Bound To Stay Bound

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 Fitz : a novel
 Author: Cochrane, Mick

 Publisher:  Knopf
 Pub Year: 2012

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 177 p.,  21 cm.

 BTSB No: 225295 ISBN: 9780375856839
 Ages: 12-16 Grades: 7-11

 Father-son relationship -- Fiction
 Kidnapping -- Fiction
 Single-parent families -- Fiction
 Saint Paul (Minn.) -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

Fifteen-year-old Fitz kidnaps the father he has never known, taking him from his St. Paul apartment building at gunpoint, in an attempt to address his bewildering mix of resentment and yearning.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 4.60
   Points: 6.0   Quiz: 155137
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 4.60
   Points: 11.0   Quiz: 59617

   Kirkus Reviews (-) (10/01/12)
   School Library Journal (12/01/12)
   Booklist (12/01/12)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (11/12)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 11/01/2012 Fitz has spent much of his fifteen years playing “CSI Mom and Dad,” as he terms it, trying to figure out what his father meant to his mother and how his dad could just walk away when Fitz was only a baby, leaving only support checks in his place. Now Fitz is going after the answers: armed with a gun bought from a low-life classmate, he kidnaps his father away from his high-powered law practice for a day of finally giving Fitz what he needs. But what, exactly, is it that he needs, and what happens if he doesn’t get it? This sounds a little like Chris Lynch territory, but there’s less of Lynch’s dark bite here and more anxious bewilderment as Fitz seesaws between the hurt and anger of a lifetime and his ordinarily good-kid existence. That wild vacillation adds both rawness and incongruity as father and son go through an often enjoyable day out together, going to the zoo, visiting the café where Fitz’s parents met, and ending up on Fitz’s front porch while Fitz jams with his band-until angry Fitz seesaws back up again. Cochrane has a fine hand with character, getting double mileage out of Fitz’s focused and sustained assessment of his father, which conveys information about them both. The unresolvable inconsistency of Fitz’s dad being on the one hand a considerate and interesting guy and on the other being weak enough to choose flight is laid bare as a human conundrum. There’s both poignancy and taut suspense here, and the book will be eminently discussable for book clubs and classrooms; additionally, a lot of readers will relate to Fitz’s combination of long-simmering resentment and painful yearning. DS - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 12/01/2012 Gr 7 Up—Fitzgerald, 15, doesn't know his father, but after finding out that he's moved back to St. Paul, decides upon a desperate plan to meet him. It starts by putting a gun in the man's face. What follows is a touching, if odd, story of a teen trying to understand the father he never knew. He learns what his dad does now, how his parents first met, and, most important, why he left him and his mother in the first place. This is a story that has been told many times in young adult books, but here it's done exceptionally well, and the motivation behind Fitz choosing a gun to get the fatherly attention he's never received yet desperately needs is understandable even if readers don't necessarily agree with it. Quiet scenes between Fitz and Curtis are written with an understated poignant emotionality that allows readers to understand Fitz. Things like feeding sea lions and later having lunch with his father are so strange to him, yet fill a void within him. Even his absentee father somehow becomes a likable character. This is a hard book to put down, and a great one to give to teens trying to make sense of divorce.—Ryan P. Donovan, New York Public Library - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 12/01/2012 Named for author F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fitz is a typical 15-year-old, except that when readers first meet him, he is packing heat: a Smith & Wesson. Why? Simple. He plans to kidnap the father he has never known, a man Fitz’s mother refuses to talk about, instead offering only “hints, echoes and glimpses, scraps and shards.” Fitz is determined to have some “quality” time with his father to find out why the man left when Fitz was still a baby. Fitz realizes that his actions will have consequences and that his life will never be the same again. But will that be good or bad? A professor of English and the author of three previous novels, Cochrane has written a moving, character-driven story that explores with subtlety and quiet compassion the struggle of a boy to fill a void in his life and find the love of a father. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.

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