Bound To Stay Bound

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 Honestly Elliott
 Author: McDunn, Gillian

 Publisher:  Bloomsbury Children's Books (2022)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 263 p., ill., 21 cm

 BTSB No: 624211 ISBN: 9781547606252
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Friendship -- Fiction
 Father-son relationship -- Fiction
 Divorce -- Fiction
 Cooking -- Fiction

Price: $21.88

Struggling with ADHD, loneliness, and connecting with his divorced father who would rather see him embrace sports instead of cooking, sixth-grader Elliott finds an unlikely friend in popular, perfect Maribel when the two are paired in a school-wide contest.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.30
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 514124

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/01/22)
   School Library Journal (+) (04/01/22)
   Booklist (+) (03/01/22)
 The Hornbook (00/03/22)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 04/01/2022 Gr 4–7—A novel full of heart, humor, and honesty. Elliott is your typical kid dealing with his parents' divorce, his best friend moving away, a baby brother being born, not fitting in at his new school, nearly failing sixth grade—and on top of it all, Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder. His passion for cooking drives him to want to do better so he can go to an awesome cooking camp in the summer. When his big school project comes up, he sees it as an opportunity to pay for camp and prove to his dad that cooking is a worthwhile endeavor. But when Elliott's so-called friends refuse to work with him, he ends up making an unexpected ally and convincing her that his cooking skills can get her an A. Elliot is an instantly lovable character, and readers will be hooked from the very first chapter. McDunn provides an honest look into ADHD and normalizes male characters exploring their feelings through therapy, which is a refreshing take on navigating a complicated dad-son relationship. Middle graders will be able to see themselves as Elliot through his various interests and relationships. Those with ADHD may appreciate this reflective text as a glimpse inside the brain of a middle schooler with ADHD. VERDICT This is a must-have for any library servicing middle grade readers; Elliot's struggles are commonplace, and his story is told from a place of warmth and humor, which makes those realities a little less painful and the lessons included easier to digest.—Erin Decker - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 03/01/2022 *Starred Review* Elliott, who has ADHD, loves cooking, and he’s really good at it. When he’s creating special dishes, Elliott has no trouble focusing on the tasks at hand, but when it comes to schoolwork and chores, he’s easily distracted. In fact, he nearly failed the first semester of sixth grade. His one good friend left town a year ago. His parents are divorced, and his father has remarried. Now that his stepmother is pregnant, Elliott fears that Dad may be shifting away from him and toward his new family. Paired with smart, popular Maribel for a group project, Elliott befriends her. He’s surprised to discover that even she has trouble dealing with a condition (celiac disease) that even her friends don’t really try to understand. McDunn has a talent for creating sympathetic characters who don’t always communicate well with each other. Noting that his father is “trying to squeeze in all the father-son stuff he can before the new baby comes,” Elliott’s perceptive first-person narrative is frank up to a point, though for dramatic effect, McDunn holds back one revelation for quite a while. This well-paced, heartfelt chapter book offers a lovable main character, a lively supporting cast, and a satisfying conclusion. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

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