Bound To Stay Bound

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 Infamous Ratsos (Infamous Ratsos)
 Author: LaReau, Kara

 Publisher:  Candlewick Press (2016)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 55 p., ill., 20 cm.

 BTSB No: 542982 ISBN: 9780763676360
 Ages: 6-9 Grades: 1-4

 Brothers -- Fiction
 Rats -- Fiction
 Helping behavior -- Fiction

Price: $19.36

Every time they try to show just how tough they are, the Ratso brothers end up accidentally doing good deeds instead!

 Illustrator: Myers, Matthew

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 3.50
   Points: .5   Quiz: 187531
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 3.30
   Points: 3.0   Quiz: 72432

   Kirkus Reviews (05/15/16)
   School Library Journal (06/01/16)
   Booklist (07/01/16)
 The Hornbook (00/09/16)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 Gr 2–4—Everyone in the Big City knows the Ratsos. Third grader Ralphie and fifth grader Louie live with their father, Big Lou, in the animal metropolis. Their mother's unexplained absence has the family resorting to "toughness" as a means of survival. Big Lou tells his sons to "hang tough." These half-pints surmise that talking about your feelings, making friends, and being kind are only for "softies." They plan to show how tough they are by pulling pranks on their classmates and neighbors. But all of their antics backfire, leading to unwanted consequences. This animal protagonist tale is lighthearted and fun. The writing is straightforward and easy, while the pen-and-ink artwork is detailed. These characters are complex enough to interest newly independent readers, and the story resolution is heartfelt and solid. The father-son dynamic is realistic and honest. Young readers will feel for the family as they learn to deal with the absence of a loved one. This slender novel packs a strong message of overcoming loss through love and kindness. VERDICT A solid purchase; a chapter book that entertains and uplifts.—Sada Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 07/01/2016 Louis and Ralphie Ratso yearn to be tough like their unsmiling, truck-driving dad, Big Lou. But stealing a hat from a hulking bully only makes them playground heroes, and concocting a smelly sandwich to prank a lonely new student only earns her gratitude, as they accidentally make her favorite lunch. In the frequent illustrations, Myers dresses the rat siblings in suitably seedy garb and places them in rundown urban settings. But when Big Lou learns of these good/bad deeds, he looks at the photo of Mama Ratso (ambiguously described as “gone”) and tearfully says, “I should be trying to be more like you.” He continues, “Life is tough enough. We might as well try to make it easier for one another, whenever we can.” So right. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.

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