Bound To Stay Bound

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 Last chance hotel
 Author: Thornton, Nicki

 Publisher:  Scholastic (2019)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 321 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 881659 ISBN: 9781338323627
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Hotels and motels -- Fiction
 Mystery fiction
 Cooking -- Fiction

Price: $22.78

Seth is trapped as the kitchen help at the Last Chance Hotel, owned by a cruel family who won't allow him to leave until he is old enough to live on his own. A famous magician among a group of visiting magicians promises to help Seth if Seth fixes him the best dessert he's ever tasted, but when the magician dies and Seth is blamed, he only has a short time in which to prove his innocence by finding the real murderer.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.90
   Points: 9.0   Quiz: 504295

   Kirkus Reviews (03/01/19)
   School Library Journal (04/01/19)
   Booklist (04/01/19)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/19)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 04/01/2019 Seth is stuck working at the Last Chance Hotel as a kitchen boy for an awful couple and their daughter, Tiffany, who lives to torment him. He longs to fulfill his dream of becoming an amazing chef like his father. The night a group of magicians gather at the hotel could be Seth's opportunity to show off his cooking skills, but that chance slowly slips away when Tiffany makes him cook up a dessert for Dr. Thallonius, who ends up dead. Seth knows his dessert didn't kill Thallonius, but the magicians have deemed him the killer, and he has to find a way to prove his innocence. Thornton sets the story entirely inside the Last Chance Hotel, giving this closed-room mystery a twist of magic. Though it’s his place of confinement, the hotel is also Seth's only home, and there are plenty of secrets buried in its foundation. The murder mystery, powerful magicians, and Seth's love of cooking will appeal to a wide readership. A magical adventure with many intriguing elements. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 04/01/2019 Gr 4–7—Seth Seppi maintains a pitiful existence at the Last Chance Hotel; he's an abused kitchen boy in the space where his father once ruled as chef before he disappeared. Now Seth chafes at scrubbing pots and avoiding the notice of Tiffany, the owners' cruel daughter, hoping against hope that his cooking abilities will someday take him away from this isolated hotel. When a famous guest, one of an odd group of magicians assembled at the hotel, dies during dinner, poisoned by the special dessert Seth made for him, Seth's fate looks dire indeed. He sets out to clear his name, aided by his cat, Nightshade, and several members of the magical community. Can they unravel the crime and find the guilty party in time to save Seth from arrest? In this delightful Harry Potter–meets–Agatha Christie adventure, readers are presented with a classic locked room murder complicated by magic. As Seth and members of MagiCon—the Magic Constabulary—investigate the murder, Seth learns about the existence of magic, and the tensions within the magical society over reforms instigated by the now deceased Dr. Thallomius. Red herrings and sinister suspects abound as Seth alternates between fear for his future and thrill at each piece of magical history and lore he learns; history which may hit closer to home than he ever could have dreamed. VERDICT A well-crafted middle grade mystery with a touch of magic enhancing its appeal. Fantasy fans will find a lot to love here.—Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District, Lancaster, PA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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