There’s a new kid in Derek Fallon’s class. His name is Umberto and he uses a wheelchair. Derek’s family is still fostering Frank the monkey, and Derek thinks it would be great to train Frank to assist Umberto. But Derek quickly realizes that Umberto is definitely not looking for any help. Derek soon becomes the butt of Umberto’s jokes. On top of that, Umberto starts stealing Derek’s cartoon ideas and claiming them as his own. How did Derek get himself into this mess, and how can he find a way out before he is the laughingstock of school? The answer may very well be his cartoon strip—SUPER FRANK!
About the Author
Janet Tashjian is the author of many popular novels including My Life as a Stuntboy and My Life as a Book, both illustrated by her son, Jake Tashjian; as well as The Gospel According to Larry and For What It’s Worth. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California.
Read an Excerpt
“That’s great!” my dad says as he puts the comic strip down. “Your drawings have really improved.”
I look over my father’s shoulder and examine my work. “No matter how long I work on it, my printing still looks like I’m in second grade.”
“It takes a lot of practice for lettering to look professional.”
As if that’s any kid’s idea of fun—sitting around on a sunny afternoon filling notebooks with row after row of straight block letters.
My father closes the cover of the pad and hands it back to me. “Too bad Frank doesn’t know he’s the star of your comic strip. He’d be flattered.”
Dad doesn’t realize I’ve already shown Frank my drawings. It may be my imagination but by the way my capuchin monkey jumped up and down, I think he WAS flattered.
“Mac and cheese with stewed tomatoes,” Mom calls from the kitchen. “Wash up and come to the table.”
My father and I look at each other and cringe. “Why does she take something perfect like macaroni and cheese then throw something terrible like stewed tomatoes in to wreck it?” I ask.
“You know how Mom likes to sneak healthy food into everything,” Dad whispers back. “But I have to agree with you—it’s a crime to mess with mac and cheese.”
As I put away my pad, I realize Dad’s inadvertently given me the plot of my next comic strip: SUPER FRANK VS. THE WOMAN WHO WRECKED MAC AND CHEESE.
I can’t wait until Ms. McCoddle’s class tomorrow to start working on it.
Text copyright © 2013 by Janet Tashjian