Bound To Stay Bound

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 Alan Cole is not a coward (Alan Cole)
 Author: Bell, Eric

 Publisher:  HarperCollins (2017)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 262 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 105600 ISBN: 9780062567024
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Brothers -- Fiction
 Family problems -- Fiction
 Gays -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Middle schools -- Fiction
 School stories.

Price: $6.50

Hoping to keep his older brother Nathan silent about his secret crush on another boy at their school, twelve-year-old Alan agrees to a ruthless sibling competition involving nearly impossible tasks--from standing up to their demanding father to getting a first kiss.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.50
   Points: 8.0   Quiz: 196405
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 4.30
   Points: 14.0   Quiz: 76516

   Kirkus Reviews (06/15/17)
   School Library Journal (06/01/17)
 The Hornbook (00/11/17)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 06/01/2017 Gr 4–6—All Alan Cole has ever wanted is to blend in. He takes care not to let his cafeteria tablemates, Zack and Madison, become his friends. Alan stays quiet at the dinner table so as not to upset his irascible father, and tries to avoid his brother, Nathan, who relentlessly bullies him. One day Nathan forces Alan to play a round of Cole vs. Cole, in which each brother must attempt to accomplish as many of Nathan's proposed seven assignments as possible within a week. The tasks are tough and include learning how to swim, retrieving a slip of paper from inside a broken vending machine, and receiving a first kiss. If Alan loses, Nathan will reveal his biggest secret to the whole school: Alan is gay and has a crush on one of his male classmates. With its well-developed characters, juxtaposition of supportive adult educators and aggressive parents, and message of hope, this novel feels like a contemporary version of Gary D. Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now. Many of the book's most memorable scenes involve its lovable supporting characters, including Zack, a sweet kid who brings new meaning to the phrase free spirit, and Madison, who is named after three U.S. presidents and feels that his name comes with a responsibility to speak as eloquently as possible at all times. VERDICT A strong debut; recommend to tweens who enjoy realistic fiction, particularly readers looking for stories about LGBTQ kids.—Shira Pilarski, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Washington, DC - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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