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Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  4,384 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews
Franny K. Stein is not your average girl -- she's a mad scientist. She prefers poison ivy to daisies, and when Franny jumps rope, she uses her pet snake. The kids in Franny's class think she's weird, wacky, and just plain creepy.
Tired of being stared at, Franny decides to attempt her most dangerous experiment yet -- she's going to fit in. but when a giant Monstrous Fiend
Paperback, 102 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2003)
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Susan No it is a fiction book. The main character likes to do experiments (nothing that can be copied by readers) and is more monster-based. Some loose…moreNo it is a fiction book. The main character likes to do experiments (nothing that can be copied by readers) and is more monster-based. Some loose allusions to Frankenstein.(less)
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Nov 08, 2011 Brad rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brad by: Milos & Brontë
Brontë, my lovely seven year old, is a kooky girl.

From the time she was wee, she's been a talented artist, and her greatest influence, then and now, was Tim Burton. One of her greatest pictures, "The Dark Queen" will someday be a tattoo on my left thigh.

But that's not all ,,, Brontë loves Zombies (they scare the shit out of her, btu she loves them. in fact, putting on The Walking Dead, no matter when I put it on, is the flame that draws my little moth into the room. She can be asleep, and she'l
Miloš & Brontë
Nov 06, 2011 Miloš & Brontë rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Pa & Los
Papa: So you finished your first chapter book my lovely seven year old reading star. What did you think?

Brontë: I loved it. I think that goes without saying.

Papa: I guess we should stop then.

Brontë: Okay.

Papa: Seriously? You have nothing to say?

Brontë: Yes, I do.

Papa: Serve it up, then ...

Brontë: Well, I really just liked how she made a monster out of lunch meat. And she sewed him up in one day, it's crazy. He's huge. And Mom made a Dobby doll for me and it took her two months, so I don't know
Courtney Umlauf
This is Franny. Starting out at a new school is hard for anyone, but especially hard for a little girl mad scientist.

Her new classmates aren't quite sure how to take her. She's a mad scientist who spends all her time inventing machines and creating creatures. She doesn't eat boring white bread sandwiches at lunch, she brings her own homemade crab ravioli in pumpkin sauce. But she does want to make friends, so in true Franny fashion, she makes an experiment out of trying to be like the other kids
Sep 13, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: children starting to read chapter books
This is the first book in the Franny K. Stein series by Jim Benton. We first discovered this series when we listened to Frantastic Voyage on audio CD. We all thought it was a humorous tale, so we decided to read some of the other books in the series.

This story introduces us to Franny and her strange mad scientist ways. I like that Franny feels compelled to fit in, but ends up discovering that it's best to just be herself.

I love the fact that Franny is a spunky, smart scientist and I thought it
Feb 09, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it
My daughter and I read this together. She's 9 and has a bit of "Mad Scientist" in her as well. She and I love Franny and all her adventures. In this introductory story, which we somehow skipped, Franny moves to a new town and starts a new school. She is, of course, different from everyone else and decides that she needs to make a few changes to be liked after gathering data and creating data charts (she's mad, not dumb after all). Of course, her new teacher Miss Shelley (Mary Shelley wrote Frank ...more
Jes Pedroza
Jul 01, 2008 Jes Pedroza rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone up for some fun and laughter.
Michigan native, Jim Benton, taps into the strange and exciting world of Franny K. Stein - my new favorite caricature! Franny is not your average girl and kicks a bit of spunk into everything she does. Instead of having a cute kitten for a pet, Franny has bats. While her neighbors play video games, Franny is up in her room doing wild science experiments. And while children eat their wonder bread P&Js at the lunch table, Franny prefers shish-kebabs and ravioli in pumpkin sauce. She fears not ...more
Dec 07, 2015 Steph rated it really liked it
This was so super cute! Quirky kid who tries to find a way to fit in, despite her mad scientist hobby and frightening personality! :)

