Bound To Stay Bound

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 Beast player
 Author: Uehashi, Nahoko

 Publisher:  Square Fish/Holt (2020)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 344 p., ill., 20 cm

 BTSB No: 897621 ISBN: 9781250307460
 Ages: 14-18 Grades: 9-12

 Magic -- Fiction
 Orphans -- Fiction
 Snakes -- Fiction
 Human-animal communication -- Fiction
 Human-animal relationship -- Fiction

Price: $9.83

Erin's family cares for the fearsome water serpents that form the core of their kingdom's army. When some of the beasts mysteriously die, Elin's mother is sentenced to death as punishment. With her last breath she manages to send her daughter to safety. Alone, far from home, Elin discovers that she can talk to both the terrifying water serpents and the majestic flying beasts that guard her queen.

 Illustrator: Onoda, Yuta
Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 6.10
   Points: 20.0   Quiz: 509929

   Kirkus Reviews (01/15/19)
   Booklist (02/15/19)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 02/15/2019 Fans of Studio Ghibli films will be enchanted by this new (to America) series. Uehashi is a well-known writer of teen fiction in her native Japan and winner of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. Her anthropology background shapes this thoughtful read, which introduces 10-year-old Elin as she is orphaned and must find her way in a politically restive situation, learning to employ her considerable intelligence and ability to communicate with animals. Elin's mother is a caretaker of the water serpents (Toda) that comprise the kingdom's army, and she is put to death when beasts under her care die mysteriously. Elin is taken in by an old beekeeper, who realizes Elin, like her mother, has special gifts with regards to the Toda and helps her learn to harness her powers. Uehashi takes her time building character, back story, and cultural history, and a fully realized world is the result. The beauty and power of the natural world is at the core of this intriguing fantasy, whose abrupt ending guarantees a sequel. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.

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