Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 07/01/2019 Gr 4–7—Hannigan soars with a rich new adventure series inspired by real women programmers from World War II. Philadelphia has not seen caped crusaders in years, yet seventh-grader Josie O'Malley loves reading comic books about female superheroes and solving math and word games. When she notices an ad in the paper seeking puzzle solvers to help crack ciphers, Josie knows that this is her dream job. She'll do anything to help her family while her father is away fighting Germany's Nazis. Josie is alarmed when she, Akiko, and Mae are all cut from the puzzler tryouts because they are girls. The girls join forces as caped crusaders themseves, with advanced powers and teamwork to foil a cloak-and-dagger evildoer and crack the clandestine code just in time to find superheroes who went missing in action. Mae, who is African American, and Akiko, who is Japanese- American, are nuanced characters whose experiences with racism accurately reflect the time period. Hannigan takes on history, prejudice, friendship, and bravery with aplomb. VERDICT Fans of fast-paced action adventures, computer science, and confident main characters will enjoy this series debut that is sure to fly off the shelves.—Annisha Jeffries, Cleveland Public Library - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 07/01/2019 *Starred Review* In her first series, Hannigan (The Detective’s Assistant, 2015) deposits readers into WWII-era Philadelphia, where they’ll encounter the women mathematicians known as the ENIAC Six, female superheroes from early comic books, and a real Nazi spy ring. Twelve-year-old Irish immigrant Josie O’Malley feels the pinch of wartime living, picking up shifts at a diner and caring for her younger siblings while her mother works and her father fights in the Pacific. She desperately wishes the superheroes from her beloved comics would help her troubled city, but little does she suspect that she’s about to become one herself. After responding to a newspaper ad calling for puzzlers (she’s an ace at math and pattern recognition), Josie is recruited with two other girls—African American Mae and Japanese American Akiko—into a secret organization. Incredibly, the girls manifest superpowers just as a supervillain begins terrorizing the city. Prejudice against girls and women and racism directed at Mae and Akiko provide a more serious side to the action-packed plot. Humorous touches emerge as Josie and her friends hone their new powers, and some cheesy one-liners give a wink to vintage comic books—as do illustrated comics spreads. Readers across genres will be enamored by this blend of history, mystery, and superpowered action. A thorough author’s note supplies historical context for the trio’s first adventure. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.

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