Freaky Fast Frankie Joe

( 4 )

Overview

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. 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 for Frankie Joe, a place in the rural ...

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Freaky Fast Frankie Joe

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Overview

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. 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 for Frankie Joe, 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 his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
Frankie Joe has had to take care of himself most of his life; his mother does what she wants and his father is seemingly out of the picture. But when his mother is jailed after her most recent scheme to get rich, Frankie finds out that his father is interested in him and is willing to take over his custody to make sure that Frankie has a safe place to live. Frankie's move from Texas to Illinois is a big change for him, and he rebels against his father's rules and his stepmother's concern. On top of all that, he also has to put up with four half-brothers, one of whom is a bully to the younger children and makes Frankie Joe's life miserable at school. When Frankie Joe devises a plan to ride his bike back to Texas, he knows he will need money; sensing a need in the community for older resident's to have items delivered to them, he starts up Frankie Joe's Freaky Fast Delivery Service. At first, delivering is just a job, but as he gets to know his clients and their idiosyncrasies, Frankie finds himself becoming more interested and comfortable in his new life...but is it enough to offset his old life and what he has back in Texas? This is a book with solid humor and great dialogue with a message that will resonate with pre-teen readers. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—With his mom in jail for drug possession, Frankie Joe goes to live in Illinois with his father, whom he barely remembers, and his father's new wife and four sons. None of the boys is happy with this arrangement. To make matters worse, the 12-year-old is placed in fourth grade instead of sixth because he missed too much school the previous year. Eager to escape from this life, Frankie Joe starts a bicycle delivery business to try to save enough money to return to his friends in his Texas trailer park. When his mother gets out of jail and agrees to let his new family adopt him, Frankie Joe has to rethink his plans and come to grips with the fact that she has another life and doesn't want him with her. Definitions of words the protagonist looks up to educate himself are interspersed throughout this first novel that tugs at readers' heartstrings. Although Frankie Joe's amazing adaptation to a stable environment is almost too good to be true, children in blended families, including reluctant readers, will relate to this story.—Kathy Lyday, William Lenoir Middle School, Lenoir, NC
Kirkus Reviews
While his mom is in jail, Frankie Joe tries to adjust to living with his newly surfaced father, FJ, his stepmother and "the four legitimate Huckaby sons." The brothers tease Frankie Joe because, academically, he is "freaky slow," which is at odds with how fast he is when he runs or bikes. The tension and the cast of characters are well-developed, especially Frankie Joe, who is believably resistant to the new setting and the rules of the house. Speaking in the first-person, Frankie Joe shows spunk, spinning the taunt into a positive when he launches Frankie Joe's Freaky Fast Delivery Service. With his income, he plans his escape back home from Illinois to Texas. But with each day Frankie Joe becomes more integrated into--and essential to--the town and the family, starting with his friendship with another town oddball, elderly Miss Peachcott. She tells Frankie Joe his family history. With this reveal, the author realistically depicts Frankie Joe's growing doubts about his mother's decisions. His mother's final act, abandoning him to FJ, leaves Frankie Joe grief-stricken and depressed but he now has a new understanding of what responsibility and home mean. The pace in this debut is leisurely, but readers, like the town folk and his newfound family, will be rooting for Frankie Joe. The final scenes soar with hope. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823423675
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 122,237
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Frankie Joe (12 y/o) was happy living with his mother and other

    Frankie Joe (12 y/o) was happy living with his mother and other residents in their trailer in Laredo, Texas. After his mother is sent to jail, Frankie Joe has to travel some 1400 miles to live with the father he only knew through cards sent in the mail, a new stepmother, and four half-brothers he didn’t even know were alive. Frankie Joe has to blend in with this new family and new surroundings and it isn’t easy for him. He is taunted and made fun of, has trouble at school, and fitting in with his new family is a challenge. Frankie Joe plans to run away and get back to Texas and, in order to get the money he needs he launches Frankie Joe’s Freaky Fast Delivery Service.

    The author does a really nice job showing us the internal workings of a youngster having to find his way in a new family and circumstance. The mood is positive and you will find yourself liking Frankie Joe as he has a good spirit, heart, and demonstrates a lot of positive qualities, including being resilient. Does he head for Texas? Does he stay? What happens when his mother gets out of jail? Will he want his old life or his new one? How will he manage torn loyalties? I was eager for Frankie Joe to find his way all the way to the end of the story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    ????????

    Is it good?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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