4.5 stars!
Becky B
Franny tries to make friends at school, but the other kids just seem scared of her. Eager to make friends, Franny makes observations (like any good scientist) and comes up with a formula to make herself more likable. While the formula works, it just doesn't feel like her. And when yesterday's lunch (plus some unstable industrial waste) decides to start taking over the school, Franny realizes it is better to just be herself. So she snaps into mad scientist mode, puts the rest of the class to work ...more
Allison Moore
Apr 07, 2014 Allison Moore rated it really liked it
The Franny K. Stein series is a hilarious group of books about a young mad scientist named Franny. Franny does not fit in at school. Many of her peers make fun of her and think she is very weird. Franny is soon tired of being different so she decides to do one of her biggest experiments ever; fitting in. Franny begins to change many things about herself to make herself seem normal. The series follows the many adventures of Franny and her different experiments that cause chaos throughout her scho ...more
Nov 30, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing
What a fun discovery! Franny K. Stein is a little different from many of the girls around her who like pretty Barbie dolls and pink frilly things and PB&J sandwiches on fluffy white bread. She's a "mad" scientist who likes tarantulas and bats (the flying kind), dolls that ooze yucky gunk, and doing explosive science experiments. Mr. Benton's young female protagonist is a quirky, intelligent problem-solver who learns to be comfortable in her own skin, but also learns that friends can help eac ...more
Dec 05, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it
Franny is a little girl mad scientist whose interest in all things spooky and creepy: tarantulas, bats and dolls that chomp and ooze slimy stuff (Chompolina and Oozette), makes her classmates fear her and leaves her friendless. She decides to run the greatest scientific experiment of all--to transform herself into a normal little girl. Her experiment is a success, and she learns that her classmates, though normal, are nice. But when a monstrous fiend comes alive at school Franny has to revert to ...more
Mitzii Waldorf
Jan 22, 2016 Mitzii Waldorf rated it really liked it
Un libro que definitivamente los niños, en especial niñas, deben leer.

Leí este libro con mi hermana y ¡le encantó! La historia de Franny es increíble, una niña fuera del mundo de Barbie, princesas, damiselas en peligro. ¡Franny es un personaje fuerte y único! Una niña a la que le gustan las tarántulas, muriélagos y disfruta tanto de la ciencia como un científico loco.

Definitivamente un "must" para los más pequeños de la casa.
Rebecca McNutt
This book was an okay book for kids with themes of not changing who you are and accepting yourself, but it was choppy and had limited vocabulary. Franny wasn't a very likeable character, and the author's logic confused me - why is Benton associating a love of science with being into gothy-style stuff and acting like an Addams Family extra?
Dec 18, 2013 Jacoba rated it really liked it
Franny K. Stein: Lunch Walks Among Us by Jim Benton (2004)
Genre: Chapter Book
Format: Book
Plot summary:Franny K. Stein is a mad scientist who prefers all things spooky and creepy, but when she has trouble making friends at her new school she experiments with fitting in--which works until a monster erupts from the trash can.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, religious overtones, violence, etc.): No special considerations
Review citation (if available):K
Michelle Gray
Apr 13, 2016 Michelle Gray rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-fiction
Just delightful. I understand why the kids enjoy these books so much. I found myself chuckling many times at Franny. Also, such a nice message about making friends by being yourself.
Melissa Bradley
Sep 15, 2016 Melissa Bradley rated it really liked it
This story by Jim Benton called Franny K. Stein Mad Scientist is a graphic novel. I enjoyed reading this book because it was out of the ordinary. It’s about this young girl named Franny who likes to call herself a mad scientist. She starts at a new school which can be hard for anyone but she is not your typical young girl. As you read the story you will find that she doesn’t like doing things that the average girls like to do. Franny enjoys making new creations and playing with her pet tarantula ...more
Brooke Seidel
Title: Lunch Walks Among Us
Author: Jim Benton
Genre: Science Fiction
Theme(s): Science, Monsters
Opening line/sentence: I like school. Especially Science.
Brief Book Summary: Franny K. Stein is not just your ordinary student- she is an amazing scientist! Although many of her fellow students may think that she's weird they all look to her for help when a Monstrous Fiend attacks her class.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1: Publishers Weekly
The Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist series gets off to a
Pop Bop
Aug 29, 2014 Pop Bop rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"It's Mad Science Time"

This chapter book entertains in so many more ways than I expected that this review is going to sound a little gushy. But the Franny K. Stein books are just that good.

Franny is a devoted mad scientist, but she scares her classmates. She transforms herself into a girlie-girl in order to "fit in", but somehow that doesn't feel right to her. NO SPOILERS, but events unfold in a way that leads Franny, and her classmates, to appreciate Franny for who she really is.

The book is pe
Edward Creter
Aug 22, 2014 Edward Creter rated it it was amazing
A disarmingly cute and sweet homage to the horror comedy and a good balm for those aching from the indignity of all those awful horror books and movies. Little Franny is a mad scientist of 10 years of age. She's evil, wicked, plotting world domination, and all she needs for her plans to succeed...are friends! Yet in the beginning she feels the intense need to blend with other human children. She thinks a baseball bat requires something with leathery wings and teeth. (Reeallly. The only leather a ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Jenn rated it liked it
I read this to my son. Franny is a mad scientist. She is entering a new school. She loves school. The kids at the school don't seem to like her though. She decides to do an experiment to make the kids like her. She changes everything about herself - her looks, her lunch and her likes. Now she has lots of friends, but Franny isn't being herself. When the Giant Monstrous Fiend is born from a trash can, Franny must come to the rescue. She builds a lunch meat monster to save her teacher who was take ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it
franny k. stein does not fit in with her classmates, which is what you'd expect when you are a seven year old mad scientist. but when her best efforts to transform herself into a "normal" girl don't pan out, she discovers that it's best to be herself.

