Bound To Stay Bound

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 Virtually me
 Author: Morris, Chad

 Publisher:  Shadow Mountain (2023)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 252 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 659682 ISBN: 9781639930531
 Ages: 8-11 Grades: 3-6

 Middle school students -- Fiction
 Middle school -- Fiction
 Avatars (Virtual reality) -- Fiction
 Bullies -- Fiction
 Popularity -- Fiction
 Baldness -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Virtual reality -- Fiction
 Social media -- Fiction

Price: $21.88

Five tweens navigate the pandemic by attending an experimental virtual reality school.

 Added Entry - Personal Name: Brown, Shelly

   Kirkus Reviews (12/01/22)
   School Library Journal (01/01/23)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 01/01/2023 Gr 3–7—Remember the push to be productive during the pandemic? Morris and Brown accepted that challenge, writing a middle school ode to individuality fueled by remote learning options. Their tale follows three students, chronicling why each one enrolls in the fanciest virtual middle school imaginable. Seriously, socializing there is realistic and visceral, even down to a seamless virtual dance. Each narrator has different motivations—hating public school, "embarrassing" medical problems, parental interventions—but through it all, they begin examining what fuels their relationships. Messages about accepting people for who they are on the inside are ideal for the target tween/early teen group. There is a humanizing inclusion of the bully's viewpoint, where a shallow popular kid experiences a middle grade dark night of the soul. A potential shortcoming may be that the topic of COVID-19—fueled creativity might lend to a short shelf life. The pandemic is written in bold present tense, with masks and quarantining used without explanation. With a tone perfectly geared towards older elementary and young middle school students, it is possible the COVID-19 references may date the plot. VERDICT A classic "be yourself" tale, with enough VR bells and whistles to keep tweens interested.—Cat McCarrey - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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