Saturday, June 23, 2012

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe

Clifton, Lutricia       Freaky Fast Frankie Joe  
Holiday House     2012  248p 
$16.95      978-0-8234-2367-5       elm/ms    VG        Realistic fiction

Twelve-year-old Frankie Joe is sent to live with his father, whom he has never met, when his mother is sent to jail.  He is forced to leave his trailer home in Texas and travel halfway across the country to move in with his father, stepmother, and four half-brothers in Plainville, Illinois.  Frankie Joe is miserable as he tries to adjust to life with his new family.  All he can think about is moving back to Texas with his mom and old friends.  He decides to run away and ride his old bike back to Texas.  In order to raise the necessary cash, Frankie Joe initiates a plan providing a delivery service, Freaky Fast Frankie Joe’s, for his rural neighbors in Plainville.  His business is successful, and he makes money and develops new friendships in the process.  But as Frankie Joe approaches his goal, he is faced with an unimaginable betrayal, and he must rely on his own resilience and his new family’s support to cope.

Lutricia Clifton conveys an emotional story in an effectively amusing and entertaining narrative.
 With colorful descriptions, the author has created a story in which the reader empathizes with the wide range of feelings that Frankie Joe experiences.  Additionally, readers will find themselves rooting for him and appreciating his ability to move forward.  This book is a real page turner from start to finish.

Virginia McGarvey       Boys, Family


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