Bound To Stay Bound

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 Squish, Super Amoeba (Squish)
 Author: Holm, Jennifer L.

 Publisher:  Random House (2011)

 Dewey: 741.5
 Classification: Nonfiction
 Physical Description: 90 p., col. ill., 19 cm.

 BTSB No: 460072 ISBN: 9780375937835
 Ages: 7-10 Grades: 2-5

 Amoebas -- Fiction
 School stories
 Bullies -- Fiction
 Courage -- Fiction
 Superheroes -- Fiction
 Graphic novels

Price: $15.44

Squish, a meek amoeba who loves the comic book exploits of his favorite hero, "Super Amoeba," tries to emulate him when his best friend is threatened by a bully.

 Added Entry - Personal Name: Holm, Matthew

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 2.20
   Points: .5   Quiz: 143699
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 2.60
   Points: 3.0   Quiz: 53734

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 2 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 2.RF Fluency
   Grade 3 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 3.RF Fluency

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/11)
   School Library Journal (07/01/11)
   Booklist (03/15/11)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (05/11)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 03/15/2011 The Holm siblings (of Babymouse fame) start a new series of humorous school stories, this time featuring amoebas and other single-celled creatures. Squish prefers to spend his time reading comic books starring Super Amoeba but has to attend elementary school with his friends Pod, who’s a bit of a mooch, and Peggy, who’s always happy and a bit naive. There they face a bit more danger from bullies than most: Lynwood has a bad habit of eating paramecia, such as Peggy. Young readers will relate to the everyday misadventures of getting detention for being tardy, trading school lunches, dealing with bullies, and taking tests. They’ll also enjoy the way the amoebas chow down on tacos, read comic books, and generally act like kids. The black, white, and green art makes amoebas look, for the most part, cute, while the narrative and comments directed to the reader appear in green-tinted, arrowed boxes. Squish may appeal more to boys than girls, but any fans of the Holms’ superpopular other series are likely to enjoy this new offering. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2011 This new title from Jennifer and Matthew Holm offers some immediate similarities to their enormously popular Babymouse series (BCCB 12/05, etc.): two-color (green and black, in this case) comic-book-style illustrations, a plucky protagonist with more ambition than ability, and a perfect mix of writing that is simple enough for early readers but still remarkably snarky, clever, and entertaining. But let’s get one thing straight—Squish is his own man, even if he is just a single cell. Sure, the amoeba can’t even stand up to his best friend, who talks him out of his lunch money daily, but Squish is certain that all his time spent reading about superheroes is going to yield some pretty impressive results . . . any day now. In the meantime, he is educated by rotifers, bossed around by planaria, and saved from having to admit he isn’t quite ready for full-on heroism by a slime mold. It’s all a little gross, a bit science-geeky, and plenty funny—a heady mix for young graphic-novel fans. The illustrations are essential to the storytelling, often presenting situations that the text barely alludes to, and in other spots directly contradicting what the character is assuring the reader is true (particularly in the case of Pollyanna-ish Peggy the paramecium who sees the best in everything, even being eaten). The appended science experiment, which essentially guarantees disgusting results (think mold gone wild and hidden under someone else’s bed) may elicit a few eyerolls from grownups, but kids themselves will soak up the humor, tidbits of science instruction, and adventure just like amoebas absorb paramecia. AS - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 07/01/2011 Gr 2–4—The creators of "Babymouse" (Random) return with the more boy-centric Squish. He lives in a world that is a microscopic facsimile of our own. The only difference is that everyone is an amoeba, including his best friends, nerdy Pod and relentlessly chipper Peggy. Squish faces a dilemma when the school bully wants to copy off his science test. The menacing amoeba even threatens to eat Peggy if he doesn't get his way. Squish fantasizes about dealing with the problem like Super Amoeba, the hero of his favorite comic book, who always has the "courage to do what's right." While the conclusion is a bit abrupt, it will likely generate laughs and leave readers ready for the next installment. Characters are mostly types, with a clear focus on laughs and moving the plot along. The loose, inky cartoon illustrations are bathed in shades of lime green. Panel layouts are simple and clear, ensuring first-time graphic-novel readers a smooth ride. Likable and entertaining, Super Amoeba will be super popular.—Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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