Bound To Stay Bound

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 Exquisite Corpse adventure

 Publisher:  Candlewick Press (2011)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 276 p., ill., 20 cm.

 BTSB No: 318854 ISBN: 9780763651497
 Ages: 9-12 Grades: 4-7

 Adventure fiction
 Siblings -- Fiction
 Twins -- Fiction
 Circus -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

Twins Joe and Nancy on their 11th birthday learn their parents are still alive and need their help.

 Added Entry - Personal Name: Anderson, M. T
Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.80
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 146259

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
   Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure

   Kirkus Reviews (07/01/11)
   School Library Journal (-) (09/01/11)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (10/11)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 09/01/2011 Gr 4–6—As their circus train barrels headlong to potential doom, Joe and Nancy receive an urgent plea for help from their long-lost parents. Going on a tip from an Einstein-esque mad scientist, the twins learn that the only way to save their family is to find and piece together a Top Secret Robot whose services are crucial to the success of their mission. What follows is a cross-dimensional, time-warping adventure that has the heroes making unusual new friends, enduring bad knock-knock jokes, and battling villains most evil-including a narcoleptic clown and some very rotten eggs. Twenty well-known children's authors and illustrators, including Natalie Babbitt, Susan Cooper, Kate DiCamillo, Jack Gantos, and Steven Kellogg, collaborated to create this story, each penning a chapter and passing it on to the next. This concept is exceptionally creative. Unfortunately, the overall effect is that of too many cooks working over a single pot. The idea might have worked better spread over several books, as with "The 39 Clues" (Scholastic), or with fewer writers wielding the pen. As is, the effort has a disjointed feel and reads more like a series of randomly related vignettes than one continuous story. Even avid readers may have trouble following the multiple threads.—Alissa J. LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2011 Twenty children’s fiction luminaries, beginning with Jon Scieszka and ending with Katherine Paterson, contribute their considerable talents to this exquisite corpse storytelling game, with the writing changing hands chapter by chapter. The story begins with twins Nancy and Joe traveling on a train rushing toward a bridge that has been wired with dynamite. The children, who have been reared in a circus, think themselves to be orphans until they receive a birthday card from their parents instructing them to follow the clues and piece together something called the exquisite corpse, which they presume to be a robot of some kind. As the story is picked up by different authors, an array of stereotypically hyperbolic but inept villains and unlikely helpers appear to either assist or thwart their quest, which involves harrowing escapes, daring feats that make use of their circus training, and time travel. Such round-robin storytelling seems threatened from the outset by the risk of one-upsmanship, and the limits of the game are evident here as the piling on of odd, grotesque characters and the whiplash effect of new devices and plot twists result in a forced feeling of zaniness. However, the undeniable skill of the authors keeps the narrative mostly coherent from beginning to end, and the only really noticeable stylistic shift comes from Lemony Snicket’s arch, world-weary tone that is distinctly and jarringly different from headlong eagerness of the other authorial voices. Likewise, most of the illustrators providing compact black-and-white images faithfully illuminate their chapter authors’ prose, but a few veer off into surreal fantasies of their own. The literalized metaphor of using the exquisite-corpse method to piece together a story about a robot that needs to be pieced together was surely a conceit the authors enjoyed, perhaps even more than their audience will, but this may have appeal for readers who like stories jam-packed with bizarre creatures behaving in unaccountable ways to achieve a strange goal. KC - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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