Bound To Stay Bound

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 Orphan and the mouse
 Author: Freeman, Martha

 Publisher:  Holiday House (2014)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 220 p., ill., 21 cm.

 BTSB No: 354738 ISBN: 9780823431670
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Mice -- Fiction
 Orphans -- Fiction
 Orphanages -- Fiction
 Human-animal relationship -- Fiction
 Criminals -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

In 1949 Philadelphia, Mary Mouse and an orphan named Caro embark on an adventure when they team up to expose criminals and make the Cherry Street Orphanage a safe haven for mice.

 Illustrator: McPhail, David

Download a Teacher's Guide

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.60
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 168083
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 5.30
   Points: 10.0   Quiz: 64276

   Kirkus Reviews (08/01/14)
   School Library Journal (09/01/14)
   Booklist (10/01/14)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (02/15)
 The Hornbook (00/11/14)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 09/01/2014 Gr 4–6—In 1949 Philadelphia, the shrewd Mrs. Helen George operates The Cherry Street Home for orphans. Unbeknownst to her, a colony of mice also dwells within the orphanage's walls. One particular mouse, Mary, becomes friends with a little girl, Caro, and that friendship sets the stage for many events in the story. Caro, disfigured from burns suffered in a fire, is a natural leader, so Mrs. George cultivates her loyalty by giving her special privileges. Caro looks up to Mrs. George and willingly does whatever she wants her to do. When a new baby comes to the home, Caro doesn't think Mrs. George's story about the baby's abandonment makes sense. By the next day, Caro receives word that she is being adopted by someone whom she has never seen. Her friend Jimmy knows something doesn't add up. Mary Mouse has overheard Mrs. George's plan and acts to save Caro. With dashes of mystery, intrigue, and adventure, this tale of friendship is endearing. There are liberal references to Stuart Little throughout the story as the mice create their own humanlike existence and forge alliances with children. Recommended for fans of E. B. White.—Laura Fields Eason, Parker Bennett Curry Elementary School, Bowling Green, KY - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 10/01/2014 Inspired by E. B. White’s classic Stuart Little, this throwback novel features skilled mouse art thief, Mary, whose chance interaction with orphan Caro spurs an unlikely turn of events. Intelligent, thoughtful Caro accepts her role as baby-minder in the orphanage and idolizes its head, Mrs. George, until the orphanage receives a new baby under suspicious circumstances. Mary and a loner mouse, Andrew, come to learn that the baby has been kidnapped from its mother as part of a devious moneymaking scheme in which Mrs. George plays a central role. It’s up to the mice to expose the ruthless humans before it’s too late. Alternating short chapters that switch perspectives between the mice and human characters, Freeman crafts an old-fashioned tale of good versus evil where everyone gets their just deserts. Though Freeman’s writing doesn’t quite have the zing of Kathi Appelt’s The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp (2013), her similarly winning characterizations of the expansive cast of humans and animals alike shine through. McPhail’s drawings are sprinkled among the text, enhancing the tale’s timeless feel. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2015 Mary, a mouse and an “art thief” by trade (the mice in her colony covet the postage stamp “pictures” found in the office of the human orphanage where they live) bonds with eleven-year-old Caro, an orphan girl, when kind-hearted Caro rescues Mary from the orphanage cat one night. Their contact brings the threat of an exterminator (for which the mouse colony’s loathsome leader blames Mary), so the colony abandons their home and leaves Mary there on her own. Meanwhile, orphanage caretaker Mrs. George secretly engages in a sideline of baby stealing and selling; when Mary witnesses her dealings, the mouse alerts Caro with a carefully nibbled newspaper article about a missing baby. Between Mary and a stray mouse, Caro and the other orphans, and a few good grownups, both Mrs. George and the extermination plans are thwarted, and peace (and the mouse colony-minus the leader, who met an accidental death) returns to the orphanage. This is part “The Lion and the Mouse” and part Annie, with plenty of Stuart Little (referenced throughout) thrown in to boot, and the result is a satisfying and successful mixture of orphan- and animal-fantasy tropes. Mary and Caro are both sympathetic heroines, while the swift but careful pacing moves the story along at a gratifying clip. McPhail’s occasional monochromatic illustrations occasionally miss the tone of the story but are overall a charming addition. Fans of orphan stories, The Borrowers (BCCB 11/53), or tales about talking mice will unite over this title. JH - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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