Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 06/01/2017 Gr 4–7—Constrained by his family's concern and his cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that primarily affects the lungs, 12-year-old Caleb longs to enact the bold declaration, "I do what I want." He skips out of his summer camp (all the better to avoid his cranky classmate, Shelly) to meet fae-like Kit in the woods. The magical world Kit draws him into at first feels like just the adventurous release from obligations and boredom that Caleb needs. However, he soon finds that he must face questions about how healthy their friendship is. Caleb is an exquisitely imperfect protagonist whose problematic decisions make him likable, particularly as he attempts to resolve his predicaments. The supporting characters are finely crafted as well, from Caleb's caring mom, who reawakens with the advent of a new boyfriend, and his highly talented, dutiful older brother to his absent dad and finicky stepmother. A beautiful metaphor of two trees delicately bending away from each other as they grow, in order to thrive, illuminates the future of Caleb and Kit's passionate friendship. Vrabel weaves all these elements into a story reminiscent of Katherine Paterson's classic Bridge to Terabithia that highlights day-to-day life with a common but devastating disease. VERDICT Hand to readers looking for a novel about both the magic and the pain of friendship. A solid purchase for most collections.—Erin Reilly-Sanders, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 09/01/2017 When Caleb first sees Kit in a clearing in the woods behind his house, she seems to have come straight out of a fairy tale. Caleb has cystic fibrosis, an illness that makes him feel different from friends; a perfect brother doing things he will never be able to do; and a dad who is never there. So Caleb begins to treasure the time spent with Kit, who has invited him into her own imagined world full of fairies and magic. As summer wears on, Caleb spends most of his days with Kit, who, in reality, lives with her mother in her grandmother’s old house. But lies soon begin to surface in their world, as Caleb’s mother finds out he hasn’t been spending his days at camp, and Caleb discovers that Kit isn’t really homeschooled and that she’s hiding a secret of her own. Filled with smart, witty, and magical writing, Kit and Caleb, and those around them, come to vibrant life in this heartbreaking story about the ties that bring people together and the difficulties of facing the truth. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

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