Bound To Stay Bound

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 Bless this mouse
 Author: Lowry, Lois

 Illustrator: Rohmann, Eric

 Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
 Pub Year: 2011

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 151 p., ill., 20 cm.

 BTSB No: 589509 ISBN: 9780547390093
 Ages: 9-12 Grades: 4-7

 Mice -- Fiction

Courtesy of Random Audio

Price: $19.31

Mouse Mistress Hildegarde musters all her ingenuity to keep a large colony of church mice safe from the exterminator and to see that they make it through the dangerous Blessing of the Animals.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 4.50
   Points: 3.0   Quiz: 143326
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 4.30
   Points: 6.0   Quiz: 53404

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo

   School Library Journal (03/01/11)
   Booklist (03/01/11)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/11)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 03/01/2011 Gr 2–4—The colony of mice living in the recesses of St. Bartholomew's Church is facing two threats: the Great X, periodically called upon when humans suspect rodents; and the ubiquitous presence of cats when rain brings the annual Blessing of the Animals on the Feast of St. Francis indoors. Failed attempts to foil Father Murphy's plan to summon the exterminator force Mouse Mistress Hildegarde to lead all 219 church mice on a dangerous excursion Outdoors and into the nearby cemetery. From there, with the help of mouse colleagues Roderick and Ignatious, she dispatches a team that successfully disengages the sticky traps set by the Great X. With this challenge behind them, the mice must now steer clear of the cats during the Blessing ceremony. But Hildegarde cannot resist participating to receive a blessing on behalf of all of the mice, and, in a triumphant conclusion to the story, she marches in the procession, astonishing Father Murphy and inexplicably setting all the cats to purring as organ music swells. While some of the ecclesiastical references are a bit oblique and sure to be enigmatic to the intended audience, this transitional novel is likely to be enjoyed by future readers of Avi's "Poppy" sequence (HarperCollins). Pen-and-ink illustrations, many full-page, enhance the story, and an overhead diagram of the church elucidates some of the terminology in the text.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 03/01/2011 A colony of domestic mice, led by the intrepid Mouse Mistress Hildegarde, inhabits Saint Bartholomew’s Church, where they have established a comfortable, homey existence. They nest in nooks and closets, venturing out to nibble a leather binding here or a left-behind cookie there. The mice’s peaceful existence is threatened, though, by an upcoming Saint Francis Blessing of the Animals ceremony, which will fill the sanctuary with pets, including cats. Father Murphy’s call to the exterminator adds even more anxiety, but with wit, wisdom, and an ounce of forgiveness, Hildegarde saves the day. Lowry gilds her story with quaint details, extended in Rohmann’s charming spot and full-page illustrations, which reinforce the comedy and action and further develop the memorable characters. With touches of surprise and a satisfyingly predictable resolution, this is a strong choice for both classroom sharing and independent reading and a natural partner to Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal winner, The Tale of Despereaux (2003). - Copyright 2011 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2011 For the most part, St. Bartholomew’s Church has been the ideal residence for Mouse Mistress Hildegarde and her clan of 219 mice: there’s a nice heated furnace to keep them warm, crumbs from communion wafers and morning doughnuts to keep them fed, and, of course, a weekly mass to keep them pious. But the feast of St. Francis is fast approaching, and if it rains, that means those cat owners attending the Ceremony of the Blessing of the Animals will be bringing their cats inside. To make matters worse, a few irresponsible mouselings got themselves spotted by several parishioners and now Father Murphy is calling in the Great X (i.e., extermination). As the Mouse Mistress, Hildegarde must lead her people-er, mice-out of danger, even if that means going into the Outdoors. Despite allusions to the Bible and Christian masses, this is mostly a nondenominational tale about a feisty little mouse determined to serve her fellow mice and perhaps gets some divine recognition while doing so. Like Lowry’s recent Birthday Ball (BCCB 6/10), this is an early chapter book, but here the author forgoes the former’s mischievous wit in lieu of gentle, direct prose with occasional bits of humor. Young readers will delight in Hildegarde’s subversion of authority, both in her boldly assertive attitude and her ultimate reclamation of the church. Cat lovers may want to look elsewhere, but fans of animal tales will likely find something to enjoy in this clever but cuddly tale. Final illustrations not seen. KQG - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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