The sign of a good book for me is after finishing the last word, I want to read more. What does happen to Frankie Joe, a most endearing character, as he takes on the next chapter in his life? I’d welcome a sequel.
I’ve come across kids like Frankie Joe many times – uprooted from the family they know and placed in a situation that is foreign and uncomfortable. After reading Frankie Joe’s story, I have a better understanding of the emotions going through a blended child’s mind, thanks to author Lutricia Clifton.
PUBLICATION DATE:2013 LEVEL: 3.8 WORD COUNT: 48,840
FULL PLOT (From Amazon): When twelve-year-old Frankie Joe’s mother is sent to jail, he is uprooted from his home in Texas to live with the father he has never met, his father’s wife, and his father’s four “legitimate” sons in Illinois. Frankie Joe is miserable. Trying to adjust to his blended family proves too much to bear, so Frankie Joe hatches a plot to escape on his bike back home to Texas. For that he needs money, and so Frankie Joe’s Freaky Fast Delivery Service is born. His deliveries win new friends, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all of his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT FREAKY FAST FRANKIE JOE
- The internal struggles Frankie Joe goes through are brought forth in an understandable fashion and written in a way that gets you attached emotionally to this young protagonist. The ending is not perfect, but in today’s world it is most likely the ending that would happen – not necessarily the one we want.
- The cast of supporting characters in Frankie’s new small town are brought to life and fleshed out with their own distinct personalities. They aren’t just names on the page.
- Best friends for kids in books are usually other kids. Not so for Frankie Joe as his friends are older adults. Yes, there are children like Frankie Joe in the real world.
- Frankie’s is getting to know the Dad he never knew and a step mom he doesn’t want to accept. They are taking on a tremendous responsibility adding another child to their already crowded house. Their way of making Frankie Joe slowly be accepted is heartwarming.
- The conflict between Frankie Joe and his new step brothers is realistic and expected, especially with the oldest. When you suddenly get knocked down to number two, sparks are going to fly.
I cry because Mom sold her remembrance of me.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.