Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

Like most kids' book nerds that I know, I was waiting (im)patiently to hear all the award winners from this year's ALA Midwinter meeting. This is when the Newbery and Caldecott winners are announced, as well as a whole slew of other awards. My favorite of the bunch is the Alex Award, given to novels written for adults but which would appeal to kids ages 12 to 18. Many people call these "crossover novels" because of their appeal to YA and adults.

When I was in the YA age group, I just called these "novels." But I digress...

Two of my absolute favorite books from last year were on the list: Ready Player One and The Night Circus. I'm sure I won't get around to reading the rest, but I was intrigued by The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, so I borrowed it from work.

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is exactly what it claims to be: a scrapbook. The book is filled with color reproductions of photographs and ephemera as if it were the real-life scrapbook of a young woman in the 1920s. Frankie is from a small town in New Hampshire and doubts that she'll ever leave, until the smallest of scandals sends her to Vassar College, then on to New York City and Paris. The book takes no time to read, and the story is a bit predictable, but the form is unique enough that it will seem fresh and new to a lot of readers. I'm not entirely sure how many teens will actually enjoy this book, although more and more kids seem to be interested in the 1920s (I think, in part, because of the buzz around the Great Gatsby movie coming soon).

For those who enjoy The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, I would suggest any of Nick Bantock's books (I've only read the Griffin & Sabine trilogy), which combine art and story in ways that are exciting and intriguing.

Buy The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt on Amazon
Buy The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt at a local store through Indie Bound

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