Bound To Stay Bound

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 Chester Keene cracks the code
 Author: Magoon, Kekla

 Publisher:  Wendy Lamb Books (2022)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 293 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 596647 ISBN: 9781524715991
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Treasure hunt (Game) -- Fiction
 School stories
 Single-parent families -- Fiction

Price: $21.88

Eleven-year-old Chester and his classmate Skye, tasked with a complex puzzle-solving mission, discover the key to their spy assignment is to stop a heist, but cracking the code could mean finding out things are not always what they seem.

   Kirkus Reviews (05/01/22)
   School Library Journal (07/01/22)
   Booklist (06/01/22)
 The Hornbook (59/66/47)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 07/01/2022 Gr 3–7—Chester Keene doesn't mess around; he can clock what's happening around him faster than you can say "boo." He's a spy, because he believes his dad is one—that's why he hasn't been around in years, right? So when Skye approaches him at school and says she has a clue to a seemingly innocent scavenger hunt, Chester is willing to break his much-loved routine. He embarks on a mission that he's convinced will bring him closer to his dad and help him fight back against a middle school bully, only to find his world changing faster than he can handle. Magoon explores the complex relationships of a single-parent family without flinching or tying a tight bow on the package. The story is well paced and will appeal to fans of realistic fiction and mysteries. Chester is a biracial boy who is white and Black; Skye is a biracial girl who is white and Japanese American. VERDICT In a novel that will appeal to fans of Remy Lai's Fly on the Wall, Magoon creates memorable characters and a wacky adventure that toes the line between playful fantasy and deep-rooted emotional journey.—Gina Elbert - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 06/01/2022 Chester is quiet. Methodical. A bit of a loner. He’s also a spy-in-training, just like his father, whom he’s never met—and who must be a spy, since he only contacts Chester occasionally with a super-secret message. Then his classmate Skye approaches with a set of scavenger hunt clues that complement the ones Chester just received from his dad. Skye is his exact opposite, yet as they bond over their love of puzzles, having separated parents, and the experience of being biracial (Chester’s parents are Black and white, while Skye’s are white and Japanese American), Chester realizes that they make a great team. Magoon’s portrayal of a bullied boy who doesn’t understand how to sort through or communicate his feelings is touching and at times frustratingly realistic. Watching him push his mother away as he navigates the complexities of adolescence while yearning for his father’s advice is heartbreaking; you can’t help but wish for his happiness while also bracing yourself for the life lessons he learns. For fans of scavenger hunts, puzzles, and stories of building new family. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

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