Bound To Stay Bound

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 Thanks a lot, universe (Thanks A Lot, Universe)
 Author: Lucas, Chad

 Publisher:  Amulet Books (2021)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 279 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 589794 ISBN: 9781419751028
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Family problems -- Fiction
 Foster children -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Basketball -- Fiction
 Junior high schools -- Fiction
 School stories
 Gay teenagers -- Fiction

Price: $21.88

Brian has always been anxious, whether at home, or in class, or on the basketball court. His dad tries to get him to stand up for himself and his mom helps as much as she can, but after he and his brother are placed in foster care, Brian starts having panic attacks. And he doesn't know if things will ever be "normal" again. Ezra's always been popular. He's friends with most of the kids on his basketball team-even Brian, who usually keeps to himself. But now, some of his friends have been acting differently, and Brian seems to be pulling away. Ezra wants to help, but he worries if he's too nice to Brian, his friends will realize that he has a crush on him.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 3.80
   Points: 8.0   Quiz: 511505

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/15/21)
   School Library Journal (+) (00/07/21)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 07/01/2021 Gr 5–8—Author Lucas scores big with this debut. Readers follow Brian, who is white, and Ezra, who is Trinidadian and Polish, during the last weeks of seventh grade. Brian's family fractures when his father leaves in an attempt to avoid legal repercussions at his job and his mother attempts suicide. As Brian and his little brother find themselves in foster care, Brian's existing anxiety becomes overwhelming. Meanwhile, Ezra navigates rapidly changing friendships and struggles to share his sexuality with folks important to him. As the boys' bond grows, they truly see and uplift each other, illustrating the importance of honest friendships. Lucas's prose is funny and deeply empathetic, respecting readers' ability to handle heavy topics but lightened with frequent laugh-out-loud moments. The diverse cast of characters demonstrates the complexity of friendship and navigating difficult conversations. While similar real-world experiences are likely to be bumpier than portrayed here, the book's hope and positivity are infectious. Readers can learn a great deal from these characters. VERDICT Painfully real and radiantly hopeful, this is a recommended first purchase. Perfect for the transition from middle grade to young adult literature, this title would be at home in both collections, and certainly on middle school shelves.—Taylor Worley, Springfield P.L., OR - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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