Bound To Stay Bound

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 Stepping stones (Peapod Farm)
 Author: Knisley, Lucy

 Publisher:  RH Graphic (2020)

 Dewey: 741.5
 Classification: Nonfiction
 Physical Description: 203 p., col. ill., 21 cm

 BTSB No: 526815 ISBN: 9780593125243
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Subjects:
 Graphic novels
 Families -- Fiction
 Country life -- Fiction

Price: $23.56

Summary:
Jen moves out to the country and has to put up with her mom and her mom's new boyfriend, as well as his kids. Suddenly part of a larger family in a new place, Jen isn't sure there is a place for her in this different world. In graphic novel format.

 Illustrator: Cogar, Whitney
Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 2.60
   Points: 1.0   Quiz: 509224

Reviews:
   School Library Journal (04/01/20)
 The Hornbook (+) (00/05/20)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 Gr 4–7—City girl Jen is overwhelmed. Following her parents' divorce, her mother uproots them to the country to live on a small farm. Instead of visiting comic book shops and eating Chinese food, Jen is struggling to make change at the family farm stand, taking care of the chickens, and learning to live with her mom's bossy, know-it-all boyfriend, Walter, and his daughters, Andy and Reese. Everyone in Jen's new household seems confident and perfect, especially Andy, who somehow outshines Jen at every turn. Inspired by the author's own childhood, Knisley's first middle grade graphic novel soars. She perceptively portrays the highs and lows of being a preteen, from the frustration of living with the fallout of adults' decisions to the joy of building new families. Her young characters are effectively and sympathetically depicted; all have individual talents and personalities and learn to work together despite their differences. However, the adults, particularly Walter, remain clueless and insensitive—an issue that will hopefully be addressed in future volumes (this title is the first of three interconnected books). The art is lively and colorful with beautifully detailed backgrounds. Jen frequently expresses her angst through charming, stick-figure artwork, which, along with Knisley's spot-on facial expressions, emphasizes the drama of blended family. VERDICT This candid, heartwarming look at a child grappling with major changes will resonate with fans of Raina Telgemeier and Svetlana Chmakova and anyone trying to find their place.—Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 04/15/2020 It’s bad enough that Jen is forced to move to a farm in the country with her mom’s new boyfriend, Walter, but when he brings his daughter Andy into the mix, Jen’s feelings of isolation deepen. Walter is bossy and condescending, and Andy is “Miss Perfect.” As the makeshift family establishes their farm and a booth at the weekend market, Jen’s struggles with math and clashes with Andy stoke familial tensions. Knisley’s first foray into children’s comics—a fictionalized version of her own experience—beautifully captures the loneliness of childhood. Dropped into a new life with relative strangers, Jen’s only refuge is her notebook, the doodles of which serve as full-page chapter breaks and occasionally intrude on panels. Knisley’s storytelling style is a natural fit for middle-grade readers, with her clean, inviting art tracking Jen’s emotional journey through subtle shifts in expression and posture. While Walter’s antagonism will make readers red in the face, Jen's growth and relationships ultimately provide a heartwarming arc to this quietly charming tale. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.

Booklist - 04/15/2020 It’s bad enough that Jen is forced to move to a farm in the country with her mom’s new boyfriend, Walter, but when he brings his daughter Andy into the mix, Jen’s feelings of isolation deepen. Walter is bossy and condescending, and Andy is “Miss Perfect.” As the makeshift family establishes their farm and a booth at the weekend market, Jen’s struggles with math and clashes with Andy stoke familial tensions. Knisley’s first foray into children’s comics—a fictionalized version of her own experience—beautifully captures the loneliness of childhood. Dropped into a new life with relative strangers, Jen’s only refuge is her notebook, the doodles of which serve as full-page chapter breaks and occasionally intrude on panels. Knisley’s storytelling style is a natural fit for middle-grade readers, with her clean, inviting art tracking Jen’s emotional journey through subtle shifts in expression and posture. While Walter’s antagonism will make readers red in the face, Jen's growth and relationships ultimately provide a heartwarming arc to this quietly charming tale. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.

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