Bound To Stay Bound

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 My life as an ice cream sandwich
 Author: Zoboi, Ibi Aanu

 Illustrator: Piper, Anthony

 Publisher:  Dutton Children's Books
 Pub Year: 2019

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 250 p., ill., 22 cm

 BTSB No: 924582 ISBN: 9780399187353
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Imagination -- Fiction
 Interpersonal relations -- Fiction
 African Americans -- Fiction
 Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction
 New York (State) -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction

Price: $20.01

In the summer of 1984, twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace of Huntsville, Alabama, visits her father in Harlem, where her fascination with outer space and science fiction interfere with her finding acceptance.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.20
   Points: 10.0   Quiz: 503383

   Kirkus Reviews (-) (06/01/19)
   School Library Journal (08/01/19)
   Booklist (06/01/19)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/07/19)
 The Hornbook (07/01/19)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 06/01/2019 Zoboi’s middle-grade debut takes readers back to Harlem in the 1980s. Ebony-Grace lives with her mom in Huntsville, Alabama, and idolizes her grandfather, one of NASA’s first Black engineers. Together, Ebony-Grace and her grandfather fantasize about life in space. When he gets into trouble and Ebony-Grace is sent to her father in New York, her first instinct is to retreat into her “imagination location.” However, it's only when she is able to merge her imagination with her reality that Ebony-Grace finds the courage to meet her real life head-on. As she endeavors to adjust to her new surroundings, where she doesn’t feel like she fits in with other kids, Ebony-Grace faces each obstacle in her own unique way—and comes out the other side with brand new friends. Because the narrative’s focus is on Ebony-Grace’s time in Harlem, the trouble with her grandfather is never made clear, but readers will nevertheless become engrossed in her story. Fueled with rich imaginative scenes and comics-style illustrations, this book will truly transport its young readers to another world. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 Gr 4–7—A story about imagination and trying to fit in, set in 1980s Harlem. Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet leaves her mother and beloved, ill grandfather in Alabama and touches down in busy New York City to visit her father. To cope with loud, crowded, and confusing surroundings, Ebony-Grace retreats into her imaginary outer space world, which she has created with her grandfather. Unfortunately, Ebony-Grace's peers are not interested in pretending to be space captains—not even her sometimes-friend, Bianca—and she is mocked. But Ebony-Grace continues to pretend that she is E-Grace Starfleet on a mission in No Joke City to defeat the Sonic King and rescue Captain Fleet. At the story's climax, Ebony-Grace steals an envelope of money from her father and inexplicably uses it to equip Bianca's Double Dutch crew with new clothes and an entrance fee to compete at the Apollo Theater, connecting these actions with her mission. This theft causes a rift between her father and uncle, and they come to blows. Short graphic panels depicting Ebony-Grace's eye-catching imaginary space world interrupt the story periodically to engage readers. Ebony-Grace's voice is both young and incredibly socially awkward; readers may spend the narrative waiting for a big reveal as to why she acts both paranoid and much younger than her chronological age while being unable to leave her "imagination location" to preserve any social grace. For example, Ebony-Grace often speaks into an imaginary communicator, has a running commentary about being on a space mission, blasts kids with an imaginary weapon on her wrists when she doesn't get her way, accuses her father of putting mind control poison in her food, and thinks that the loud sounds of the city are sonic booms. Young readers may also have trouble grasping the 1980s references, which seem more suited to an adult audience. VERDICT Recommended for libraries that have a strong Ibi Zoboi readership, though the audience will be different here.—Shannon O'Connor, Unami Middle School, Chalfont, PA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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