Bound To Stay Bound

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 Go with the flow
 Author: Williams, Lily

 Publisher:  First Second (2020)

 Dewey: 741.5
 Classification: Nonfiction
 Physical Description: 327 p., col. ill.

 BTSB No: 787076 ISBN: 9781250305725
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 High schools -- Fiction
 Menstruation -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Sexism  -- Fiction
 Graphic novels

Price: $12.29

When these four best friends notice that the boys have brand-new football uniforms and equipment while the girls' bathrooms are still shamefully bereft of feminine hygiene products, they decide to take matters into their own hands. They petition, they write letters, they make NOISE, and eventually maybe even go a little too far. In graphic novel format.

 Illustrator: Schneemann, Karen
Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 3.20
   Points: 1.0   Quiz: 506909

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 Gr 4–8—When new student Sasha gets her period, best friends Abby, Brit, and Christine shepherd her to the bathroom—only to find that their school doesn't stock bathroom hygiene dispensers. The principal cites budget cuts, but the school can still afford new football uniforms. Incensed at the double standard, the teens decide that tampons and pads should be freely available at school. They work to convince others and to decrease the stigma around menstruation. Well-meaning but impassioned Abby gets carried away, making a bold statement that embarrasses the other girls, lands them all in trouble, and threatens their friendship. Originally a webcomic, this graphic novel is enlightening, though characterization and dialogue are at times forced. Information on historical attitudes toward menstruation is woven into the narrative through the girls' conversations and Abby's opinionated blog posts. Readers eager to learn more will be richly rewarded by the back matter, which offers further resources, tips on getting involved with period activism, and a brief primer on period normalcy and pain. The characters are diverse in terms of ethnicity and sexuality, and though all four main characters appear to be cisgender, with one girl exhibiting romantic interest in her female friend, there are numerous references to transgender men and nonbinary experiences. While the characters are high school students, rounded, simple lines create a younger appearance. Fittingly, various shades of red, often speckled in a crayon-like fashion, provide the only color throughout the story. VERDICT This warm, candid friendship story isn't shy about the message it's trying to send—that periods need not be a dirty secret. Pair it with nonfiction memoir companions by Shannon Hale and Raina Telgemeier.—Alea Perez, Elmhurst Public Library, IL - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 01/01/2020 A surprise period and an empty tampon dispenser in the school bathroom set off a battle over female health for four high-school sophomores. Brit, Abby, Christine, and Sasha might not agree on everything, but their frustration with the school administration’s reluctance to acknowledge, much less address, the challenges of menstruation and gender-based inequities of school budget allocation has the friends riled up enough to make a major stand in order to get their cause noticed. But when one of the girls takes things too far, it threatens to tear their group apart. The charming characters and amusing dialogue bring high appeal and some levity to an otherwise rage-inducing premise. Williams' art is cleanly drawn with well-defined panels and simply rendered but distinct characters, and the high cute factor is tempered somewhat by the decidedly pointed pink and red palette. While heavy-handed at times, the story is firmly grounded in the realities faced by girls and women, and the timely messages of empowerment and political dialogue will resonate with socially minded youth. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.

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