Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, February 20, 2017

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

How I Heard About It:  During a recent visit to my public library, I was in search of some new audio books.  While in the section for novels published for adults, I ran across this title.  It was familiar to me, but I wasn't sure why.  I must have read about it at some point and put it on my radar.  It was added to my stack of audio books.  

What It Is About:  Alice Whitley doesn't know what she is in for when she leaves New York and heads to Los Angeles.  She has been sent there to "care" for Mimi (M.M.) Banning who is a reclusive author that has locked herself up in her mansion.  Alice's boss wants her to encourage Mimi to complete her second novel which she has been working on forever.  Her first book was a huge success and the world is waiting for the next story.  Upon Alice's arrival, she learns she is going to be more of a companion to Mimi's son Frank.  He is a fourth grader, but not your typical ten year old.  Frank is extremely smart, a bit odd, and has his own unique style of dress.  Alice makes it her mission to befriend Frank and help him be as successful as possible in all that he does.  She also wants to learn about Mimi and Frank's past, his father, and an older male friend who "hangs" out at the mansion named Xander.  Alice isn't sure who is more work; Frank or Mimi.  They both put her to the test.  

What I Thought Of It:  This was a great audio and I so enjoyed the story.  There wasn't too much "action", but the plot moved along nicely and kept my interest the entire "listen".  I enjoyed the characters of Alice, Mimi, Xander, and even Frank.  I only say that about Frank because the narrator's voice for Frank was a bit annoying, but I think they did that on purpose.  The writer did such a great job in the writing that I could picture the mansion in California and the type of life they were living.  There were a few surprises along the way, but nothing major.  This was a good old fashion fiction story that focused on the characters and how they interacted with each other.  

Who Should Read It:  An audience for this book would definitely be an adult reader.  The story is slower paced, but would keep the interest of a reader that enjoys a well-done fiction story.  I think I would recommend reading the book over listening because of the voice of Frank, but either way would be a fine way to experience the story.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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