Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.



by Sue Stauffacher

See All Formats & Editions

Franklin Delano Donuthead, star of Sue Stauffacher's Donuthead, is back and life continues to throw him lots of curveballs: he's now in sixth grade which means it's time for middle school, with all of its related terrors. He has to avoid whipping pony tails in the hallways, he's forced to use school bathrooms, with eighth graders, his life science


Franklin Delano Donuthead, star of Sue Stauffacher's Donuthead, is back and life continues to throw him lots of curveballs: he's now in sixth grade which means it's time for middle school, with all of its related terrors. He has to avoid whipping pony tails in the hallways, he's forced to use school bathrooms, with eighth graders, his life science teacher makes him blush like a tomato, his beloved Glynnis Powell may be moving ahead of him socially, his mother has a boyfriend, and his unlikely best friend, Sarah Kervick, once again needs more help than he thinks he can manage on his own. But thanks to his tough but kindhearted mother, the tough but kindhearted Gloria Nelots, and a little growing self-awareness, Franklin manages what it takes to pull Sarah out of another rough situation.

Sue Stauffacher has crafted another laugh-out-loud middle grade novel about Franklin and Sarah that once again overflows with Franklin's distinctive voice, a touching plot, wholly original characters, and a little Mercurochrome for good measure.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The obsessive-compulsive hero of Donuthead, now in sixth grade, finds that the social and microbial challenges of middle school are nearly enough to do him in. Sarah, Franklin's unlikely best friend from book one, also faces tests: hers may be scarier, but she talks about them less. The author spends a bit too much time reviewing old material, and the story doesn't ignite until halfway through, when Sarah, who has learned how to figure skate faster than you can say "flying camel," soars in her first exhibition. The scatological humor may well appeal to the elementary school crowd, but the overarching message here is about maturity: Stauffacher charts that big leap from boy to man as Franklin blushes at his young teacher's bare shoulder, and sizes up his unrequited love for the perfect Glynnis Powell. As Gloria (his contact from the National Safety Department, first met in Donutheart) points out, "It's called `growing up,' Franklin. You are beginning to notice that other people have needs wholly unconnected to your health.... It's a good sign.'' Franklin shows he understands when he does something to help Sarah that violently clashes with his ironclad policy of risk-avoidance. Those who loved the first book will want to read this one, and since many issues (Sarah's messy home life, Franklin's mystery sperm-donor dad) remain unresolved, they'll hope for a third to tie things up. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jennie DeGenaro
The main characters in Sue Stauffacher's book about middle school are two students, Franklin Delano Donuthead and Sarah Kervick. Others rounding out the book include Franklin's mother and her boyfriend. Franklin's mother is helpful to Sarah, a talented disadvantaged girl who lives in a trailer with her unsavory father. Franklin ‘s mother takes an after-hours job cleaning toilets at an ice skating rink to pay for Sarah's skating lessons. Throughout the book, Franklin does not have the nerve to go to the restroom at school, knowing one boy in particular is waiting to do him harm. His friend Sarah helps him overcome his fear. He helps her keep her grades up so she can participate in the skating contest. Franklin is overly germ conscious, and his mother humors his obsession. He has no natural father, as his mother was artificially inseminated. Sarah's friends are worried when she leaves school without telling anyone. Her father is suspected of making her leave. Franklin acts bravely when he goes to the questionable area where Sarah has moved. He plans to bring her back so she can continue competing in skating. She returns with Franklin and an adult friend in time to participate in the skating competition. Guess who wins to make Sarah's friends the happiest ever?
VOYA - Kevin Beach
In this sequel to Donuthead (Knopf, 2003), Franklin Delano Donuthead is now in Pelican View Middle School. He is as odd as his name, perpetually examining the risks of touching bathroom fixtures, petting dogs, or doing anything potentially hazardous. As in the original story, he is a friend to the brash and impulsive Sarah, who helps him overcome school bullies and a shy bladder, among other things. The gist of this story revolves around Sarah, who has a knack for ice skating but is struggling with her unemployed, alcoholic father in a neglectful home. It is now Franklin's turn to lend a hand as he must undertake a perilous trip on public transportation into a rough neighborhood to help Sarah. He must also deal with his mother's new boyfriend, the school bully, a flour sack baby, a saliva-spewing science teacher, a potential girlfriend, and more than one dog. Through it all, Franklin continues to seek advice and assistance from Gloria, who operates a hotline at the National Department of Safety. The book has the offbeat charm of the Wayside School series with its many screwball characters, but the author still broaches some dark topics and real-life situations as well. Franklin seems a bit too adult at times and often is too prissy to be likeable, but the reader must admire his resourcefulness and will no doubt be rooting for him during the difficult situations. Readers of the first novel will want to follow his further adventures here.
School Library Journal

Gr 5–8 -Franklin Delano Donuthead, the eponymous hero of Donuthead (Knopf, 2003), is back, as are all of the other characters from the first book. Now in middle school, Franklin is still obsessed with hygiene, cleanliness, and safety, and Sarah is still living a hard-knock life. The plot this time centers around whether Sarah will wear pants or the customary skirt for her figure-skating performance, and whether Franklin will find the courage and self-reliance to rescue her from her aunt. Readers who aren't familiar with the first book will be totally lost. Stick with Gordon Korman's No More Dead Dogs (Hyperion, 2000), a more amusing choice about a male protagonist.
—Nancy BrownCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
If Franklin Delano Donuthead thought fifth grade was hard, he's just about defeated by middle school. For one thing, he has to use a public bathroom, a situation that's almost crippling to his shy bladder. With the help of his indomitable classmate, Sarah Kervick, and Gloria Nelots, his telephone contact at the National Safety Department, he struggles to navigate the complicated social and hormonal waters of Pelican View Middle School, it's tough. Franklin's fastidious voice is hilarious as he yearns for the nearly perfect Glynnis Powell, grapples with raising a flour baby (named "Keds") for health class and continues his quest to avoid germs of all kinds. The laughs are balanced by genuine pathos, in the form of Sarah's marginal life with her brutish father and of Donuthead's own desire for the kind of affection and attention his mother gives to Sarah. When the chips are down, though, Donuthead-much to his own surprise-essays a rescue that tests all of his limits and assumptions. Funny and marvelously humane, it's a worthy follow-up to his debut, Donuthead (2003). (Fiction. 8-12)
From the Publisher
“Funny and marvelously humane, it’s a worthy follow-up to [Franklin’s] debut, Donuthead.”–Kirkus Reviews

