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What I Read this Week:
Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin
Amulet Books, 2014
288 pages (ARC)
Recommended for grades 4-6
Well, this book certainly caught me off guard! Of course the cover and title suggest a fantasy-a girl and a bug as friends... But the story starts with such a realistic feel to it that when the fantasy begins you're almost not expecting it.
Franny is a young girl recovering from polio in the 1950s. When the story opens she is in an iron lung-not a light and fluffy opening. I was immediately drawn in to this historical story, and enjoyed the way the author explained what Franny was going through in a way that would build background knowledge for young readers.
Now, once Fleabrain the...flea, enters the story, things start to get a little crazy. This flea has super powers, which are in his saliva. The things Fleabrain and Franny do together are a bit out there, and in one way I was confused by the odd direction of the story, and in another sense I understood Rocklin's choices in how the relationship between bug and girl played out.
The author's note provides a nice historical background to the story, and following that is a series of discussion questions.
This is a book geared toward girls that enjoy high fantasy.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great reading week!