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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

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Kate_in_AZ

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This is probably the best book for teens that I've read in the last ten years. 

Seriously. 

I bought it last night, finished it at midnight, and this morning revised my summer school lesson plans to include it.

Frankie, known to her family as "Bunny Rabbit," spends the summer between her freshman and sophomore years changing from a duckling to a swan. As a freshman she is plain, unnoticeable except as an extension of her older sister, and unsure of herself.  The new, pretty, stacked, sophomore Frankie attracts a senior boyfriend, Matthew. Matthew is a member of The Bassets, a male only secret society, which Frankie's father had belonged to.  Frankie resents playing second fiddle to the Bassets and she sets out to have an impact.

The novel is clever and touching and real and it deals beautifully with the angst all teens have about how they relate to the people around them.  It deals with the tension between longing for impact and longing for intimacy.  It addresses the issue of being real and being true and being known and asks the question what price is too high to pay for popularity and acceptance.

If you teach teens, if you know teens,  if you like teens, you have got to read this book.
#1 - May 07, 2008, 09:07 AM

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