Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt (a Novel in Pictures) by Caroline Preston

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt (a novel in pictures)
by Caroline Preston

Frankie (not Frances, she hates that name) is a high school graduate from a tiny NH town in 1920. What to do next? To save a bit of money she tries working as a helper to an elderly lady who works close by. But when she gets mixed up with the son of this neighbor, Frankie's mom thinks maybe it would be best if she headed to college after all.

So starts Frankie's journey to becoming a writer. She attends Vassar in the fall and from there the reader follows her to Greenwich Village and even Paris. It's the 20s and it's a pretty exciting time to be an aspiring writer and Frankie gets swept right up.  

I picked this one up because it won an Alex Award this year- it's an adult book that the awards folks thought teens would enjoy. I'd never heard of it, but the phrase: " novel in pictures" really intrigued me. It turns out, that is exactly what this is- a scrapbook full of interesting little pieces of 1920s history, it's like a graphic novel but instead of drawings, the medium is scrapbooking. It's really different and fun to get absorbed in.

If you like history, there are tons and tons of artifacts to peer at. Here's an article by the author detailing how she was able to put together all the puzzle pieces into a novel. If you like a bit of historical fiction, this is such a fun time period to get lost in (flappers, prohibition, all that good stuff).

And here's a trailer to give you a taste of what Frankie's scrapbook story is like:

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