Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 Gr 4–6—Perl's latest offers the perfect opportunity for a reader's theater program. Seventh grader Olive is tired of feeling left out at school because she prefers acting in the drama club rather than playing a sport. Her school is so sports crazy that the principal never acknowledges any of the other clubs during the morning announcements. Olive decides it's time to take action and embarks on a game plan to ensure that her drama club and other groups at school get the attention they deserve. This is a perfect read for fans of Louis Sachar and Andrew Clements who like comedic protagonists who take action when they feel their rights have been violated. Olive provides the perfect role model for middle schoolers. VERDICT A delightful read that begs to be performed aloud.—Margaret Capobianco, Seaford Library, NY - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 09/15/2016 The latest middle-grade from Perl (Aces Wild, 2013) is a bit of a departure, yet delivers the same sharp wit and humor that readers are used to. Seventh-grade playwright Olive Henry reveals the exciting kidnapping, return, and rekidnapping of beloved school mascot Cappy the capybara as new student Dev patiently listens. Quirky and endearing characters enrich Perl’s hilarious three-act script, which, as she suggests, would make a fun read-aloud. Additional staging notes are conversational and informative, though the practicality of memorizing and performing the entire script might be challenging for younger participants, as Olive and best friend Reynaldo constantly have lines long enough to be monologues. Though the messages of animal rights and funding for the arts in school are a bit heavy-handed, it’s easy to root for determined Olive and company when their plan goes haywire. The big reveal (was it all just Olive’s newest creation?) not only adds a clever metafictional element; it might even make readers flip back to the beginning to discover what really happened. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.

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