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The 10 p.m. Question
     

The 10 p.m. Question

3.5 6
by Kate De Goldi
 

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Frankie Parsons is twelve going on eighty -- an apparently sensible boy growing up in New Zealand, he has a drumbeat of worrying questions steadily gaining volume in his head: Are the smoke alarm batteries flat? Does the cat, and therefore the rest of the family, have worms? Will bird flu strike and ruin life as we know it?
Most of the people in Frankie's life

Overview

Frankie Parsons is twelve going on eighty -- an apparently sensible boy growing up in New Zealand, he has a drumbeat of worrying questions steadily gaining volume in his head: Are the smoke alarm batteries flat? Does the cat, and therefore the rest of the family, have worms? Will bird flu strike and ruin life as we know it?
Most of the people in Frankie's life seem gloriously untroubled by worry. Only Ma takes his catalogue of persistent anxieties seriously, listening patiently to the questions he brings her at 10 p.m. each night. But when a new girl arrives at school with relentless, unavoidable questions of her own, Frankie's carefully controlled world begins to unravel. Will he be able to face up to the unpalatable, ultimate 10 p.m. Question; why does Ma never leave the house?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—Aside from being a nervous wreck and hypochondriac, 12-year-old Frankie thinks his life in New Zealand is pretty normal. He and his friend Gigs love cricket, swimming, and making up their own language. When a new girl enters his class, though, he begins to question everything. Sydney is a carefree soul who has been in 22 schools because her mother moves a lot. She is loud, doesn't care what others think of her, and is constantly asking questions. As he gets to know her, Frankie learns that Sydney's mother may be a prostitute who leaves Sydney oftentimes alone to care for her younger siblings. This infuriates him and also forces him to think about his own unusual home life, which includes his mother having not left the house in nine years. Although rather slow moving in the beginning, this is an interesting and thoughtful coming-of-age story. What starts as a Stargirl-like character coming between the friendship of two boys becomes a moving tale about the challenges of family life and being different. The book is highly descriptive and a great deal of it is made up of Frankie's memories, which establish his character and give readers insight into his life. They will not only feel his anxiety, but also understand where it comes from. Each chapter ends with nightly discussions between him and his mother, which are both telling and rather beautiful. Ultimately, he is able to come to terms with and appreciate his family and learn that life can be good, even if it's not perfect.—Kerry Roeder, The Brearley School, New York City

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763652128
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
11/09/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
792,666
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
File size:
457 KB
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Kate De Goldi is an award-winning writer of short fiction, novels, and picture books for readers ranging from young children to teens and adults. A New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate, she lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

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The 10 p.m. Question 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in, her pokemon tired. She returns them to her pokeballs, then gives them to Nurse Joy for healing. -Beep beep boop boop beep- Nurse Joy gives the pokemon back, fully healed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
A short little read that was interesting, but just didn't hit me right. A story of a boy trying to find himself. He realizes that his family isn't perfect and how that affects who he is and will become. I can't pinpoint where exactly I didn't fall in love with this book - but for some reason, I just didn't enjoy. To keep it short and simple, I think there is an audience for it, but maybe not an adult female, maybe this book is more for a younger male audience - so I would send this book off to that group
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my middle school library. It's ok but I can't think of any students I REALLY should recommend it to. It's kinda dry in the middle and I think it's an example of reviewers who recommended it because they THINK students should like it. Personally, I don't think kids will care for it much.