Bound To Stay Bound

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 Labors of Hercules Beal
 Author: Schmidt, Gary D.

 Publisher:  Clarion (2023)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 347 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 786811 ISBN: 9780358659631
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Orphans -- Fiction
 Brothers -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Middle schools -- Fiction
 School stories
 Mythology -- Fiction

Price: $23.98

Seventh-grader Hercules Beal has to figure out how to fulfill his teacher's assignment of performing the Twelve Labors of Hercules in real life, and discovers important things about friendship, community, and himself along the way.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.50
   Points: 12.0   Quiz: 520384

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/15/23)
   School Library Journal (+) (02/01/23)
   Booklist (+) (12/01/23)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/05/23)
 The Hornbook (+) (00/05/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 04/01/2023 *Starred Review* Twelve-year-old Hercules Beal lives in Truro, Massachusetts, with his older brother, Achilles. More than a year after his parents died in a car crash, Herc enters a new school, where he meets Lieutenant Colonel Hupfer, his no-nonsense seventh-grade teacher for homeroom, social studies, and language arts. A recently retired Marine, Hupfer gives Herc a year-long mythology assignment: a 150-word essay on each of the 12 labors of Hercules as they connect with experiences in Herc’s life. Herc initially feels overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, but in the end, he’s taking charge of his actions and his interactions with others in his community. And while he already knew his brother’s girlfriend Violet (aka the Vampire) and many of his neighbors, he sees them differently as the year progresses. The “12 labors” assignment lends an episodic structure to the story, told through Herc’s first-person narrative and reflective essays, complete with his teacher’s comments. Midway through the book, Herc’s short, plain-spoken expression of grief goes straight to the heart. Fans of Schmidt’s books will enjoy finding that a young character in The Wednesday Wars (2007) has a significant role in Herc’s story, set several decades later. This memorable novel offers emotional honesty, wit, and a hard-won, heartening perspective. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

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