A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book deals with the death of a parent. A teen works through grief that leaves her angry, sad, depressed, and, at times, mean to those around her. A dead body is described and suicide is briefly contemplated. There is a period of obsession with death and mentions of various ways to die.
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What's the story?
After the death of her father, teenage Frannie starts pondering deep, philosophical questions and worries about death all the time; She's surprised that everyday things could kill you. But her life begins to take on a new obsession, a mysterious puzzle that was handcrafted by her father. \ \
Frannie tries to put the pieces together; pieces of her life, her father's death, and the strange puzzle that makes her think of her father and foreign lands.
Is it any good?
FRANNIE IN PIECES is a wonderful, moving, and honest book about the emotions of one teen struggling with losing her father and dealing with everything that follows. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants screenwriter Delia Ephron really understands the mind of a teenage girl. The typical angst and exasperation with adults and the opposite sex is present, compounded by the overwhelming grief Frannie feels. Ephron weaves a very real, very current story with laughter and tears and then sprinkles in a little fantasy courtesy of the puzzle Frannie finds, handmade by her father.
The exploration of the puzzle's picture does get a bit tedious, with long and multiple descriptions of villa roofs and whatnot; perhaps artistic readers will appreciate it, but that's it. That aside, teens will love and identify with Frannie and her quirks, while parents will identify with Laura, Frannie's mom and the "less fun parent." Readers will cheer over Frannie's breakthrough while appreciating the long road that is grief.