Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 09/02/2012 Seventh-grader Cassie’s family centers on beloved Sef, a recent high-school graduate who has signed up to go to Iraq. Sef nurtures and protects his younger siblings, especially the developmentally disabled youngest child, Jack. His departure for Iraq, supported by his father but not his mother, wreaks havoc on each family member and on the parents’ marriage as well. Then Cassie receives a school assignment to read the blog of someone she’d like to learn more about. She selects the blog of Blue Sky, a girl in Iraq just her age. E-mails and blog entries round out Cassie’s first-person narrative as she learns to live with the aching loss of her brother, disintegrating friendships, and her older sister’s breakdown. Sullivan’s first novel for younger readers bears her trademark spare delivery, a good choice for Cassie’s tension-filled life. Fully dimensional characterizations bring depth to the story as Cassie matures and begins to understand the hard truths that life is often unfair and frequently no one cares. Readers most certainly will care, though they may fuss a bit at the lack of resolution. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.

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