Bound To Stay Bound

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 Dubious pranks of Shaindy Goodman
 Author: Lowe, Mari

 Publisher:  Levine Querido (2023)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 162 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 588990 ISBN: 9781646142644
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Jews -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Practical jokes -- Fiction

Price: $23.28

Shaindy is a twelve-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl who struggles in school and has no good friends. She watches with envy as her next-door neighbor, Gayil, excels socially and academically. It comes as a surprise when Shaindy looks out her window one September evening and sees Gayil staring out at her from her own window with a sign reading "want to know a secret?" The secret (at first) is that Gayil has a key fob that will allow them to break into their school after hours. The mischief begins.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.60
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 520993

   Kirkus Reviews (08/15/23)
   School Library Journal (11/01/23)
   Booklist (10/15/23)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/11/23)
 The Hornbook (+) (00/11/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 10/15/2023 Heading into sixth grade, 12-year-old Shaindy Goodman is anticipating continued invisibility, so it’s quite the surprise when her popular next-door neighbor, the effervescent Gayil, wants to confide in her. Gayil reveals that she found a teacher’s key fob and plans to sneak into school at night to set up a harmless prank on a classmate—and she wants Shaindy’s help. Shaindy agrees to the scheme, and after the plan succeeds, the pair conspires to pull off increasingly risky pranks, even when they start to seem more cruel than comical. The tight-knit school is thrown into a tizzy, and a devastating betrayal upends Shaindy’s formerly quiet existence. With Yom Kippur looming on the horizon, Shaindy has to decide what true forgiveness and justice look like in her suddenly complicated world. The absorbing novel shines a spotlight on the complexities of young friendship and immerses readers in the Orthodox Jewish community. Every character feels fully fleshed out, and Shaindy’s conflicting desires will resonate with young readers. An enormously rewarding meditation on friendship, fairness, and forgiveness. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 11/01/2023 Gr 3–7—Shaindy lives in a small Jewish suburb where life is quiet, and Jewish traditions are closely followed. Shaindy is thrilled to be chosen to participate in a prank by the most popular girl in her yeshiva's all-girl sixth grade class. She sees her classmates rollerblading and wants to join them, but her parents won't buy her a pair until she proves adept at it. As an incentive for joining in on the pranks, cool girl Gayil promises to teach Shaindy how to rollerblade. At first, Shaindy overlooks her misgivings and follows along, but as time passes, Shaindy starts to realize that the pranks are not harmless and are filled with spite. This causes Shaindy to wonder about the connections among those being pranked, herself, and Gayil. Eventually, the mean girl pins Shaindy as the only guilty party. Initially, the protagonist is very angry at Gayil, but then Shaindy begins to truly think about mercy as her community celebrates Yom Kippur, a day of forgiveness. There is a dearth of middle grade, non–Holocaust-related novels with Jewish main characters. Lowe's second novel for middle schoolers is a well-written, pitch-perfect contribution for the audience. The struggle between trying to fit in and keeping true to yourself will resonate with all tweens. VERDICT Readers will eagerly follow Shaindy's story and root for her to make decisions aligned with her values.—Charla Hollingsworth - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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