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

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  3,622 ratings  ·  221 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
...more
Paperback, 102 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brad
Nov 08, 2011 Brad rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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Miloš & Brontë
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
...more
Dolly
Sep 13, 2013 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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Jes Pedroza
Jul 01, 2008 Jes Pedroza rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Emily
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
Samantha
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
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?
Jacoba
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
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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
Amy
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 and decides that she's going to fit in. but when a giant Monstrous Fiend attacks the class, everyone knows it's up to a mad scientist to save the day. But has Franny lost her creepy, c ...more
Pop Bop
"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
...more
Allison Moore
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
Edward Creter
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
Teresa
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.
Michelle
Science Fiction

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

Themes :
Juvenile fiction
Schools
Experiments
Identity
Science
Monsters

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
...more
Aarifa the biggest cat lover in the world
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.
Ruslan
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.
Kaethe
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
...more
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

Pros:
-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

Cons:
-Teases a little about pants wetting, but Franny expresses sympathy, so that's not so bad.
-(view spoiler)
...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
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.
RachelAnne
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
Kelly
Franny is a young mad scientist who is trying to fit in at school. She truly loves bats and things that destroy but wants friends too. Luckily she has a supportive teacher who encourages her to try an experiment to learn how to be friends with her classmates. She loves experiments so she goes full force into learning about the habits of her classmates and tries to adapt. Unfortunately, the teacher is grabbed by the Pumkin-Crab monster who formed from a thrown out lunch, shoes, garbage and unstab ...more
Stephanie Daley
Franny K. Stein Mad Scientist – Lunch Walks Among Us (2003) is a part of a series written by Jim Benton about a young girl who is a mad scientist, but her classmates and even her parents do not understand her. Because Franny’s outside appearance is different and dark, many judge her and do not think she fits in with them. In this story, Franny creates a potion, which will allow her to fit in at school; however, when a monster kidnaps their teacher, her classmates follow Franny in order to get th ...more
Daniel Franklin
This book was actually brought to my attention by one of the students in my 5th grade observation class. I had a conference with her and she told me the main theme was to “always be yourself!” Upon reading the book, I found that in this text, this is especially true.
This book is a graphic novel as there are pictures on every page and, to be honest, the plot reads a lot more like a comic book plot line rather than a novel.
In this book, Franny K. Stein is a young girl who is a “mad scientist.
...more
Marti Dumas
We heart Franny K. Stein

My five year old and I love this book. Love it. He loves that Franny is so deliciously different and that it is hilariously illustrated to prove that fact. I love that the text is accessible to young readers without talking down to them. It is probably not a book for a very young reader (4-6) to read independently, unless they are pretty advanced for their age. However, it is a perfect read aloud or read along book.
Lady Knight
Franny lives in a pink house, in a normal neighbourhood, with a normal family. The catch? She's a mad scientist. She loves bats, the dark, and everything that is creepy. Her first day at her new school starts off on the wrong foot. She looks weird, she eats weird things and the other kids think she's just plain weird. She loves her teacher, though. She begins to conduct an experiment, "How to make the other kids like me". Franny soon discovers that normal dolls don't have razor sharp teeth, that ...more
Emma
The Book Lunch Walks Among Us is written by Jim Benton. 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 so she takes notes on what the other kids do differently so she could do them and make friends. Until one day she threw her lunch in the trash can and another boy threw chemicals in the trash can to and the food and chemicals combined and formed a monster nobody knew what to do. Except for Franny and so fran ...more
83star
Oct 12, 2008 83star rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: to anyone
Recommended to 83star by: NO ONE
Lunch Walks Among Us this is a book by Jim Benton.It is about a young girl who just does not seem to fit in.she is very different from other girls her age.She into the hole mad scientist thing.Her name is Franny K. Stein
Her mother always wanted her little girl to be like other girls.So she try so many things like she redecorated Frannys room she put pictuers of ponys,flowers,and kittens.
Franny was starting a new school she didnt have any friends.That really made franny sad.Than one day Franny
...more
Michelle/Cnca
Oct 09, 2008 Michelle/Cnca rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Carlos Guzman
This book is about a girl named Franny K. Stein who is a mad scientist. Her dog,Igor is her lab assistant. One day she wanted to make friends beucase all her classmates thought she was wierd only becuase she was a mad scientist. So she decided to make some toys,so her classmates would play with her. She even decides to have a whole new look, she is also going to bring normal food like all her classmates! Here is a quote....."Franny," her mother said,"you look so....nice." Franny did look nice. ...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
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)
Let's Pretend This Never Happened (Dear Dumb Diary #1) It's Not My Fault I Know Everything (Dear Dumb Diary #8) My Pants Are Haunted Am I the Princess or the Frog? (Dear Dumb Diary #3) Can Adults Become Human?

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