Bound To Stay Bound

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 Baba Yaga's assistant
 Author: McCoola, Marika

 Illustrator: Carroll, Emily

 Publisher:  Candlewick Press
 Pub Year: 2015

 Dewey: 741.5
 Classification: Nonfiction
 Physical Description: 136 p., ill., 22 cm.

 BTSB No: 621118 ISBN: 9780763669614
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Baba Yaga -- (Legendary character) -- Fiction
 Witches -- Fiction
 Graphic novels

Price: $20.01

The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga's house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu. In graphic novel format.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 2.80
   Points: 1.0   Quiz: 175367
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 3.20
   Points: 5.0   Quiz: 66579

   School Library Journal (00/08/15)
   Booklist (06/01/15)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/10/15)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 06/01/2015 Masha was raised by her grandmother, who regaled her with wry stories about outwitting Baba Yaga, but now her grandmother’s dead, her insensitive father is getting remarried, and Masha doesn’t feel welcome at home anymore. Luckily, she spots Baba Yaga’s newspaper ad for an assistant, so she packs up a few enchanted items and sets off to find the witch. Recalling Baba Yaga stories as well as her grandmother’s kindness, lonesome Masha cleverly tackles the witch’s assignments. But are her wiles—not to mention her sneaky, innate magical talents—enough to satisfy Baba Yaga’s demands? Carroll’s dark yet luminous artwork is a perfect match for McCoola’s tale, particularly when she illustrates the classic Baba Yaga stories interspersed throughout, which appear in blockier, simplified figures framed by charming folk-art-style designs. Meanwhile, Masha’s story is full of eerie shading and delicate detail. Witches are certainly spooky fare, but this Baba Yaga appreciates cunningly creative thinking, and, as Masha discovers, she’s surprisingly warmhearted. A perfect match for Deb Lucke’s The Lunch Witch (2015). - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 4–7—Masha is less than thrilled when her widower father announces he is going to remarry. The last thing she wants is a stepmother and stepsister. All she can think of are the tales her grandmother would tell her, filled with evil stepmothers and the terrible trickster Baba Yaga. With emotions running high and feeling unwanted by her father, Masha decides to respond to the following ad: "ASSISTANT WANTED ASAP: Must have skills in hauling, obeying orders, cooking and cleaning. Magical talent a bonus. Must be good with heights. Enter Baba Yaga's house to apply." Not knowing what to expect, but feeling that nothing can be as bad as her situation at home, she heads into the forest. The events that follow help Masha find the strength to survive and endure Baba Yaga's tests and the courage to face what is waiting back home for her. Upper elementary readers will enjoy how the illustrations create a moody and mysterious creepiness surrounding Baba Yaga. The characters are expressively drawn, adding drama to the story. Masha's tween angst will resonate as she copes with her new family situation. VERDICT This title will find a home with fans of R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" (Scholastic) and Luke Pearson's "Hilda" graphic novel series (Nobrow).—Carol Hirsche, Provo City Library, UT - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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