Bound To Stay Bound

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 Alone like me
 Author: Evans, Rebecca

 Publisher:  Anne Schwartz Books (2022)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [33] p., col. ill., 23 x 28 cm

 BTSB No: 316999 ISBN: 9780593181928
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Loneliness -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 City and town life -- Fiction
 China -- Fiction

Price: $22.08

When Liling moves from her home in the mountains of China to the big city, her parents cannot afford to send her to school, and she spends her days with her mother, wishing she had a friend--until she sees a girl in a yellow coat, who lives in the next building, comes from a different mountain, and is happy to be Liling's friend.

   School Library Journal (01/01/22)
   Booklist (02/15/22)
 The Hornbook (00/03/22)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 01/01/2022 K-Gr 3—In a simple story about change that uses a spare telling to create emotional heft, Liling is a little girl that has recently moved from the countryside of China to the bustling city where bicycles, apartments, factories, markets, and scores of people are everywhere. This scene is vastly different from what Liling is accustomed to. Amid oppressively crowded cityscapes and factory scenes, she is lonely and unable to attend school due to the family's hukou; the household registration system that specifies where a family, unless it has money to change it, can receive government services, purchase food, and attend school. Liling often goes to the sewing factory with her mother, where she has to be very quiet, and to the can factory with her father where she has to be still. Neither workplace is ideal for a young child, and Liling feels lost in the shuffle until she spots another girl about her age. On the lookout for the girl everywhere she goes, Liling is pleasantly surprised to see that same girl on a balcony in the apartment building next to hers! A new friendship blossoms aided by a can and some string. Bleak blue watercolor illustrations are awash in melancholy grays; Liling is painted in bright red and her new friend Qiqi in brilliant yellow. Back matter includes a glossary and author's note about China's hukou system VERDICT A beautiful purchase about friendship even in difficult circumstances.—Tracy Cronce - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 02/15/2022 Life isn’t easy for the young protagonist in this story, who’s just moved from the Chinese countryside to a big industrial city. She tags along with her mother and father, who work in factories where she’s totally out of place. At the park, somewhere she ought to belong, the other kids make fun of her for being poor. Even on her balcony at home, when she tries to talk to what might be a like-minded girl in the same apartment complex, she’s shushed by a cranky neighbor. The illustrations further explore feelings of alienation, with everything cast in a depressing blue hue except for the protagonist in her red coat and her friend in a yellow one. Hope finally comes thanks to the girl’s own ingenuity. She finds a way to send messages to her might-be friend, and a correspondence blossoms—one that turns into a real play date and eventually a real friendship. The two take on the playground, and this new city, together. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

Booklist - 02/15/2022 - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

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