Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 12/01/2015 Gr 4–6—Picking up right where The League of Beastly Dreadfuls (Random, 2015) ended, this title opens as Anastasia crashes (quite literally) into her new home in Nowhere Special only to find that she is actually someone quite different than she thought: she has a different last name and is a princess. Outfitted in a perfectly uncomfortable wig and too many layers of crinoline, Anastasia is not ready for the Pettifog Academy of Impressionable Young Minds. It only becomes manageable when her Shadowboy friends, Quentin and Ollie, finally appear at school. The League of Beastly Dreadfuls is reunited with the addition of Gus, a halfhearted Gorgon whom Anastasia befriends. As she attempts to learn Echolalia so she can communicate with her attendant bat, Pippistrella, and learn comportment from her snooty aunt, Ludowiga, Anastasia begins to piece together the past history of her family, including the Dastardly Deed. It happened hundreds of years before, when relations between the Morfolk (her family, who can change into creatures) and magical witches turned from amicable to nasty. Anastasia's grandfather was locked in a Silver Chest from which he could not escape by the clever and evil witch Calixto Swift. And there he remains. Even though Anastasia has promised her concerned Aunt Penny and her lovable Uncle Baldwin that she would not get into trouble or try to solve the mystery of the Dastardly Deed, she greatly misses her father (who was evidently not a boring vacuum salesman, but a prince who had the unusual ability to transform into a guinea pig) and might have to break her promise. She begins to realize that locating the Silver Hammer and the Silver Chest that contains her grandfather might be the only way to find her father. The League of Beastly Dreadfuls is called into action. Dangerous and secret adventures ensue: bats are put to sleep, strange dreams are entered, mirror twins are discovered, mice are released (and used for science experiments), zero gravity chambers are visited, Wish Hags are discovered (and released), and dream bugs are eaten. With the creation of a different world and the addition of new, and somewhat strange, characters, this adventure is as exciting as the first. The same narrator who speaks to readers is back and adds a sarcastic and warning tone to the book. Black-and-white illustrations are sprinkled throughout. VERDICT A series that is worth continuing (or starting) and that is Something Special.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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