two other teens, Mong and Rondell. Together, they try to cross the border to Mexico, and Miguel writes in his journal about their journey. His colloquial narrative, laced with insults (but not obscenities), is fast, funny, smart, and heartbreaking as he describes how the three homeless runaways steal, hide, work, fight, bond, and care for each other. Unlike his mates, Miguel is an avid reader, and with the account of their daily struggle, he weaves in references to classics. There may be too much detail for some, but the contemporary survival adventure will keep readers hooked, as will the tension that builds from the story’s secrets. What did Miguel do that landed him in the group home? Why won’t his mother talk to him? The riveting climax shows, without a heavy message, that the hero’s journey is a search for himself. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 12/01/2009 Gr 9 Up— Miguel struggles to forgive himself for a tragic event that changed his life and his family forever. He willingly accepts his one-year sentence to a juvenile detention center and the requirement that he keep a journal. De La Pea uses the conceit of the journal to tell the story in Miguel's words. At the center, Miguel befriends Rondell, a mentally challenged teen prone to violent outbursts, and Mong, a troubled boy with myriad physical and emotional problems. Mong organizes an escape, and with little apparent thought, Miguel and Rondell agree to join him. The boys' convoluted travels take them up and down the California coast and are recorded in Miguel's journal, along with his personal journey of self-discovery. It is frustrating that the salient event, the one that led to Miguel's incarceration, is kept from readers, and most other characters, until the end of the book. Once the truth of what happened is exposed, it is difficult to comprehend the callousness shown to Miguel by other family members; in fact, readers may question why he was imprisoned at all. The premise of juvenile delinquents on the run, camping out, and trying to survive and to find themselves will appeal to teens, but the story is just too drawn out to hold the interest of most of them.—Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA - Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2010 Miguel has been transferred from a juvenile detention facility to a small group home, and it is clear from the entries in his court-ordered journal that he’s a long way from coming to terms with his crime—a crime he regards as so heinous he will not name it. He tries to cope by projecting a lone-wolf persona, but when his erratic, often violent housemate, Mong, proposes an escape, Miguel and slow-witted Rondell willingly accompany him, heading down the California coast toward Mexico. Young adult readers will quickly identify the trope of troubled kids on a road trip to Self-Awareness and it’s a compelling one. For Mong, it’s a one-way trip that ends in suicide, but Miguel and Rondell reach Mexico, hit bottom, and work their way back to the home, stronger and wiser. There are elements of predictability here, but as in all good road-trip books, the interest lies in the journey rather than the destination, and the precisely drawn details of the trio’s deteriorating prospects should keep readers involved. EB - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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