Bound To Stay Bound

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 Anybody here seen Frenchie?
 Author: Connor, Leslie

 Publisher:  HarperCollins (2022)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 322 p., map, 21 cm

 BTSB No: 235919 ISBN: 9780062999368
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Friendship -- Fiction
 Autism -- Fiction
 Lost children -- Fiction
 Community life -- Fiction
 School stories
 Maine -- Fiction

Price: $23.98

Eleven-year-old Aurora Petrequin's best friend has never spoken a word to her. In fact, Frenchie Livernois doesn't talk. At school, Aurora looks out for Frenchie, who has been mainstreamed. But one day, she makes a mistake and Frenchie doesn't make it to his classroom. The entire town begins to search, and everyone wonders: how is it possible that nobody has seen Frenchie? Or have they?

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 3.70
   Points: 8.0   Quiz: 514123

   Kirkus Reviews (12/15/21)
   School Library Journal (01/01/22)
   Booklist (12/01/22)
 The Hornbook (00/01/22)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 01/01/2022 Gr 5–7—"He doesn't answer. He never does. Not with words." This description aptly introduces readers to the life and personality of Nathan "Frenchie" Livernois, who does not speak and is autistic. Aurora (the narrator) is one person who truly understands Frenchie and his emotions. Aurora also navigates her own anxiety, from her strong dislike of itchy shirt tags to her constant struggle not to blurt out her first impression of someone or something. Together, Aurora and Frenchie enjoy riding the bus, looking at birds, and running 100-yard dash races at recess. When the two learn they will be in different classes for sixth grade, Aurora is nervous for Frenchie. Within the first few days of school, Aurora makes two new friends, which changes everything. One day, Aurora misses the school bus pick-up in the morning and Frenchie disappears. With masterful skill, Connor shifts this part of the story from Aurora's narration to incorporate a variety of townspeople who have been impacted by Frenchie. Together, they form a search party to find him. This plot transition makes the book truly unique and shows how one person can make such a difference to strangers, near and far, without saying a single word. VERDICT Exploring the challenges of preteen life, neurodiversity, and the daily impacts people have on each other, this book will keep readers hooked until the end. Connor uses Frenchie's and Aurora's neurodivergent characteristics to build both suspense and compassion in a highly engaging and recommendable read.—Tracey Hodges - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 12/01/2022 Aurora and Frenchie have been inseparable since the day Frenchie chose her to be his best friend. Though Frenchie has autism and is nonverbal, the two have a special way of communicating and share a love of nature, particularly birds, rocks, and piebald deer. At school, Aurora and Frenchie are equally close, having been in the same class since the third grade. Aurora is devastated when she and Frenchie are not assigned to be in the same class this year, but she adjusts when she makes new friends, and Frenchie is assigned a new aide. But one morning, Frenchie goes missing from school, and the community comes out in a race against time to find Frenchie. Aurora feels guilt over her friend’s disappearance and will not rest until he is found. Told from multiple points of view and flashbacks, Connor (The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, 2018) utilizes elements of suspense and pastoral literature to create an engaging story. A strong choice for readers seeking stories with neurodiverse characters or books with heartwarming friendships. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

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