Bound To Stay Bound

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 Pahua and the soul stealer
 Author: Lee, Lori M.

 Publisher:  Disney/Hyperion (2021)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 423 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 556862 ISBN: 9781368068246
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Spirits -- Fiction
 Shamans -- Fiction
 Hmong mythology -- Fiction
 Hmong Americans -- Fiction

Price: $21.88

While trying to rescue her brother's soul from the spirit world, eleven-year-old Pahua discovers that she is the reincarnation of a legendary shaman warrior.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.30
   Points: 15.0   Quiz: 514263

   Kirkus Reviews (08/01/21)
   School Library Journal (+) (08/01/21)
   Booklist (08/01/21)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 08/01/2021 Having an invisible talking cat as your best friend gets you branded as strange, but 11-year-old Pahua has been able to see spirits for as long as she can remember. After a new girl at school invites her to hang out, Pahua’s chance at friendship goes awry as she accidentally untethers an angry spirit. When the spirit takes her brother’s soul, causing him to fall ill, Pahua must undertake an unexpected quest, along with a snotty warrior shaman-in-training, to the spirit realm. Drawing from Hmong stories and blending fantasy with horror, Pahua’s hero journey has unexpected friendships and betrayals, meetings with gods, fights with demons, and reincarnated warriors, all while Pahua discovers her unexpected powers and deals with her feelings over the fact that her father has left. Pahua is clever with a bit of snark, giving the story a lot of humor, and while the book is long, the pace is quick, with plenty of adventure and action to keep readers going. Another exciting, mythology-based fantasy for middle-graders. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 08/01/2021 Gr 4 Up—This action-packed adventure centers Pahua, a Hmong girl who can see nature spirits. Her father abandoned the family, leaving her alone with her mother and little brother. The school bullies, who read as white, make fun of Pahua's food, dress, and language. A new girl finally invites Pahua to hang out at the bridge, and despite feeling negative vibes Pahua agrees to go. At the bridge, Pahua comes into contact with the spirit of a girl that died there. This spirit is angry and attaches itself to Pahua—and her little brother. Pahua borrows some of the shaman gear left by her aunt in her mother's closet and goes to confront the bridge spirit. While there she meets, Zhong, a shaman warrior in training. Zhong, who knows more about evil spirits called poj ntxoog, agrees to assist Pahua in going into the spirit realm to save her little brother. Pahua learns from a friendly spirit that she only has a few days to untether the bridge spirit from her little brother's or he will die. Pahua and Zhong come across many spiritfolk who assist them and tell more folktales, building the rich world out for the reader. The girls even meet some of the Gods and Goddesses themselves. Lee uses Hmong language throughout the story, and readers who are unfamiliar will be able to figure out the meaning using context and the glossary at the end of the book. The prevalent themes of this action-packed novel include friendship, family, and identity. VERDICT This powerful story rooted in Southeast Asian mythology should be on all shelves for teens and tweens to find. Fantasy readers will love Pahua and look forward to her adventures.—Helen Prince, Indian Land H.S., Fort Mill, SC - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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