Bound To Stay Bound

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 Vera Vance, comics star (After-School Superstars)
 Author: Mills, Claudia

 Publisher:  Holiday House (2020)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 114 p., ill., 20 cm

 BTSB No: 647367 ISBN: 9780823440948
 Ages: 7-10 Grades: 2-5

 Subjects:
 Cartoons and comics -- Fiction
 Authorship -- Fiction
 Camps -- Fiction

Price: $20.18

Summary:
Third-grader Vera, a budding artist who loves every minute of her after-school comic-book camp, searches for a way to get her mother's permission to attend the camp's final field trip to Comic-Con.

 Illustrator: Zong, Grace
Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 5.40
   Points: 2.0   Quiz: 506784

Reviews:
   Kirkus Reviews (12/01/19)
   School Library Journal (02/01/20)
   Booklist (01/01/20)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/20)
 The Hornbook (00/03/20)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 02/01/2020 Gr 2–5—This beginning chapter book stars budding artist Vera as she navigates her elementary after-school program and a series of personal anxieties. Most paramount of her constant worries is Vera's relationship with her mother, who disapproves of the comic camp that Vera loves. Vera is new to her town and school but finds a fast friend in Nixie. Yet with this friendship comes another anxiety: Vera is scared to voice that she would like to work independently on her own comic rather than work as a team. She begins to funnel her energy and her own emotional narrative into creating a comic about a character named Little Spoon, based on herself. The character of Big Spoon resembles Vera's disapproving mother. Vera despairs of ever finding the courage to speak up for what she wants, but she finds her voice by speaking up for classmates who are being teased. Vera still struggles to find the words to tell her mother, who she disagrees with but loves deeply, that she wants to attend the local comic con with her fellow campers. She chooses to let her art speak for her instead and uses the story of Little Spoon and Big Spoon to reveal her inner fears and wants. VERDICT This is a welcome addition to the "After-School Superstars" series and a lesson in family love and self-expression.—Lauren Younger, University of Dallas Library - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 01/01/2020 Vera makes a good friend, Nixie, in her after-school program. They’re both excited to be starting its “comic-book camp” option, though it took all of Vera’s persuasive powers to wrangle permission from her mother, a single parent intent on maximizing educational opportunities. Inspired by her teachers’ introduction to storytelling, Vera creates Little Spoon, a character who lives in the silverware drawer with overprotective Big Spoon. Vera works hard on the project and on convincing her mother to let her go on a field trip to a Comic-Con. Mom is adamantly opposed, but after reading Little Spoon’s story, she has a change of heart. Readers will enjoy the discussions of comics, the moments of classroom drama, and the fine-tuned, sensitive depiction of Vera’s relationship with her mother. It’s no surprise that Vera’s comic reflects her own situation, emotions, and hopes. The unexpected twist here comes when Little Spoon triumphs by creating a happy ending for Vera’s story as well as her own. A rewarding addition to the After-School Superstars series, which opened with Nixie Ness, Cooking Star (2019). - Copyright 2020 Booklist.

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