Bound To Stay Bound

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 Princess of the wild swans
 Author: Zahler, Diane

 Publisher:  Harper (2012)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 212 p.,  21 cm.

 BTSB No: 977768 ISBN: 9780062004925
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Fairy tales
 Princesses -- Fiction
 Siblings -- Fiction
 Witches -- Fiction
 Stepmothers -- Fiction
 Magic -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

Princess Meriel must sew shirts from stinging nettles to rescue her five older brothers from their evil stepmother's spell. Inspired by the Andersen fairy tale, "The Wild Swans."

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.80
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 150864
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 5.70
   Points: 13.0   Quiz: 57198

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas

   Kirkus Reviews (12/01/11)
   School Library Journal (03/01/12)
   Booklist (03/01/12)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (02/12)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2012 When the widowed king of Tiramore returns from a trip abroad with a new bride at his side, his five sons are initially enchanted by the woman’s beauty; however, their younger sister, Princess Meriel, is suspicious, especially after her brothers are mysteriously shipped off to school in the middle of the night. With the help of her new friends, two common children who also happen to be half-witches, Meriel discovers that the flock of swans that has recently taken residence at the castle’s lake are in fact her brothers, that the new queen is a witch intent on destroying the king and his children, and that she wants to rule both Tiramore and the Faerie underworld herself. The loquacious and utterly un-domestic Meriel must sew six shirts from nettles completely in silence in order to break the spell on her brothers and save the kingdom, all while trying to elude the queen’s ire. Zahler weaves in a bit of pagan lore with her inclusion of the faerie world, but this is otherwise a mostly faithful retelling of Andersen’s “The Wild Swans,” here featuring a likable but somewhat bland heroine and a richly detailed setting. Although Meriel is a fairly predictable style of plucky princess with no interest in her princess duties, some of the secondary characters here are wonderfully developed, particularly the half-witches she befriends, and their complicated relationships with the royal family reveal more about Meriel and her family than the princess’ unexamined narration. As with her other fairy-tale interpretations (The Thirteenth Princess, BCCB 3/10, etc.), Zahler shines in her ability to set an exquisite scene, and her descriptions of both the luxury of royal life and the more cozy aspects of a commoner’s cottage will bewitch fans of Andersen’s original. KQG - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 03/01/2012 Gr 3–6—Zahler uses Andersen's "Wild Swans" and the Grimms' "Six Swans" as a departure point for the story of Princess Meriel, whose five brothers are turned into swans by her evil stepmother, the Witch-Queen Orianna. Meriel is helped by Liam and his sister Riona, a good witch in love with one of her brothers. She explains that to free her brothers, Meriel must sew five shirts out of nettles while remaining mute until the garments are completed. As Meriel's task nears completion, the danger from the Queen increases, and Meriel is hidden in the village, thus putting the townspeople at risk. At the same time, the swans are in danger from the impending winter and from an entrance to the Land of Faerie at one end of the enchanted lake they swim in. A suspenseful climax leads to a happy conclusion. Although the brothers' characters are undeveloped, the main characters and plotting are successful. Meriel's relationship with Liam, in particular, has a contemporary feel. There is a touch of Irish fairy tales in the Gaelic names and the Queen's connections to the monster onchu. Zahler softens the original stories: the effects of the nettles are temporary, as Meriel soaks the stinging substance out of the nettles, and her muteness is greatly tempered by her ability to communicate telepathically with the people who are helping her. Fans of Gail Carson Levine's "Princess Tales" series (HarperCollins) are ready for something longer and more novelistic will love this tale.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 03/01/2012 Twelve-year-old Princess Meriel is an outspoken young woman, and her disregard for ladylike arts (she would much rather learn swordplay and how to hunt) comes back to haunt her when her brothers are enchanted and turned into swans by her evil new stepmother. To break the spell, she must fashion each brother a shirt from start to finish before winter sets in, and, all the while, she must remain silent. Although Meriel has several staunch allies both inside the castle and out, her determination to save her brothers has far-reaching consequences not only for her family but also for the whole town. Readers will root for Princess Meriel as her love for her brothers causes her to realize her strength and capabilities. Fans of Jessica Day George and Gail Carson Levine will enjoy Zahler’s light, lyrical prose, as well as her stalwart and true heroine and strong secondary characters, all of which make this fairly straightforward retelling of Grimm’s “The Six Swans” fun to read. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.

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