Bound To Stay Bound

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 Fish Girl
 Author: Napoli, Donna Jo

 Publisher:  Clarion (2017)

 Dewey: 741.5
 Classification: Nonfiction
 Physical Description: 182 p., col. ill., 26 cm

 BTSB No: 667259 ISBN: 9780544815124
 Ages: 10-12 Grades: 5-7

 Graphic novels
 Mermaids -- Fiction
 Self-realization -- Fiction
 Sideshows -- Fiction
 Marine animals -- Fiction

Price: $21.46

Fish Girl, a young mermaid living in a boardwalk aquarium, has never interacted with anyone beyond the walls of her tank until a chance encounter with an ordinary girl, Livia. Their growing friendship inspires Fish Girl's longing for freedom, independence, and a life beyond the aquarium tank. In graphic novel format.

 Illustrator: Wiesner, David
Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 2.30
   Points: 1.0   Quiz: 187656
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 3.50
   Points: 4.0   Quiz: 69772

   Kirkus Reviews (01/15/17)
   School Library Journal (03/01/17)
   Booklist (+) (03/15/17)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/17)
 The Hornbook (00/05/17)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 03/01/2017 Gr 4–8—Children's literature powerhouses Napoli and Wiesner have teamed up to create a striking graphic novel. On the boardwalk, visitors flock to Ocean Wonders, a tank filled with a shark, fish, an octopus, and a turtle—and the star attraction, the elusive Fish Girl. Though kids stare into the water, they catch only a glimpse of the mermaid's fin or arm. Fish Girl's owner and protector, who calls himself Neptune, exerts a Svengali-like control over his mute ward, claiming that he once ruled the ocean and forbidding her from fully revealing herself. But when the young mermaid befriends a girl who visits the tank, she begins to question Neptune's stories about her past and to dream about escaping. Employing inspired composition, a masterly sense of perspective and angles, and a palette dominated by vivid blues and greens, Wiesner submerges readers in Fish Girl's world, conveying both her affection for her home and her companion Octopus and her desire to know life outside her constricting tank. The realistic images and controlled linework hint at a sense of magic below the surface. However, the narrative may stymie readers. Many questions go unanswered (for instance, how does Fish Girl trade her scales and fins for legs when she leaves the water?), and the book ends on a somewhat ambiguous note. VERDICT A gorgeous though cryptic offering; hand this modern-day fairy tale to those who appreciate folklore-influenced fiction.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 03/15/2017 *Starred Review* Fish Girl lives in an aquarium, where visitors come to hear Neptune tell tales of the sea and to search for the elusive girl hiding in the tanks. When a human girl, Livia, sees Fish Girl, the two strike up a friendship that will bring secrets to light and put an end to Fish Girl’s solitude. Wiesner and Napoli, two longtime, well-respected children’s book creators, have turned their focus to graphic novels, and the result is simply beautiful. Napoli tells the story from Fish Girl’s perspective, and she is a smart, determined character, despite her restrictive upbringing. She and Livia appear to be about 12 and have the combination of impending maturity and childishness that is unique to tweens. Their friendship is strong and believable, creating a solid foundation for a tale that eschews The Little Mermaid’s reliance on romance as an agent of change. Caldecott-winner Wiener keeps all of the subtlety and quirkiness of his picture books and adds the clear panel layouts and the skillful narrative flow of a well-executed graphic novel. His luminous colors give the perfect touch of magic to this graceful, gentle story that will strike a chord with fans of such Studio Ghibli movies as Ponyo. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

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