Bound To Stay Bound

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 Screaming at the ump
 Author: Vernick, Audrey

 Publisher:  Clarion (2014)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 250 p.,  21 cm.

 BTSB No: 908560 ISBN: 9780544252080
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Baseball -- Fiction
 Baseball umpires -- Fiction
 Single-parent families -- Fiction
 Journalism -- Fiction
 Father-son relationship -- Fiction
 Mother-son relationship -- Fiction

Price: $20.76

Twelve-year-old Casey lives with his father and grandfather at their family-run umpire school, and as he deals with middle school and his mother's unwelcome return, he stumbles on a sensational story that has him questioning his dream of becoming a journalist.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.90
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 164489
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 4.60
   Points: 13.0   Quiz: 63135

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 5 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo

   Kirkus Reviews (03/01/14)
   School Library Journal (05/01/14)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (05/14)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2014 Fortunately for new middle-schooler Casey Snowden, saddled with the first name of baseball’s high-profile poetic loser, he does not aspire to becoming a major league player. His sight is set on sports journalism and taking on the family business, an umpire academy in New Jersey. His plans to cover sports for his school newspaper are stonewalled by the unwritten rule that sixth-graders must pay their dues by selling ad space before they can become journalists. He stumbles across a big story, however, while helping out at the umpire academy and begins to investigate the mystery behind ump-in-training J-Mac, who retired from the big leagues after a drug scandal. Subplots involving Casey’s relationship with his divorced mother, and the irksome presence of an eight-year-old girl who tags along with Casey and his pal Zeke, are amiable, but it’s the peek into the world of professional umpire training that carries the interest here, culminating in the fictional but tantalizing event, You Suck, Ump! Day, in which students perform under intense pressure of a local crowd recruited to heckle them on the field. The briefest of notes on umpire academies is provided, but any kid who can find the way to the Major League Baseball website can begin to fill in the intriguing blanks. EB - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 05/01/2014 Gr 5–8—Most kids who are baseball-obsessed do not focus their obsession on umpiring. But since Casey's father and grandfather run the third best umpire school in the country, Casey's passion is understandable. He also wants to become a sports journalist. When one of his father's students is revealed as a former major league baseball player who disappeared after a steroid scandal, Casey thinks he has stumbled onto the scoop of the year. But after learning about journalistic objectivity, dealing with his parent's divorce, and helping keep his wacky best friend out of trouble, nothing is going Casey's way. Vernick has written a truly realistic 12-year-old boy in Casey. He is all kid; smart but impetuous, with a good heart. His yearning to be a reporter and get published without doing much work rings true, as does his eventual realization that big dreams do not happen without effort. The umpire school is an intriguing angle to use as a hook to the story. There is enough baseball to keep fans interested, and yet not so much that it might turn off non-sports lovers. The book includes discussions of major league drug use, the aftereffects of divorce, and a bit of parental neglect, but everything is balanced; it all feeds the story, nothing seems thrown in for sensationalism. A solid choice for middle-grade readers.—Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CT - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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