Alyssa Calhoun's Reviews > Franny Parker

Franny Parker by Hannah Roberts McKinnon
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's review
Jun 10, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: childrens-choice-2011

Franny Parker is a summer story of a girl growing up in Oklahoma. She is known for rescuing animals and people from all over the rural community bring wounded animals to her to nurse back to health. One day, Franny notices a boy and his mom have moved into the house just down the road from her. She meets the boy, Lucas, and they form a friendship. They spend a lot of time together, helping the wounded critters and Franny begins to learn more about his past, however there is something he keeps hidden.

Lucas and his mother are reserved, and seem to be hiding something from everyone. One day, a stranger shows up at their house and they no longer come outside. Franny's family has their suspicions, but the Dunn family doesn't seem to want help. When an accident happens at Franny's house, they have to rely on the community around them to help, and then figure out how to help Lucas and his mom.

This is such a sweet, innocent story that deals with hard issues in an honest way. The sense of small-town community is evident through the group of old women who get together weekly to quilt and discuss the happenings of the town. There is also such a strong sense of family, reflected in Franny's life, and a broken family with Lucas. There are secrets, love, mystery, and adventure in this story.

I would recommend this for 10-13 year olds. The book tackles hard issues, but does so with grace and hope.

Here are my favorite quotes from the book:

"Sometimes even the kindest gestures get boxed up wrong and arrive on your front porch in pieces. You've just got to try to remember what it started out as, is all."

"I understand now what I learned that day. That the world outside our barnyard fence was large and strange, a shock to the gauzy comfort I had wrapped myself in all those years."

"Sometimes people do desperate things."

"These people on the wall, your people, they had hope in the bleakest hour. And that hope runs in a family. Can't you feel it coursing through your veins right now?"

"Another thing I learned is that family comes in all shapes and sizes. And family's not just the people you share your blood with. Take the power of friendship. There are lifelong friends you can't seem to shake, and new friends who find themselves in your backyard. Just like family, a good friend will stand by you, pull you into a living room of laughter, or out of the flames that lick the sky above you. Friendship is a powerful thing."

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