Bound To Stay Bound

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 Lucky ones
 Author: Jackson, Linda Williams

 Publisher:  Candlewick Press (2022)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 308 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 484821 ISBN: 9781536222555
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 African Americans -- Fiction
 Family life -- Fiction
 Poverty -- Fiction
 Ambition -- Fiction

Price: $23.28

It's 1967, and eleven-year-old Ellis Earl Brown has big dreams. He's going to grow up to be a teacher or a lawyer--or maybe both--and live in a big brick house in town. There'll always be enough food in the icebox, and his mama won't have to run herself ragged working as some white woman's maid. But when Mama tells Ellis Earl that he might need to quit school to help support the family, he wonders if happy endings are only possible in storybooks.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.20
   Points: 8.0   Quiz: 521793

   Kirkus Reviews (02/15/22)
   School Library Journal (05/01/22)
   Booklist (+) (03/15/22)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 05/01/2022 Gr 3–6—In Mississippi, 1967, 11-year-old Ellis Earl Brown wants to make something of himself and be somebody—but that feels hard to do when there's not enough food in the house for his many siblings, nieces, and nephews. Even though he loves school and his lessons with Mr. Foster, he worries he may have to quit and find work like his older siblings. Ellis Earl loves being in class where he can eat the delicious lunches Mr. Foster brings for him and his classmates, many of whom are in similar living situations. Mr. Foster gifts Ellis Earl Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which he reads to his family and they enjoy. Being in Mr. Foster's class grants Ellis Earl many great opportunities, but there are sad moments, too. Unfortunately, on a chaperoned group trip, Ellis Earl and his classmates experience racism and hear racial slurs. Ellis Earl is a realistically flawed kid with moments of selfishness, jealousy, and tantrums. He's not always likable, especially when he corrects his siblings and tells them to speak "proper" English, although he does learn from his mistakes. The novel draws parallels between itself and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, also about a poor boy whose dream comes true. Much like Roald Dahl's novel, The Lucky Ones' resolutions may appear convenient and anticlimactic to some, but satisfying to others. VERDICT This historical fiction novel about family and friendship may be hit or miss for middle grade readers.—Myiesha Speight - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 03/15/2022 *Starred Review* The odds are stacked against Ellis Earl Brown. He is a poor Black child growing up in the Mississippi Delta in the 1960s, but he dreams of becoming a teacher or a lawyer like Thurgood Marshall or Marian Wright Edelman. As one of the two children that his family can afford to send to school, Ellis Earl makes certain not to squander his opportunity. His teacher, Mr. Foster, cultivates Ellis Earl’s tenacity and talent by giving him books to share with his family. In one of these books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ellis Earl sees a struggling family live happily ever, which gives him hope for his own family's future. As a special honor, Mr. Foster invites Ellis Earl to be part of a welcoming party for Senator Robert Kennedy, who is embarking on a historic tour of the Mississippi Delta. But Ellis Earl’s dreams may have to be put on hold if his mom and older brothers can’t find regular work, as the boy would be forced to quit school. Drawing from her own childhood experiences, Jackson (Midnight without a Moon, 2017) creates a compelling story about racism, poverty, and the power of community to help lift people up. This title is an excellent recommendation for any young reader looking for new books about the civil rights era. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

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