Bound To Stay Bound

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 Last Cuentista
 Author: Higuera, Donna Barba

 Publisher:  Levine Querido (2021)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 320 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 444089 ISBN: 9781646140893
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Interplanetary voyages -- Fiction
 Science fiction
 Memory -- Fiction
 Storytelling -- Fiction

Price: $23.28

Relocating to a new planet after Earth is destroyed, twelve-year-old Petra Pena's suspended animation fails during the 370-year journey, so when all the other children are mysteriously reprogrammed and the adults purged, Petra becomes the lone bringer of Earth's now forbidden stories and her grandmother's Mexican folklore to a changing humanity.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG+
   Reading Level: 5.00
   Points: 11.0   Quiz: 515177

 Newbery Medal, 2022

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/01/21)
   School Library Journal (+) (09/01/21)
   Booklist (+) (04/01/22)
 The Hornbook (00/09/21)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 09/01/2021 Gr 5 Up—The magic and power of stories and storytelling help a preteen in a terrifying future. In 2061, with Earth about to be destroyed, 12-year-old Petra Peña and her scientist parents and younger brother Javier are just barely aboard the ship that will take them to the planet Sagan when a group of zealots called the Collective, wanting absolute equality at the expense of any diversity, take over. Almost 400 years later, Petra is one of the last four "sleepers" revived, and the only one who somehow retains her memories of Earth. She uses the stories her family shared and a precious copy of Yuyi Morales's Dreamers to try to save the others in her cohort, her newly rediscovered brother, and what seems to be the last Collective child. Life on the ship, made even more claustrophobic by Petra's declining vision from retinitis pigmentosa, and filled with the translucent, drugged Collective, is particularly chilling. Mexican American Petra is a strong, heroic character, fighting incredible odds to survive and protect others. The ending leaves the door wide open for a sequel. VERDICT A keep-you-up-all-night, compulsively readable science fiction novel that offers much food for thought.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles P.L. - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 04/01/2022 *Starred Review* In 2061, with Halley's Comet making a deadly and unstoppable journey toward Earth, a small group of scientists and their children prepare to begin civilization anew on new planet Sagan, more than 300 years away. Among them is Petra Peña, almost 13, who, while she sleeps through the next several lifetimes, will download the biology knowledge of an expert. But Petra's true love is the cuentos—the stories—that her grandmother, who stayed behind, told her, and she's downloading folklore and mythology, hoping to bring all the stories of the world they're losing. But on the journey, something goes wrong: Petra wakes to discover that in the last few centuries, the small group of people living on the ship as caretakers have become the Collective, a unit singlemindedly focused on redirecting humanity by erasing everyone's memories of Earth—and even purging entire people, including Petra's family, altogether. Petra alone retains her memories, and her yearning for a community pushes her to seek out the first ship of Sagan settlers and to try to reach her fellow shipmates through the cuentos she still remembers. In a measured voice that weighs enormous loss against dazzling moments of hope and connection, Higuera braids Mexican folklore with science fiction to craft a tale that remembers storytelling as the beating heart of a people. Easy to sink into and harder to leave, this gorgeously sad, keenly contemplative novel embraces what it means to truly survive. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

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