Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 01/01/2018 Gr 5–9—This dual narrative shifts the point of view between Lauren, in prose, and Sierra, in verse. Sierra has just been placed in foster care in Lauren's rather wealthy neighborhood after her mother was arrested. Lauren is missing her brother, who was recently sent to a special boarding school for kids on the autism spectrum. She is also outgrowing the relationship with her best friend and neighbor, Ashley. Lauren's social conscience has been awakened, and as she realizes that many do not have the resources she has, she decides to make a concerted effort to welcome Sierra. The two form a bond; but when Lauren comes up with a plan for raising money that involves theft, albeit for a good cause, Sierra becomes understandably anxious because she has a lot to lose. This unique story of friendship features two striving yet flawed main characters. Sierra is close to her mom, though she often has to take on the role of parent in their relationship. Lauren's examination of her privilege is admirable. Her Robin Hood scheme is not. The depiction of her growing compulsion to steal/shoplift is absorbing and suspense ratchets up with each theft as the stakes rise. Thoughtful readers will find a lot to like here—sadness, suspense, even humor. They may even pause to consider their own privilege. VERDICT Great for fans of dual narratives or books like Lynda Mullaly Hunt's One for the Murphys.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 03/15/2018 Lauren and Sierra are both 12 years old, but they’re from completely different worlds. Sierra cares for her alcoholic mother while they’re constantly on the move. Lauren lives in a wealthy suburb and wants for nothing, except maybe to have her autistic brother back home rather than in a boarding school for students on the spectrum. After Sierra is placed in a foster home next door to Lauren, they attend the same private school and become fast friends. Then Lauren becomes so obsessed with raising money to help autistic children who can’t afford services that she sells some of her possessions, then shoplifts and steals from her friends and their families. Sierra is not happy about being drawn in as an unwilling accomplice, but she doesn’t know what to do or whom to trust. Sierra’s narrative, in poetry, captures her spare, cautious, and constrained life. Lauren’s prose is rich and descriptive, much like her own experiences.Together, the contrasting narratives tell a touching story about friendship, loyalty, and resilience that will have lots of appeal. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.

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