Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 05/15/2015 *Starred Review* Firefly dreams of flying to the moon; Cricket, of being a baseball catcher like Yogi Berra; and Vole, of sailing to the sea. These three creatures of Firefly Hollow are brought together by their larger-than-life ambitions and a fascination with giants (humans) to tell a timeless story of friendship, perseverance, and growing up. Firefly is the daredevil of the firefly nation, constantly practicing aerial maneuvers and shocking her friends with bold ideas that knock them clean out of the air—maybe not all giants are bad. Has she learned nothing from Fear of Giants class? Cricket has similar giant-related sentiments, only his views have made him the laughing stock of the cricket nation. When Cricket and Firefly run away, they pursue their dreams in earnest with the help of a miniature giant and a solitary river vole. Like Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux (2003), this lights up darkness through camaraderie and knowledge. A quiet grief underpins much of the narrative, but it serves to strengthen the characters’ understanding of the world and their resolution to take it by storm. Denise’s gorgeous illustrations range from full-color plates that glow with warmth to delightful sketches. Each of the hollow’s nations is richly imagined, as are their respective ambassadors. Brimming with adventure, friendship, loss, and courage, this story will set your heart aglow. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 06/01/2015 Gr 3–5—The denizens of Firefly Hollow deal with loss, maturation, and friendship in this gentle novel. Firefly wants to fly to the moon. Cricket wants most to be the catcher in a baseball game like his hero, Yogi Berra. The miniature giant Peter (a human child) wants his best friend back. These three youngsters help one another to cope with various losses and fears. Watching over them is Vole, an elderly creature who has his own quest to follow. McGhee sensitively portrays the pains of growing up as well as themes of prejudice, death, overcoming fears, and the power of friendship. It is a lot to juggle but the author does it gracefully, effortlessly interweaving the characters' stories. Young readers may not grasp some of the nuances, such as what happened to Peter's best friend. However, readers will root for the appealing characters and enjoy their world. Denise's illustrations are lovely, adding tremendously to the charm of the book. VERDICT Fans of Kate DiCamillo and E.B. White will enjoy this charming tale of unlikely inter-species friendships.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, CA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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