Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 K-Gr 3—Rachel is desperate to celebrate Christmas, even though she and her family are Jewish. Feeling "like a kid in a candy store with no mouth," she secretly develops a scheme to get Santa to visit her home, complete with a letter to the North Pole, homemade decorations, and even a visit to the mall to sit on his lap. When he doesn't show, she is extremely disappointed and is almost too sad to enjoy her family's traditional dinner at a Chinese restaurant, the only place left open. There, she is surprised to find she isn't the only kid not visited by Santa when she meets other classmates who also don't celebrate the season but take pride in their own cultural holidays and traditions. Davenier's illustrations are the highlight of this title. Bright watercolors depict Rachel and her family as a loving group, surrounded by commercial trappings of the season. Unfortunately, while the story attempts to teach pride and celebration in other traditions, it is overshadowed in a final spread that reinforces the idea that Christmas is superior and that "sometimes, no matter how badly we want something, we just have to accept what is." VERDICT Attractive and well-meaning, if not entirely successful.—Brooke Sheets, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 10/15/2015 Christmas is coming, and no one is more excited than Rachel Rosenstein. All the houses on her block are putting up lights and decorations, but her house is bare, and she can’t get the rest of her family excited. They are Jewish, and they have plenty of holidays of their own to celebrate. But as much as Rachel likes hunting for the afikomen on Passover and blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, she can’t help but be jealous of her neighbors when Christmastime rolls around. She writes a letter to Santa and goes to see him in the mall, but will it be enough to convince him to come to her house on Christmas morning? And if he doesn’t, how can she treat Christmas as just an ordinary day? The ending is a little too tidy, but Rachel’s plight will speak to kids growing up in mixed-culture communities. The bright, detailed illustrations capture Rachel’s enthusiasm and her dogged efforts to capture the Christmas spirit. This will help introduce young readers to other cultures while allowing them to preserve the magic of their own. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

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