Framed Book Poster Image

Framed

Eccentric and enchanting kid art caper.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Children steal a painting.

Violence

A mention of a little boy crushed by a car.

Sex

Nude paintings mentioned.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Candy bar, car, toy brands mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigarettes are mentioned.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the main characters, children, steal a valuable painting. They return it and there are no real consequences.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

A synopsis of this book is rather beside the point, but here goes. Dylan lives with his sisters and parents, and is the only boy in a small, rainy town in Wales. They run a small garage, the Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel, on the brink of insolvency. Dylan is obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as is Tom, the man who tried to rob them, and whom they hire instead.

Then a series of seemingly unrelated events starts to change things in their lives and community. A car they bought to fix and sell disappears, and soon after so does their father. A group of men in vans moves into the abandoned quarry on top of the mountain where, it turns out, they are storing art from the National Gallery to protect the pieces from floods in London. And their leader, hearing that Dylan has named his chickens Donatello and Michaelangelo (after the Turtles), thinks Dylan is an art genius. But it's really his younger sister who's a genius, as she shows when she plans a heist of one of the paintings hidden in the quarry.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

FRAMED has much in common with the author's first book, Millions. The story is told by a young boy who is endearingly naive, and who understands less than the reader about what is really going on. His well-meaning but clueless actions change not only his family, but his town.

Normally this might be taken as a criticism, but if it's a formula, it sure is a brilliant one (or as Dylan would say, "it's hectic. Legend, even."). It's that matter-of-fact, daffily sensible, quixotically goodhearted voice that has the reader grinning from start to finish (all right, maybe not from the start -- this story takes a bit too long to get going). Add in a large supporting cast of delightfully eccentric characters, a small town with hidden beauty, the transformational power of art, and a good caper, and you get a most enjoyable book.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about art. Can it really change people's lives? If so, how? Or is it just decoration? What makes something art? Do you agree with Lester? Also, why aren't the kids punished for committing a major crime? Families may be interested in looking at the paintings mentioned in the book, all helpfully listed at the end.

Book details

Author:Frank Cottrell Boyce
Genre:Family Life
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:August 1, 2006
Number of pages:306
Publisher's recommended age(s):8
Award:ALA Best and Notable Books

This review of Framed was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Ratings

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate.

Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

The Author...

I cant say, by reading this book, but I did read an earlier book by this author and it put way, way, way, way to much stress on the reader because the protagonist suddenly had a huge secret (he found a whole bunch of money) and he was frightened with what to do with it. He was presured by his siblings to use it. It was called "millions" YAWN! PLEASE DONT LET KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF 9 READ HIS STUFF, TOO MUCH PRESSURE!
Teen, 13 years old Written byReil19 April 9, 2008

The worse book ever! i recomdend u do not read it

Like i said, it was a horrible book!!! the author isn't a good author......
Kid, 10 years old October 17, 2009

Didn't get through it - Not the best

I didn't like this book. True, I only got a little more than halfway before I refused to read anymore, but, from what I read I found this a bore. The main character isn't very smart, and the only smart character is his sister who wants to become a criminal mastermind. I think this is okay for kids age 9+.