Bound To Stay Bound

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 Brother's keeper
 Author: Lee, Julie

 Publisher:  Holiday House (2021)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 314 p., ill. map, 21 cm

 BTSB No: 556231 ISBN: 9780823444946
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Family life -- Korea -- Fiction
 Siblings -- Fiction
 Refugees -- Fiction
 Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Fiction
 Korea (North) -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction

Price: $22.58

Twelve-year-old Sora and her eight-year-old brother, Youngsoo, must try to escape North Korea's oppressive Communist regime on their own in 1950. Includes historical notes, photographs of the author's mother, glossary of Korean words, and timeline.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.70
   Points: 9.0   Quiz: 510613

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/20)
   School Library Journal (+) (00/06/20)
   Booklist (+) (05/15/20)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 05/15/2020 *Starred Review* Life in North Korea for 12-year-old Sora and her family has been hard since the Russians “liberated” it from Japanese rule. Enticed by tales of their grandfather who had lived in America, Sora and her younger brother, Youngsoo, dream of living away from the rigid controls and brainwashing of the Communist regime. When war erupts, Sora’s family flees toward the freedom of South Korea. But soon, she and Youngsoo become separated from their parents, who are seemingly killed in an explosion. Sora and her brother continue their journey alone to Busan on the southern coast of South Korea, which is still in American hands. To make it, they must avoid capture, scramble for food, and rely on the kindness of other refugees. Through her journey, Sora transforms from a precocious girl into a courageous and intelligent hero. Lee captures Sora's internal journey alongside the physical one, and in the process details the struggles of a refugee from the ground level. Even after Sora arrives at her destination, her battles do not end, as she still must combat the social norms that deny her agency simply for being female. An amazing debut and an important book that explores a part of history few younger readers are taught in school. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 Gr 3–7—A harrowing, heartbreaking tale of hope, love, and survival against insurmountable odds. Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live under the oppressive North Korean communist regime of 1950. As the South Korean army begins to lose ground to the Red Army, hope of liberation dwindles. Sora's stubborn, overbearing mother believes the family should keep their heads down and obey the law. But her father knows that their family's nonconformist political and religious beliefs mean they will never be safe, and convinces the family to flee south to Busan where his brother lives. Whip-smart Sora hopes that Busan will provide freedom from her mother's restrictive expectations of her as a woman and enable her to return to school. The family embarks upon the long journey by foot, but are separated in a sudden aerial bombardment. Sora and her eight-year-old brother Youngsoo must now attempt to complete the journey alone in hopes of reuniting with their family. They face threats at every turn—the elements, other people, lack of resources, and illness—but their strength carries them even as Youngsoo becomes ill. With an artful and expressive narrative voice, and inspiration drawn from her mother's experiences in Korea as a young woman, debut novelist Lee enthralls and enlightens. VERDICT A surefire recommendation all around, this title will be of particular interest to readers seeking excellent historical fiction, survival stories, family drama, or a good tearjerker. Librarians and teachers should be aware that a character suffers a protracted illness and then dies from pneumonia.—Darla Salva Cruz, Suffolk Cooperative Lib. Syst., Bellport, NY - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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