Bound To Stay Bound

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 Bluest sky
 Author: Gonzalez, Christina Diaz

 Publisher:  Knopf (2022)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 314 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 385631 ISBN: 9780593372791
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Cubans -- Fiction
 Communism -- Fiction
 Family life -- Fiction
 Cuba -- Fiction

Price: $22.58

A boy and his family must decide whether to remain in Cuba under a repressive government or risk everything for the chance of a new beginning in the United States.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.40
   Points: 10.0   Quiz: 521723

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/22)
   School Library Journal (+) (09/09/22)
   Booklist (08/01/22)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 09/09/2022 Gr 5–8—It's 1980, and speaking out against Fidel Castro's Communist regime sent Héctor's father to prison and then to the United States, leaving Héctor, his brother Rodrigo, and his mom under a shadow of suspicion. Héctor's mother is planning on leaving Cuba and is ready to put her plan into action, but Héctor is having trouble accepting that he has to abandon his home, friends, and school. His grandmother has always used her ties to the government to provide perks to their family. While Héctor knows that she disagrees with them leaving, he doesn't fully grasp what his grandmother is willing to do to prevent them from doing so. As Héctor enjoys what might be his last weeks with best friends, something happens that finally makes him comprehend what's at stake and the importance of family. Héctor, Rodrigo, and their mom face incredible and life-changing challenges as they make decisions that impact their survival. This poignant novel immerses readers into the era and presents a unique and much-needed viewpoint. Diaz Gonzalez's writing is impeccable, and themes of grief, loss, and heartbreak are made palpable through her storytelling. This moving historical novel provides a window into a moment not often represented in children's books. VERDICT A heartrending exploration of friendship, family, and freedom set against volatile times. Highly recommended for middle grade shelves.—Selenia Paz - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 08/01/2022 The year is 1980 and sixth-grader Héctor faces daily challenges growing up in Cuba under a repressive regime. His father, exiled to the U.S. for opposing the government, has been labeled a traitor. Héctor and his family live each day as two versions of themselves—the private and the public—in order to survive under the communist government that demands utmost loyalty. By summer, Héctor’s attempts to juggle this duality come to a head when his mother announces they will try to flee Cuba for the U.S., leaving behind the only life they’ve ever known. The author creates an intimate portrait of family and the desire for freedom, told through Héctor’s point of view. Gonzalez draws on her own family’s experience of the Mariel boatlift and intersperses Spanish phrases and words throughout. After a slow beginning, the pace picks up in the latter third, taking the reader through danger, betrayal, and heartbreak, including a bloody tragedy. This poignant story captures themes that remain timely and resonant today. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

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