Bound To Stay Bound

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 Barftastic life of Louie Burger
 Author: Meyerhoff, Jenny

 Illustrator: Week, Jason

 Publisher:  Farrar Straus Giroux
 Pub Year: 2013

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 227 p., ill., 21 cm.

 BTSB No: 640820 ISBN: 9780374305185
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Comedians -- Fiction
 Stage fright -- Fiction
 Family life -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 School stories
 Talent shows -- Fiction
 Humorous fiction

Price: $6.50

With a school Talent Bonanza coming up, there is only one thing that can keep fifth-grader Louie Burger from taking a big step toward his dream of becoming a world-famous comedian--extreme stage fright.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.40
   Points: 4.0   Quiz: 162852
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 4.20
   Points: 8.0   Quiz: 61185

   Kirkus Reviews (04/01/13)
   School Library Journal (06/01/13)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (07/13)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 06/01/2013 Gr 3–6—Fifth-grader Louie Burger is a would-be comedian with a bad case of stage fright. He has a great repertoire of funny jokes that he can only perform in front of a pretend audience on a stage he and his dad built inside his closet. Louie's best friend for years has been his neighbor, Nick Yamashita. Recently Nick has become friends with a girl whose nickname is Thermos. Although they try to include Louie in their activities, he is jealous and ends up being rude. Navigating this friendship issue is difficult, and Louie is not finding as much support as usual from his dad, who recently lost his job. When Louie feels overwhelmed, he writes and draws funny journal entries. With the fifth-grade talent show looming, he receives help in overcoming his stage fright from an unexpected source. At times the "barf" silliness becomes a distraction to the well-written story, but Meyerhoff does a good job of capturing the protagonist's voice, and readers will identify with Louie. Clever illustrations enhance the narrative. Give this one to those who enjoyed Lisa Yee's "Bobby" books (Scholastic) or Lenore Look's "Alvin Ho" series (Random), and to reluctant readers.—Tina Martin, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2013 Fifth-grader Louie Burger would like nothing more than make audiences laugh like his comic idol, Lou Lafferman, but Louie’s severe stage fright limits his performance venues to his empty closet. As his school’s annual talent show approaches, however, Louie considers doing his act for the first time in public, urged on by his supportive father and perhaps with the ultimate goal of finally showing up the class bully. Unfortunately, Louie’s hopes to partner up for his act with his best pal Nick are dashed when Nick seems to be too busy with Thermos, a sports-loving girl he met at summer camp. This is mostly a retread of already well-worn middle-grade territory, with Meyerhoff’s take on the wayward best friend and the manipulative bully lacking the candid authenticity of Hasak-Lowy’s 33 Minutes (BCCB 2/13). Even the stand-up routine is well-worn; as the title suggests at, many of Louie’s jokes are barf-themed, and the humor is largely stale and predictable. Louie is a likable guy, though, and his observations about his family and school while offstage are pretty spot-on, particularly when it comes to the parallels between what he sees as his failure to become a comedian and his dad’s unsuccessful attempts to become an artist. His unicorn-obsessed little sister is also quite a hoot, so there’s a fair amount for readers to giggle at regardless of their taste. Week’s monochromatic art adds to the humor with its cast of appealingly goofy big-headed folks. KQG - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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