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Clifton, Lutricia.


New York : Holiday House, 2012

IL 3-6, RL 3.9

ISBN  0823423670

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Frankie Joe’s mom was in jail. It really wasn’t her fault…how could she know that the package stashed in her purse contained drugs? She was just trying to help a friend…that’s how she was. Frankie was happy to stay in their trailer by himself, enjoying the company of his elderly neighbors, but soon enough he was found out, and was sent from Laredo, Texas all the way to northern Illinois with a stranger who was actually his father. He was shocked to learn that he had a stepmother and four half brothers awaiting his arrival. The eldest, Matt, was no happier about the arrangement than he was…Frankie had bumped him out of firstborn status in the rigid family pecking order. Only 11 months, Frankie thought…then Mom would be out of jail.

But he couldn’t bear it for 11 months, so he hatched a secret plan to earn some money and bike his way back to Texas. In school, he was demoted to fourth grade, since there were so many gaps in his education. Brother Matt quickly labeled him “Freaky Slow Frankie Joe”. But when he showed Matt up in a bike race, he suddenly became “Freaky Fast Frankie Joe.” Frankie started a pizza delivery business to earn money for his trip, so he could leave before winter snows arrived. But an early blizzard foiled his plan. Would Frankie ever make it back to Texas? And what of his Mom…what were her plans? What surprises did life hold in store for Frankie Joe?  (Booktalk by Luci Albertson, GSF Committee   Bedford Public Library)

SUBJECTS:     Stepfamilies -- Fiction.

                        Family life -- Illinois -- Fiction.

                        Delivery of goods -- Fiction.

                        Mothers and sons -- Fiction.

                        Community life -- Illinois -- Fiction.

                        Illinois -- Fiction.

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