Bound To Stay Bound

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 Categorical universe of Candice Phee
 Author: Jonsberg, Barry

 Publisher:  Chronicle Books (2014)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 242 p.,  19 cm.

 BTSB No: 498802 ISBN: 9781452133515
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Family life -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Australia -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

Candice is a twelve-year-old optimist, with a literal mind, the very best of intentions, and an unwavering determination to fix all the problems of her family, friends, pets, and everyone in her life.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.90
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 173703

   Kirkus Reviews (08/01/14)
   School Library Journal (08/01/14)
   Booklist (09/15/14)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/14)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 08/01/2014 Gr 4–6—Candice Phee's teacher assigned a 26 paragraph (each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet) long essay on something that has happened in the past. But quirky and literal-minded Candice is unable to express her life in such a concise fashion. Instead, she produces a chapter for each, outlining the unexpected death of her younger sister, an ongoing family feud, a neighbor who claims to be from another dimension, and her pet fish. As she writes, she strives to bring her cherished sense of order to the lives of her loved ones by fixing their problems through one grand gesture at a time. Candice is a strong central character, full of personality and a desire to bring happiness to those around her at any cost. The interwoven plots create a rich story, covering a wide expanse that includes loss of a loved one, a caretaker's depression, (possible) brain injuries, and unexpected friendships. The humor laced throughout can be uneven at times, moving from a serious moment to absurd imagery so quickly that readers may need to take pause. Candice takes similar hairpin turns from being incredibly literal, fact-focused and cognizant of social cues, to making large lapses in judgment. The issue of her seemingly ignored pen pal letters, interspersed throughout the alphabetical chapters, also ties up a bit too neatly at the end. This is a strong readalike for Counting by 7s (Dial, 2013) and Out of My Mind(S. & S., 2010).—Nicole Signoretta Sutton, Kingston Elementary School, Cherry Hill, NJ - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 09/15/2014 In Candice Phee’s alphabetical autobiography, written for an English-class assignment, we quickly learn about the 12-year-old’s failure of a father; depressed (and perhaps bipolar), heavily medicated mother; dead baby sister; and Rich Uncle Brian (RUB). Candice is nothing if not forthright and unfiltered. She is a happily freckled and resilient person trapped in a dysfunctional family in Albright, Queensland. Originally published in Australia as My Life as an Alphabet (2013), this portrayal offers universal messages about optimism and friendship. Through her words and deeds, Candice models for young readers the strength of her quirky character to cut through to the heart of what matters. Jonsberg writes in a style that is befitting the flitting, upbeat nature of this special-needs preadolescent, who is bent on righting the wrongs in her family; for her friend Douglas Benson, from Another Dimension; and even bully Jen Marshall. Readers would have to have stone-cold hearts to not root for Candice to succeed. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.

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