Bound To Stay Bound

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 Everyday disasters and impending doom (Frazzled)
 Author: Vivat, Booki

 Publisher:  Harper (2016)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 240 p., ill., 22 cm

 BTSB No: 910288 ISBN: 9780062398796
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Subjects:
 Families -- Fiction
 Anxiety -- Fiction
 Middle schools -- Fiction

Price: $18.08

Summary:
[Book 1] Meet Abbie Wu. Abbie is in crisis-and not just because she's starting middle school or because she's stuck in a family that doesn't quite get her or because everyone seems to have a Thing except her. Abbie Wu is always in crisis.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.90
   Points: 2.0   Quiz: 184493
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 5.40
   Points: 5.0   Quiz: 69433

Reviews:
   School Library Journal (00/08/16)
   Booklist (01/01/17)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/16)
 The Hornbook (00/09/16)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2016 Abbie Wu has a bad case of the middles: not only is she younger sister to the do-no-wrong Peter and older sister to the cute-as-a-button Clara, she’s also starting dreaded middle school. Junior high brings the necessary trials and tribulations, including being separated from her two best friends, struggling to find her unique thing, and having to suffer egregious line-cutting just to get subpar cafeteria food. It’s here, though, that Abbie finds her niche, orchestrating an elaborate lunch-trading program that thrills her classmates but fails to impress school administration. Though the principal puts the kibosh on the nosh, Abbie has discovered her ability to speak for the people, a feeling cemented when a much-loathed teacher champions her run for student government. As with many middle-schoolers, Abbie’s emotions run high, and the interspersed line drawings capture all the feels as well as immerse the reader in Abbie’s frazzled state. Although her hippie aunt encourages meditation to bring a sense of peace, she’s more successful at adding humor and balance to the novel as a whole, as does Peter, whose calm and clarity brings eleventh-hour aid to his intense middle sister. Abbie’s wisecracks and observations, coupled with her remarkable gift for hyperbole, will keep readers laughing, while her challenges will have them relating. It’s an amusing romp perfect for those with their own concerns about the middles but with enough perspective not to let the novel’s frenzy up their own anxieties. AA - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 Gr 3–6—Middle child and soon-to-be middle schooler Abbie Wu is in major need of crisis control. Her fear and anxiety have her constantly freaking out, especially when it comes to sixth grade. Abbie's mom doesn't understand why she's stressed, and her perfect siblings aren't helping the situation, either. Because Abbie couldn't decide on an elective class, she's been assigned to study hall. Her two best friends actually enjoy school and have found activities they're passionate about. Not having a "Thing" like everyone else is making Abbie feel left behind. The only part of school she's looking forward to is the cafeteria lunches, which include pizza, fries, and cookies. When Abbie discovers that sixth graders are forbidden from eating those foods, she organizes an underground lunch exchange. The success of her food rebellion gives Abbie the confidence to find her voice and, ultimately, her "Thing." Abbie's phobias and worries are charmingly depicted in this heavily illustrated hybrid novel. The humorous, doodlelike artwork makes her struggles entertaining and relatable. VERDICT Share this title with fans of Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series and anyone who will appreciate rooting for a witty underdog.—Sophie Kenney, Glencoe Public Library, IL - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 01/01/2017 Sixth-grader Abbie Wu is grappling with “The Middles”—she’s the middle child and starting middle school, and she’s worried about finding her place in both. Plus, unlike BFFs Maxine and Logan, she’s unsure what her talents or interests are, so she can’t pick an elective, and, while psyched about having more cafeteria choices, it turns out eighth-graders have dibs on good stuff like pizza and fries. Then, elective-less, she’s assigned study hall, where she connects with classmates over cafeteria injustices and devises a secret, successful student food exchange. Though there are both ups and downs, Abbie increasingly gains self-confidence and unexpected support—at school and home—and realizes “The Middles” might be okay. Abbie’s a lively character and narrator, from her introspective musings to sometimes hyperbolic doom-and-gloom fears. Debut author Vivat’s generously interspersed, animated cartoon illustrations incorporate abundant witty touches and commentary and often extend the main text, though they can sometimes distract. Nonetheless, kids may identify and sympathize with Abbie’s many concerns and dilemmas, from navigating new situations to discovering a sense of belonging, and the challenges and rewards of forging your own path. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

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