Bound To Stay Bound

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 It wasn't me
 Author: Levy, Dana Alison

 Publisher:  Yearling (2020)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 327 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 567553 ISBN: 9781524766436
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Photography -- Fiction
 Middle schools -- Fiction
 School stories
 Interpersonal relations -- Fiction

Price: $6.55

When Theo's photography project is vandalized, the five students nearby all claim it was not them, so Theo's favorite teacher suggests they all spend vacation week together and get to the truth.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.00
   Points: 10.0   Quiz: 501233
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 4.50
   Points: 16.0   Quiz: 76586

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 10/01/2018 Gr 5–8—When someone defaces the self-portraits that seventh grader Theo reluctantly hung in the school gallery, he just wants the whole school to forget his humiliation; his darkroom photos are destroyed soon afterward, though, and Theo feels that he is being targeted. The principal is eager to suspend the guilty person, but Theo's favorite teacher wants the five suspects who were in the gallery when the damage was discovered to come together in what she calls a "justice circle" to resolve the problem and make amends. And so Theo is trapped in a classroom with the students whom he calls the Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Weirdo, and the Screw-Up for the entire school break. Even though each student claims to be innocent, each has secrets, and they come to realize, as Ms. Lewiston tells them on the first day, that each is fighting an unseen battle. As Ms. Lewiston guides them through the resolution process, the tweens begin to see beyond labels, and Theo vacillates between wanting to know who hates him enough to vandalize his photos, and not wanting to learn that it is one of his newfound friends. Levy writes in an easy style with laugh-out-loud humor, offering characters that slowly reveal deeper complexity. Although the conclusion has a made-for-TV-movie predictability, it delivers an affirming message without being trite or preachy. VERDICT This is an engaging read with quirky, likable characters with whom tweens will identify. A good purchase for any collection serving middle schoolers.—MaryAnn Karre, Binghamton, NY - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 10/01/2018 Having to go to school over break stinks, but circumstantial evidence surrounding vandalism brings six unhappy seventh-graders together for a justice circle facilitated by a favorite teacher. Like The Breakfast Club, each student carries a label by which they are automatically judged (the nerd, the princess, the jock, the weirdo, the screw-up), and this experimental gathering seeks to discover not only who destroyed Theo’s photographs but why. Despite a slow start, the story becomes as much a whodunit as an examination of judging others based on assumptions. Each day, the five possible perps fill out a questionnaire, offering readers a glimpse into the characters’ personalities and thin layers of clues. Meanwhile, the six learn about each other’s backgrounds, passions, and commonalities, leading to surprising results. Told primarily via Theo’s first-person narrative, readers join him as he discovers what happened and feel his ever-changing emotions about the events. Plenty of laughs and loads of interesting introspection help drive the story. Fans of Levy’s Family Fletcher books will love that Jax is one of the suspects. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.

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