Bound To Stay Bound

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 Luck of the Titanic
 Author: Lee, Stacey

 Publisher:  Putnam (2021)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 368 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 556530 ISBN: 9781524740986
 Ages: 12-16 Grades: 7-11

 Titanic (Steamship) -- Fiction
 Siblings -- Fiction
 Twins -- Fiction
 Chinese -- England -- Fiction
Historical Fiction
Adventure Fiction
Family Life

Price: $23.28

After smuggling herself onto the RMS Titanic, British-Chinese teenager Valora Luck reunites with her twin brother and tries to convince him that their acrobatic training could be their ticket to a better life.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG+
   Reading Level: 5.20
   Points: 13.0   Quiz: 513075

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/21)
   School Library Journal (+) (05/01/21)
   Booklist (+) (05/15/21)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/04/21)
 The Hornbook (00/09/21)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 05/01/2021 Gr 6 Up—Lee's revelatory novel uncovers the tale of eight Chinese passengers braving shipwreck through the travails of a resourceful heroine. Valora Luck is in line for the RMS Titanic when she discovers that the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 will bar her from entering the United States, where she dreams of becoming a circus acrobat. But Valora needs to get on the ship for another reason—she's desperate to find her sailor brother, Jamie. After smuggling herself onboard, Valora disguises herself as a veiled widow and gains access to a first-class cabin. Valora's need to pass as a first-class, white English lady vies with her desire to rejoin her brother and his band of Chinese British sailors. She also craves the chance to showcase her acrobatic talent while navigating a ship's geography defined by class, gender, immigration status, and race. Excitement abounds long before the Titanic hits an iceberg, and the twist ending aligns with the historical record. While the stakes of Valora's quest are high, they don't detract from the joy of reading Lee's complex depiction of identity. Valora and Jamie are London-born children of a Chinese father and a Cockney mother, who switch fluidly between English and Cantonese. Through Jamie's Chinese crew, Lee depicts a nuanced spectrum of bilingualism and cultural hybridity. VERDICT With a compassionate, strong heroine and a diverse cast, this is an exciting, important retelling of the Titanic tragedy.—Katherine Magyarody, Texas A&M Univ., College Station - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 05/15/2021 *Starred Review* Lee follows the success of The Downstairs Girl (2019) with a dauntless character’s experience on an infamous ship. Valora Luck is determined to board the Titanic. After the recent death of her Chinese father and still grieving the loss of her British mother, she longs to reunite with her twin brother, Jamie, who's already on board along with his steamship crew. Val becomes hard-set on convincing Jamie to revive their acrobatic act, hoping it will impress a circus magnate on the ship, who could secure them entry into the U.S. and bypass the Chinese Exclusion Act. As a stowaway, Val experiences the opulence of first class and the contrasting xenophobia in third class, and all the while her movements throughout the ship offer a strong sense of setting and will ground readers both familiar and unfamiliar with the interior of the Titanic. The intensifying narrative is driven by Val’s tenacity, but the relationships fostered with Jamie’s steamship mates, whose characters are inspired by the real-life presence of eight Chinese passengers aboard the fated ship, lay the groundwork for the emotional reckoning. Lee’s conversational style adds a freshness to the historical frame and achieves a thrilling balance between hope and anguish through budding romances and humor amid the looming tragedy. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

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