cute and quick. initially i was weirded out by how dark franny was, but it ended up being harmless. and any book that promotes kids to be always be themselves is just fine by me.
Mar 30, 2015 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: slib-520
Science Fiction

Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein Mad Scientist, 1) Hardcover – September 1, 2003

Themes :
Juvenile fiction

Best Books :
Children's Choices, 2004 International Reading Association
Back to Top
Awards, Honors & Prizes :
Gryphon Award, 2004 Honor Book United States

Recommended for grades 2-5

I enjoyed this book about a little girl named Franny. She is not like all the other children in her class and is trying to find a way to fit in. Her teache
Aarifa - Lover of Harry Potter, Books, and Animals-
Franny is a VERY VERY mad scientist. Shes new at school and not a lot of the kids like her because she has bats all over her. so she makes her dolls and herself nice by doing a experiment. She comes back the next day
and the kids like her. but there is a monster that takes her teacher on the flag pole!
OH NO! What will happen next? Read to find out.
Jul 02, 2015 Dana rated it really liked it
This is a cute, silly, early chapter book about Franny, who is a mad scientist. She does not really know how to fit in with the other kids. The girls like pink frilly things and nice dolls, not dolls that chomp heads or ooze stuff. The boys like bats made of wood to hit balls with, not bats that are black and fly in the air. Franny's teacher tells her to think of making friends as a science experiment and she changes herself so that she is just like the other kids. She makes friends, but is not ...more
Sep 18, 2014 Ruslan rated it really liked it
I think this book was very good. There were many details, like how it described the characters and the settings. I love how it showed pictures to show us how the characters looked and what they did. Overall i think this book was fun and the story was cool.
Scottsdale Public Library
Franny had my oldest and I in stitches! My seven year old, who admittedly has a good dose of “Mad Scientist” himself, appreciated the pun infused snarky humor in this book that was very Junie B. Jones only with excellent grammar and vocabulary. Mom liked the positive messaging of being true *and* liking yourself. We both laughed over how Franny’s problem solving skills were applied to understanding societal norms. This book is highly recommended for kids reading above grade level, fans of the Do ...more
2005 December 30
2009 January 12

The PandaBat got the boxed set of Franny K. Stein books for Christmas. She's not quite able to read them on her own, but she's certainly enjoying having them read aloud.

As am I.

How much do we love Franny K. Stein? Mad science, a "lab" assistant, bats in her attic room in the otherwise pristine and pastel house? Oh, very much indeed.

Although I hadn't realized it before, we love stories about a kid who doesn't feel right in the family, but that the family that loves
Robin Webster
Mar 21, 2015 Robin Webster added it
Recommends it for: grade 3-5, advanced k-2 readers
Grades:3 - 4 (Themes are safe for younger kids)
Lexile Measure:710L
Guided Reading Level:N
DRA Level:28 - 30
ACR Level:5

-Funny for kids (and silly adults)
-Badass girl scientist saves the day!
-Main character learns that she can can be herself and still have friends
-Promotes leadership, thinking, kindness, bravery, invention, science

-Teases a little about pants wetting, but Franny expresses sympathy, so that's not so bad.
-(view spoiler)
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Dec 03, 2010 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it really liked it
I love finding chapter books for 1st to 3rd graders. Franny K. Stein is a great character. She is just a bit different which is wonderful. I have a lot of girls who will love this series.
Aug 28, 2014 RachelAnne rated it really liked it
Franny K. Stein is a budding mad scientist. She has a bedroom/lab full of bats ("they're like rats with pterodactyl wings... what's not to like?") and a doll that bites. The other kids at school are different. So, Franny embarks on her most daring escapade yet: a formula that will make her into *A NORMAL LITTLE GIRL*! Mwahahaha. Alas, in the school trash, some old ravioli, chewed gum, and old gym shoes mix with some unstable industrial waste. Now, Miss Shelly's class doesn't need another "normal ...more
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Benton began his career in a custom design t-shirt shop where he started designing his own characters. At the same time, Jim did illustrations and artwork for magazines and newspapers. People magazine named him "the most visible cartoonist in America" .

Benton also created greeting cards and worked in the magazine and publishing industry. In 1998, his SpyDogs characters became an animated series, T
More about Jim Benton...

Other Books in the Series

Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist (7 books)
  • Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist, #2)
  • The Invisible Fran (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist, #3)
  • The Fran That Time Forgot (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist, #4)
  • Frantastic Voyage (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist, #5)
  • The Fran with Four Brains (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist, #6)
  • The Frandidate (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist, #7)

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