Bound To Stay Bound

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 Author: DiCamillo, Kate

 Publisher:  Candlewick Press (2024)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 226 p.,  20 cm

 BTSB No: 276723 ISBN: 9781536231052
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Family life -- Fiction
 Humorous fiction
 Ghosts -- Fiction

Price: $23.28

It's the summer before fifth grade, and for Ferris Wilkey, it is a summer of sheer pandemonium: Her little sister, Pinky, has vowed to become an outlaw. Uncle Ted has left Aunt Shirley and, to Ferris's mother's chagrin, is holed up in the Wilkey basement to paint a history of the world. And Charisse, Ferris's grandmother, has started seeing a ghost at the threshold of her room, which seems like an alarming omen given that she is also feeling unwell.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.40
   Points: 4.0   Quiz: 522223

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/01/24)
   School Library Journal (02/01/24)
   Booklist (+) (02/01/24)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/24)
 The Hornbook (00/01/24)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 02/01/2024 Gr 3–7—"Every story is a love story." Rising fifth grader Ferris hears this wisdom from her grandmother, Charisse, and through this lens begins to notice all the ways in which the actions of her community, however bizarre they might seem at first glance, are unspoken declarations of love. There's the ghost that appears to Charisse, who wants the family to light a chandelier to reunite her with her lost love. There's Ferris's friend Billy Jackson, whose love for his mother who died in childbirth lives on through the music he plays. There's Ferris's uncle Ted and his wife Shirley, who are on the outs after he quits his job to paint a history of the world. And of course Ferris's sister Pinky, who wants to be an outlaw and doesn't seem to love anybody, though Ferris realizes later this isn't true. DiCamillo's latest work is a sweet and heartfelt effort, though it is lacking the author's typical fully fleshed-out characters. They are largely defined by their quirks, and their actions begin to feel repetitive and do not propel the story forward. For instance, it seems like Billy's sole function for much of the story is to play "Mysterious Barricades" on the piano in the background. It feels more like a three-dimensional painting than a story; each character has a role and a place, and readers are invited to look at the whole but static picture to examine the idea of love. VERDICT While dialogue shows the author's characteristic charm, the story itself is lacking a strong narrative voice and drive. Purchase where DiCamillo's other titles circulate well.—Lindsay Loup - Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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