Bound To Stay Bound

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 I can help
 Author: Faruqi, Reem

 Publisher:  Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (2021)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [37] p., col. ill., 28 cm

 BTSB No: 325344 ISBN: 9780802855046
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Peer pressure -- Fiction
 Kindness -- Fiction
 School stories

Price: $22.58

Zahra loves spending time with Kyle at school, but when her other classmates start teasing her for helping him she starts making choices she regrets.

 Illustrator: Prevost, Mikela
Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 2.60
   Points: .5   Quiz: 516620

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/21)
   School Library Journal (00/08/21)
   Booklist (+) (08/01/21)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 08/01/2021 *Starred Review* In Ms. Underwood’s classroom, Kyle often needs help with reading, writing, cutting, and gluing. Zahra enjoys assisting the boy, who is kind, generous, and funny, and she basks in her teacher’s appreciation. But at recess, she overhears classmates Tess and Ashley belittling Kyle, and then the girls ask Zahra why she helps him. The next day, aware that the girls are watching, Zahra refuses to work with Kyle, which hurts his feelings. The girls’ approving smiles do nothing to ease her misery when Kyle says, “You’re mean now.” As narrator, she reports, “My face feels hot, my heart cold.” The next year, after adjusting to a larger school, she sees a new girl who reminds her of Kyle and offers to help her. In an author’s note, Faruqi shares the childhood memory that inspired the story. The tightly written narrative presents Zahra’s initial satisfaction, her emotional turmoil, and her sense of shame with equal candor. Using a warm, autumnal palette, Prevost creates mixed-media illustrations that bring Zahra, her classmates, and their teacher to life. From the author of Lailah’s Lunchbox (2015) and Amira’s Picture Day (2021), this perceptive picture book could lead to discussions about handling peer pressure, dealing with ethical predicaments, and learning from one’s mistakes. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 08/01/2021 K-Gr 3—Earnest Zahra, an energetic girl with brown skin and black hair, is always happy to help a boy in her class until the day she is teased for spending time with a weird-looking "baby." Kylem, who has pale skin, is generous, great at drawing, and good at telling jokes, but he has trouble with reading, writing, and cutting. Zahra works so well with him that their teacher calls her a "super helper." But when two girls question why she volunteers to do so, Zahra closes Kyle out while hating the sound of her own mean voice. She doesn't know how to act on her remorse until the next year when she is at a big new school without Kyle. The minute an anxious new girl arrives, Zahra wastes no time in offering to help. Children will immediately recognize the dynamics at play in this diverse classroom. Zahra's emotions are vividly depicted through action, from riding high on the swings, to sharing a joke with Kyle, to blinking the right amount of blinks so she doesn't cry. Mixed media illustrations, with the feel of those by G. Brian Karas, are a wonderful match and amplify the feelings in the text through body language and facial expressions. VERDICT Lessons about kindness, regret, and making amends are all here without being the least bit didactic. An excellent conversation starter for any adults who work with groups of children.—Jan Aldrich Solow, formerly Fairfax County Public Sch., VA - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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