Copyright 2013-2015. Courtney Anz. All rights reserved.
Middle Grade Recommendation:
Freaky Fast Frankie Joe, by Lutricia Clifton
I love this book because Frankie Joe is a good and regular kid who handles a very sad time
in his life with self-respect.
Frankie Joe’s parents are divorced. He lives with his mother in Laredo, and he loves her but
she is not very responsible. For example, she thinks spending every day in school is a waste of time; consequently she does not demand it of her son. When she gets caught in the middle of a bad boyfriend’s misdeeds, twelve-year-old Frankie Joe must to go live in Illinois for a year with the father he’s never known. The father has his own family now – three boys who do not take too kindly to this new, older brother. First thing the oldest of the step-siblings does is rub Frankie Joe’s nose in the fact that he has to make up not one, but two levels of school.
In his new (and he hopes temporary) home-town, Frankie Joe makes friends with a cast of
interesting characters. There’s an old farmer whose wife recently died and eats alone until Frankie Joe begins a pizza delivery service and ends up giving the man some company. There is the old widow who is determined to invent the next best make-up product to hide a birthmark on her face and Frankie Joe agrees to suffer through being her guinea pig. And then there is the girl in Frankie Joe’s class who appreciates his fresh take on life in her small town. These relationships and his reactions to them are real.
Frankie Joe’s problem solving-skills are impressive as he tries to raise enough funds to ride a bike back to his mother in Laredo. In the end, Frankie Joe learns some wonderful
lessons about love and family. It’s a great read for any kid who is at the fifth grade reading level.
Keep a watch out for future books from author, Lutricia Clifton. Definitely an author worth reading.