Bound To Stay Bound

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 Unbeatable Lily Hong
 Author: Ma, Diana

 Publisher:  Clarion (2024)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 292 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 591843 ISBN: 9780358617235
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Chinese Americans -- Fiction
 Fund raising -- Fiction
 School stories
 Family life -- Fiction

Price: $23.98

Lily Hong attempts to save her parents' Chinese school and the town's community center using all the resources she has--devoted friends, ingenuity, a passion for filmmaking, mediocre dance moves (at best), and perhaps even her archnemesis.

   Kirkus Reviews (11/15/23)
   School Library Journal (12/15/23)
   Booklist (01/01/24)
 The Hornbook (00/03/24)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 12/15/2023 Gr 5–8—Against all odds, a fiery narrator saves the day in YA writer Ma's debut middle grade novel. Aspiring filmmaker Lily always gets one-upped by her nemesis Max, the only other Chinese student in their small-town middle school outside of Seattle. The competitive heroine is determined to win the annual school district film competition; but her project suffers as she also tries to save the community center where her parents work and she grudgingly attends Chinese school. Lily's distractions pull her away from her loyal friends and closer to Max, who may be helpful in rescuing the center. Lily is a wonderfully flawed and believable character, quick to anger and judge, and funny in her sarcasm. Not all the others are as well developed, such as Lily's parents and other adults, but the book includes a nice array of people of diverse backgrounds. Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Trek will also enjoy the many references and subculture portrayals, as well as those interested in Chinese mythology. There are abrupt scene changes and implausibly happy endings to complex problems, along with some bumpy wording along the way, but nothing to deter enjoying the tale. VERDICT A feel-good story with a simmering romance that will likely lead readers to Ma's YA novels.—Elissa Cooper - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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