Bound To Stay Bound

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 Who killed Darius Drake?
 Author: Philbrick, W. R.

 Publisher:  Blue Sky Press
 Pub Year: 2017

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 182 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 714460 ISBN: 9780545789783
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Mystery fiction
 Diamonds -- Fiction
 Bullying -- Fiction
 Orphans -- Fiction
 Grandfathers -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction

Price: $20.71

Arthur Bash is the school thug-for-hire (paid in candy bars), mostly because he just looks the part, so when orphan Darius Drake offers him three candy bars to accompany him to the run-down Stompanado Housing Complex, and just look menacing, he agrees--and soon finds himself deep in a mystery involving Darius' estranged grandfather, the lost Dunbar Diamonds, and the villainous Jasper Jones.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.90
   Points: 5.0   Quiz: 191484
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 4.40
   Points: 9.0   Quiz: 72515

   Kirkus Reviews (07/15/17)
   School Library Journal (08/01/17)
   Booklist (08/01/17)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/17)
 The Hornbook (00/01/18)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 08/01/2017 Newbery Honor Book author Philbrick concocts an intricate whodunit featuring a young sleuth and his reluctant sidekick, romantic and family tragedies, hidden treasure, and a genial, Johnny Depp–esque killer. Having developed a reputation as a bully, chubby Arthur Bash is nonetheless discomfited when orphaned brainiac Darius Drake hires him (with candy bars) to be his bodyguard. Darius has received the titular note—written in blood!—with a return address that leads to a ramshackle old house near a tough housing project. Determined to find the note’s author, Darius drags his increasingly panicked hired “muscle” into various terrifying encounters. Dives into town archives and interviews with a local historian link the house to a sad WWI-era love story, a missing million-dollar necklace, and Darius’ own parents, killed a decade before in a car accident (or, as it turns out, “accident”). Dropping tantalizing hints of grisly events to come, Philbrick leads readers to a melodramatic denouement. An artful mix of clues, cons, and violence, with prizes at the end that glitter both literally and figuratively. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 08/01/2017 Gr 4–6—Mystery and adventure abound in Philbrick's latest middle grade novel. Arthur "Bash Man" Bash and Darius Drake are an unlikely pair who team up to solve the mystery of a missing diamond necklace. The mystery takes the boys through secrets in Darius's past that intertwine with old town folklore. The duo is soon joined by Arthur's stepsister Dierdre. Reminiscent of Philbrick's outstanding middle grade novel Freak the Mighty, the odd friendship of the two main characters builds throughout the novel. The feeling of being an outsider, or of just being different, will resonate with students. The mystery elements are well plotted, and readers will enjoy trying to piece together various clues. VERDICT Fans of mystery or adventure titles such as Tracy Barrett's "Sherlock Files" and Trenton Lee Stewart's "The Mysterious Benedict Society" will appreciate this novel.—Elizabeth Pelayo, St. Charles East High School, IL - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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