Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 04/01/2019 As Daphne waits to depart St. Rita’s School for Spirited Girls, she is asked to return a mystery book to the school library, where she meets Emily Lime, the “assistant librarian,” though a head librarian is seemingly nowhere to be found. As Daphne becomes the “assistant assistant librarian” and befriends Emily and George, the only boy in the school, she finds that St. Rita’s is not quite what she expected. Classrooms are numbered in an incoherent manner, and the school’s attendance policy is unconventional, for starters. After the school library is broken into, another book is almost stolen, and a classmate goes missing, Daphne, Emily, and George must work together to solve the mystery. Brief chapters, expressive illustrations, and an increasingly complex mystery will allow readers to be quickly enveloped in the world of St. Rita’s. Readers will see dynamic friendships develop from uncertain first meetings to the ultimate suspenseful events. Perfect for fans of unique characters, loyal friendships, and boarding-school mysteries. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 05/01/2019 Gr 4–6—There are strange and ridiculous goings-on at an extremely odd and wacky 1950s British girls' boarding school. Daphne discovers this even before her arrival when she's asked to return a lurid hard-boiled detective novel to the school by a train conductor. While there is indeed a mystery at the heart of this tale, the author muddies the plot development in favor of world-building, done through entertaining scenes featuring goofy but clichéd characters. For example, the titular Emily Lime turns out to be an unlikable, holier-than-thou library helper, replete with "wonky" glasses and a beret, who gets outraged at the thought of people mishandling books. All characters are white and British. Chapters cover one or two simple scenes with a good balance of dialogue, description, and action, and are liberally illustrated with cartoonish ink drawings of the characters, usually in poses suggesting the extreme emotions vividly conveyed the text. VERDICT This over-the-top story may tickle the funny bone of fans of Andy Griffiths's "Treehouse" series.—Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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