“[Franklin is] a character readers will like, and his trials are a wry, touching commentary on middle-school survival.”–Booklist

“An invitingly quirky story.”–The Bulletin

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
423 KB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


Fear of Flying

In the course of human events, it is sometimes necessary to reduce one's water intake to delay natural functioning. Using the boys' bathroom at Pelican View Middle School was to be avoided whenever possible. I will spare you the details of my first visit; it's enough to know that it involved me, Franklin Delano Donuthead, an industrial-sized roll of toilet paper, and an eighth grader's knowledge of ancient Egyptian mummification techniques.

The problem is, the adolescent body is 75 percent water. And what goes in must come out. Just not in the boys' bathroom. Note that I did not say "the boys' and girls' bathrooms." All you need is a peek through the open door to realize that girls can attend to their business behind closed doors. I am still working through my feelings about this. Who decided--and then proceeded to tell generations of architects--that boys need less privacy than girls? Who? Girls are always saying they want everything to be equal. Hello? The restroom facilities are not equal.

Principles such as equality are as important to me as they were to my namesake, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. "Rules," our late, great thirty-second president liked to say, "are not necessarily sacred. Principles are." So I maintain a strict code of conduct based on my interpretation of the principles set forth by President Roosevelt in the New Deal. These include:

Mental Improvement

Health Promotion

Risk Avoidance

The sad state of boys' bathroom facilities had not yet hit the national scene when FDR was in office. Understandably, he had to figure out the Depression and World War II first. Historians could also argue that FDR was more concerned with job security than risk avoidance. But I am living proof that times have changed, and the order of the principles needs to be shuffled around a bit for the new century.

So every time I stand outside the boys' bathroom, health promotion and risk avoidance start duking it out in my mind.

Health promotion: Pee! You've got to!

Risk avoidance: Are you kidding? Protect your vitals!

Health promotion: Use the staff bathroom by the office.

Risk avoidance: What if Coach Dilemming's in there!?

By the sixth week of sixth grade, my tendency to avoid risk was winning on a daily basis, and my lack of fluids was affecting my overall level of health so dramatically that I was forced to do what I try very hard not to.

And that is to interrupt the early-morning reverie of the chief statistician for the National Safety Department in Washington, D.C. Her name is Gloria Nelots, and I happen to know that at six-thirty a.m. she is at her desk at department headquarters, drinking a cup of very strong coffee with powdered cream and artificial sweetener and synchronizing her hand-held to her computer's notebooking system.

Gloria: This better not be you, Franklin.

Me: Is that how you answer an agency line, Gloria? What if I were your boss?

Gloria: I have it on good authority that he is on the treadmill in the company gym at the moment. (Long silence. Gloria is a bit grumpy in the morning.)

Me: Gloria, have you ever heard of a condition called "paruresis"?

Gloria: I can't say I have, Franklin.

Me: Really? I'm shocked.

Gloria: Well, are you going to enlighten me, or will I be forced to return to enjoying the early-morning quiet, which is the very reason I come to work before the rest of the department?

Me: Happy to. Basically, it's a fear of urinating in public.

Gloria: Last I heard, that was illegal.

Me: I'm not talking about the alleys next to bars, Gloria. I'm talking about designated public places. I'm talking about bathrooms . . . public bathrooms . . . as in the presence of other . . . well, boys . . . eighth graders to be precise. Members of football teams.

Gloria: You're having trouble letting it fly at school? Is that what you called me at 6:37 a.m. eastern standard time to discuss?

Me: Yes!

Gloria: My advice is, turn on the faucet before you unzip. Works wonders.

Me: But--

Gloria: The call buttons are lighting up here, Franklin.

Me: I don't hear any ringing.

Gloria: Nevertheless. Busy, busy. Oh, I almost forgot. How is Sarah? Has she picked out a costume yet?

Me: I'm afraid we're having a little trouble in that department as well.

Gloria: Really? You'll have to fill me in on that later. I'm still good for the bill. Have Julia send me the receipt straightaway.

Me: The trouble is . . .

Gloria: Good-bye, Franklin.

Why Gloria and my mother are so wrapped up in Sarah Kervick's life is a complicated matter that I haven't yet been able to completely puzzle through. Sarah arrived in Pelican View eleven months ago, during our fifth and final year of elementary school. At that time, my mother helped her out with certain . . . difficulties. Sarah does not at present have a mother, so she relies on mine to consult with about hair, clothes, and her overriding passion--figure skating. Gloria has also taken an interest and helps pay for Sarah's training and other expenses. I cannot for the life of me figure out why these two women should exercise what little maternal instinct they have on Sarah Kervick when clearly I, too, am in need of a mother's loving care.

Especially now that I am in middle school.

From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

Sue Stauffacher is a professional journalist and has been writing a children's book review column for over ten years. The author lives in Grand Rapids, MI.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews