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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The solution to dealing with bullies is beating them up.
Violence & Scariness
Sarah punches the school bully -- twice.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Franklin was conceived by artificial insemination from a sperm donor.
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Products & Purchases
Oreos, twinkies, etc.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sarah's solution for dealing with the school bully -- beating him up -- is presented as sensible and earns her respect. Franklin is obsessed with danger and spends much time researching all the ways in which children can be hurt and get sick.
Is It Any Good?
What sounds in synopsis like a cardboard comedy, filled with stereotypical characters and stock situations, becomes in author Stauffacher's deft treatment an affecting story with surprising depth. She manages to make Franklin's weird personality believable by combining utter consistency with a light touch, never going too far or making the humor too broad.
But though Franklin is the engaging and humorous narrator, it's not really his story: He is more or less just along for the ride as his mother undertakes Sarah's reclamation. Like Huck Finn, Franklin often describes what he does not really understand, but unlike Twain's character, he gradually starts to get it, and it is that dawning understanding, and eventually even empathy, that enables his heart to begin to gain parity with his intellect. And that's a story worth reading.
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Our Editors Recommend
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