Bound To Stay Bound

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 Attack of the alien horde
 Author: Venditti, Robert

 Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2015)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 299 p., col. ill., 21 cm.

 BTSB No: 907208 ISBN: 9781481405423
 Ages: 9-12 Grades: 4-7

 Superheroes -- Fiction
 Moving -- Fiction
 Middle schools -- Fiction
 School stories

Price: $6.50

After starting at a new school, a nerdy seventh-grader becomes a reluctant superhero.

 Illustrator: Higgins, Dusty

   Kirkus Reviews (-) (03/15/15)
   School Library Journal (05/01/15)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/15)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 05/01/2015 Gr 4–6—A superhero is strong, tall, quick-witted, and resourceful. Twelve-year-old Miles Taylor is none of these things. He has just moved to the Cedar Lake apartments in the Atlanta area with his dad, his mom having left them for her new boyfriend in Hollywood, FL. Money is tight, since the Taylors have dropped down to a single-income household. While accompanying his dad on an electrical job at a downtown parking structure, Miles sees an alien attacking the city, only to be thwarted by beloved superhero Gilded, a man in a golden cape. However, Gilded is killed in the attack, and with his dying breath, he tells Miles to take up his Golden Cape and protect the city. The cape has a mind of its own and only acts when there's a serious need—definitely not when Miles just wants to seek personal gain. With the help of new friend Henry, Miles learns all he can about the mysterious cape and tries to settle into his newfound role. The novel is strong on characterization, and each character evolves from relatively flat to likable and nuanced. For example, Josie Campobasso, Miles's crush, is more than just a pretty face. Furthermore, the difficulties of being a superhero are made readily apparent, such as when Miles inconspicuously tries to get to a tornado while everyone else is running away from it. Given Venditti's background in comic book writing (including the graphic novel version of The Lightning Thief), it's no surprise that this book, which features primarily prose with some comic panels whenever Gilded is present, is engaging and perfect for reluctant readers. Higgins's art is a welcome addition and adds to the comic-novel theme. VERDICT Venditti sets the tone nicely for a series that is sure to be a hit with fans of comic books and action-adventure.—Jessica Ko, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2015 Miles is really just trying to get through seventh grade; he has no aspirations beyond surviving bullies and attaining an unattainable girl. When Gilded, the one and only true superhero Earth knows, is fatally wounded in front of Miles, however, he charges Miles with taking the superhero’s golden cape and the accompanying power and responsibility that comes with it. It turns out the fabric itself imparts superpowers, and Miles must quickly learn how to use them to solve natural and human-created disasters as well as defeat an ominous alien group that is headed to destroy Earth. Thank goodness Miles has one friend, the well-informed and organized Henry, who helps him keep everything together, and who is enough of a comics buff that he can spot trends, tropes, and historical hints from old Gilded comics. The villains in this novel (first in a planned series) are a bit cartoonish, but their impressively long-running devotion to demolishing all golden capes in the universe and their startling destructive force make them ominous. Pair this with Solomons’ My Brother Is a Superhero (reviewed above) for two looks at kids who suddenly get powers they never dreamed of. Interspersed black and white comic strips progress the story and effectively break up the text. AS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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