Frannie in Pieces



Honest look at teen's grief after her dad's death.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A teen going through grief lashes out frequently at her family and friends while realizing the behavior is wrong. Characters throughout the book are shown as caring and supportive.


A man dies of natural causes and his body is described. Several household items are described in ways that they could kill a person. A girl puts a poison berry on her tongue but doesn't eat it.


A couple talks of a romantic time in which their child was conceived. Teens kiss, flirt, and fantasize; one boy takes his shirt off flirtatiously.


Occasional teenage swearing, including "s--t."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults are shown drinking wine.

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.

Parents say

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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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about losing a loved one and the different ways in which people express grief. How did Frannie's family and friends react to her throughout the book? How do you identify with different characters?

Book details

Author:Delia Ephron
Illustrator:Chad Beckerman
Genre:Family Life
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:September 25, 2007
Number of pages:384

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

A Very Good Book

A wonderful book.
Kid, 9 years old June 8, 2009

I have not finshed this book but i seems really good so far!

I love this book so far! I have not read the whole thing yet i just started! But it seems like my type of book! So read it! From wat i heard my age isent great for this book but oh well! Just read it and u tell me if its appporprite!


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