Bound To Stay Bound

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 Game over, Pete Watson
 Author: Schreiber, Joe

 Illustrator: Rash, Andy

 Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
 Pub Year: 2014

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 205 p., ill., 21 cm.

 BTSB No: 789868 ISBN: 9780544157569
 Ages: 9-12 Grades: 4-7

 Video games -- Fiction
 Spies -- Fiction
 Humorous fiction

Price: $6.50

When videogame obsessed Pete Watson discovers his dad is not only a super-spy but has been kidnapped and is now trapped inside a video game, he has to use his super gaming skills and enter the game to rescue him. And if he succeeds, who will save Pete from his massive crush on Callie Midwood?

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.60
   Points: 4.0   Quiz: 165793
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 4.40
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 64528

   Kirkus Reviews (03/01/14)
   School Library Journal (05/01/14)
   Booklist (07/01/14)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (05/14)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2014 On the day Brawl-a-Thon 3000 XL, the hottest new video game, is slated for release, Pete Watson finds himself a bit light on cash and decides to hold an impromptu garage sale to make up the difference. After he sells a vintage console of his dad’s to the neighborhood exterminator, though, his dad gets kidnapped before his eyes. Pete discovers that his father is a CIA agent and is now trapped in the gaming system, which also doubles as a database for government secrets. Aided by his geeky ex-best friend Wesley and Wesley’s attractive older sister, Pete must stop the supervillain bent on releasing a virus into most of the world’s computer systems by going into the game himself. Wacky comedy carries the day, and the breathless pace, short chapters, and frequent spot art (sometimes cartoonish line drawing, sometimes figures inspired by video game graphics) make this novel zoom. However, the silliness amps up to levels that will lead those playing along at home to incredulity by the end (a monetary amount that’s so large that the number will literally kill you without protection, for example), and the rushed conclusion gets lost in tired gags that even Pete’s conversational narration can’t surmount. Additionally, the characters remain as flat as their eight-bit counterparts in the game world. Nevertheless, the appeal to multimodality (Pete often refers to interactive features that a hypothetical “digital version of this book” will have) is going to have reluctant reader appeal, giving this a chance to see some play as a print followup to the success of films like Wreck-It Ralph and TRON: Legacy. TA - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 05/01/2014 Gr 4–6—Pete Watson is a gamer. When the latest hit game gets released, he has a plan to secretly buy it—until he discovers that his mom has borrowed some of his money. Revising his plan, Pete holds a garage sale and sells anything in the house he can find, including his father's CommandRoid game console. This proves to be his biggest mistake as he discovers that his dad is really a super-spy, and is now trapped inside a video game due to Pete's poor decisions. Now the youngster has to pull together all of his skills to undo what he has done. The book's opening line, "On the Saturday morning that I almost triggered the end of the world, I woke up early," will hook readers immediately. Short chapters, engaging titles, lists, and several diary-type sketches will appeal to kids with short attention spans. The plot includes plenty of humor, mystery, crime fighting, and even a bit of romance. Another fun addition is the flip-book character at the bottom of each page, as well as the author's reference to the digital version of the book that doesn't exist. With so much discussion of coding and gaming in education, this is a timely addition, and it could lead to extension activities such as animation, game design, or transmedia projects.—Andy Plemmons, David C. Barrow Elementary, Athens, GA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 07/01/2014 Sixth-grader Pete Watson has been saving up and counting down for the release of Brawl-A-Thon 3000 XL, the latest version of his all-time favorite video game. When he goes to get his allowance and finds an IOU from his mom instead, Pete throws together a quick garage sale with junk from the basement to raise the missing funds. Incredibly, Pete’s single sale—his dad’s old gaming console, the CommandRoid 85—puts into motion a plan to take over the world. Kidnapping, CIA agents, code words, disguises, and blackmail all come into play and come to a head at a gaming convention, where Pete’s video-game skills are called upon to save the day in “the most epic boss battle of all time.” Funny and fast-moving, Schreiber’s (Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick, 2011) latest is ridiculous fun. Narrated and purportedly illustrated by Pete himself, the book has a conversational, almost interactive quality to it. Also included: good old middle-school awkwardness, a rocky friendship, and an embarrassing crush. A madcap adventure that leaves no doubt that “video games are serious business.” - Copyright 2014 Booklist.

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