Friday, October 3, 2014
FREAKY FRANK by Buffy Andrews LANDS in the HOT SEAT REVIEWS.
I am so NOT the target audience for
Buffy Andrews' Middle Grade Story, but I loved every moment I spent reading this rich story about the issues that make the teen years...mercurial, and a few extra that add to the many dilemmas of spirit, soul, good, bad, and OMG...beyond simply challenging.
Our hero, Frank has a skill no one else knows anything about, not his best friend, his teachers, his parents...no one!
Growing up is hard enough when you have nothing more than the normal angst of puberty and advancing adolescence. Reading everyone's minds...and never allowing yourself to accidentally slip and blurt out something you should not "hear"...Oh Boy!
Nasty Nate is the school's vile bully. Most of his classmates are stuck on the receiving end of his cruelty, but Frank...Frank can sidestep Nate because he can READ the nasty piece of work's mind.
That should be all Frank needs to bring Nate to his knees and get him good and caught...problem is to do so would expose Frank's skills to all...and that he just knows would not make his life easier.
Buffy Andrews has created a delightful hero in Frank and a coterie of heroes in his geeky friends...all of them victims of Nasty Nate's dark cruelty.
Can Frank expose Nate to the adults and do so without exposing his own secrets?
This book was a delight for me even though I am long past the time when I was the target audience...but I understand how hard it is to be the kid with a "difference" when "normal" is what everyone expects from you.
I am not telepathic...mostly...
I'm an empath. (A dear friend calls me a
"Prism" and even though I am well beyond the intrigues of middle, junior and senior high school, I REMEMBER...Even in my longer-in-the-tooth years beneath my growth belt, I remember what it was like "knowing things...FEELING things...drawing people to me because of my "SECRET" and how to this day a part of me shies away from it when a stranger will come up to me and say, "I know you. I need you to fix me.")
Any paranormal power has a price, a price few understand that makes for a lonely existence ninety nine percent of the time.
Buffy Andrews gave Frank a glorious sense of humor, a quirky obsessive spelling habit, and a conscious that draws you in, keeps you in, and makes you cheer the mini-paths he must navigate every day and with just about every one.
If you like reading stories that show the bully getting thwarted no matter how vile and cunning he's decides to be, this is a RIGHT PERFECT Book.
How can I claim that...not being its target audience?
I grew up to be a teacher...a teacher who has always been on the lookout for the kinds of stories my students would enjoy reading AND learn from.
FREAKY FRANK fits on that list with ease.
Buffy knows her audience and how to fashion the words she uses to build her story with an adept skill she can appeal to a long-in-the-tooth-er like me with out dropping a participle or inappropriately compounding a sentence, and blow her target audience into fits of humor and high-fiving.
Well Done, Ms. Andrews
This is Ladybug Lin saying, FREAKY FRANK
has easily earned
Ms. Andrews, now that I've been introduced to your storytelling skills, I am eagerly looking forward to my next trip into your growing library of delightful tales.