Bound To Stay Bound

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 Author: White, J. A.

 Publisher:  HarperCollins (2018)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 294 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 939558 ISBN: 9780062560087
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Witches -- Fiction
 Horror fiction
 Fantasy fiction

Price: $21.38

A contemporary middle-grade fantasy in which one young boy is imprisoned by a witch in a New York apartment and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.80
   Points: 9.0   Quiz: 197781
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 3.80
   Points: 16.0   Quiz: 75785

   Kirkus Reviews (06/15/18)
   School Library Journal (+) (03/01/18)
   Booklist (05/01/18)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 03/01/2018 Gr 4–6—A spine-tingling dark fantasy about the power of facing down fears and choosing your own fate. Alex loves horror stories, but the night he sets out to destroy his beloved "nightbooks"—notebooks full of his original tales—he finds himself trapped by a witch in an enchanted apartment. Natacha, the capricious witch, requires Alex to tell her one of his horror stories each night, or else. As Alex runs out of stories, he enlists the help of the apartment's other trapped occupants, a cautious girl named Yasmin and the witch's begrudging cat, Lenore, to find a way to escape. White has crafted a chilling fractured fairy tale mash-up of "Hansel and Gretel" and "One Thousand and One Nights." The book is full of horror tropes such as bone keys, disappearing rooms, an unhinged but sympathetic villain, and a child-eating witch. But it's more than just a grisly fairy tale. Alex and Yasmin are never reduced to caricatures, and they react to their imprisonment in believable and nuanced ways. At its heart, it is a coming-of-age story about kindness and friendship and the importance of choosing to use one's own power for the good of others. VERDICT Fans of gloomy fare such as Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," Adam Gidwitz's "Grimm" books, or Neil Gaiman's Coraline will find an equally twisting and terrifying tale here. An excellent addition to any middle grade collection.—Bridgid Gallagher-Sauter, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 05/01/2018 White leaves the dangerous forest of his Thickety series for an unassuming but equally perilous setting in his newest endeavor. Horror-buff Alex has always been kept at arm’s length by his peers, and late one night, he decides he’s through with not fitting in. To kick off his campaign for normalcy, he sneaks out of his apartment to burn his “nightbooks,” journals where he writes nightmarish short stories. On his way to the furnace, Alex is inexplicably drawn to another apartment, where he becomes magically imprisoned by the witch Natacha. Assured that escape is impossible and surviving is far from guaranteed, Alex buys time by reading to story-hungry Natacha from his nightbooks each evening. A tense and creepy atmosphere shrouds this intriguing blend of Baba Yaga and Shahrazad, but intrepid readers will revel in the enchanted apartment’s secrets and whimsical touches, such as Natacha’s grumpy feline familiar. As Alex plots escape, he bonds with fellow prisoner Yasmin, permitting kindness, self-confidence, and bravery to sprout in their dangerous confines. Readers who prefer their magic dark will be spellbound. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.

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