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Freaky Fast Frankie Joe
by Lutricia Clifton

(Description from publisher Holiday House)
Twelve-year-old Frankie Joe Huckaby can’t find anything good to say about Clearview, Illinois, where he must spend the next ten months living with a father he knows only through birthday cards, a stepmother he didn’t know existed, and four half brothers intent on making him the “freak” of the town. His mother is in jail, so he has no choice . . . or does he?
When life in Clearview becomes unbearable, Frankie Joe hatches a plan to ride his old Rover Sport bicycle 1,400 miles through the middle of the Corn Belt back to the Lone Star Trailer Park in Laredo, Texas. For that he needs money, and so he opens Frankie Joe’s Freaky Fast Delivery Service. But Frankie Joe hasn’t counted on quirky clients, unpredictable winter weather, and his equally unpredictable new family.
His deliveries win new friends for Frankie Joe, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss.

Read an excerpt from the book: Freaky Fast Frankie Joe


bluebonnet_clipart.gifBluebonnet Activities

Frankie had some cool friendships with his friends at the Lone Star Trailer Park

Create a Color:
Throughout the story, Frankie Joe describes many of the things he sees by its color.
Frankie Joe learned about color creation from his friend, Mr. Lopez. Try to create your own unique color here:
Create a Color:


Start Your Own Rock Collection:
Frankie also helps his friend, Mr. O'Hare, search day after day for a piece of a meteor that broke apart over the Chihuahua Desert. What do you suppose this looks like? Read more about the Allende meteorite. Next time you are walking outside, stop and look around for rocks. Sometimes we find landscape rocks near flower beds. These are put here but usually not native to the area. You might find concrete chunks but those are created for sidewalks and driveways.And then sometimes, we see something really cool on the ground. It might sparkle a little or crumble apart with the smallest amount of pressure. Save these little chunks of earth and you might discover you have a wonderful treasure.

Rock Collections for Kids:
Kids Loves Rocks
Smithsonian Kids Rock Collecting
Really Cool-Rock Hound Kids Mineral Gallery

Frankie Joe Run Home!
Interactive Map of the United States
Frankie Joe decides to run away from his dad's house and maps out his journey back to the Lone Star Trailer Park. Experiment with this interactive map of the United States to gain information that might help him on his way home.

Now try this Interactive Scavenger Hunt

bluebonnet_clipart.gifBluebonnet Projects:
Compare and Create Mural: Create a detailed mural that compares and depicts the very different landscapes of the Lone Star Trailer Park in Texas and Frankie's new home in Clearview, Illinois.Make sure to show several detailed differences between the two landscapes.

Make a Freaky Fast Frankie Joe Dictionary: As you are reading the story, write down about twenty or more words that are new to you. Look up the meanings in this dictionary. Write down the definition that best matches the way it is used in Freaky Fast Frankie Joe.
Examples: Alberta Clipper harvester corn belt

Develop a Business Plan: Have you ever wanted to start a business like Frankie Joe's delivery service?

GAME ON! Try out these games that help kids to become better consumers:

FTC's You Are Here It’s time to shop! Design your own ads, learn about competition, and find out how to protect yourself from scams in this virtual mall of consumer education.

Disney's The Great Piggy Bank Adventure
Your dreams are in your hands! Learn to set goals, save, and strategize…. all in a world of entrepreneurial adventure.

Kauffman: All Terrain Brain
Do you have what it takes to be a Biz Kid? Earn and collect badges as you learn about the thrills and challenges of being your own boss.

Get your head in the game of business. Do you have what it takes to make $$$ with a simple lemonade stand? Take the challenge!
Biz Kids's Dollar a Glass Game



bluebonnet_clipart.gif Bluebonnet Curriculum Connections:

Freaky Fast Frankie Joe Educator Guide from publisher: Holiday House

Frankie's friend, Mrs.Jones gave him a copy of his favorite book "Kidnapped". At times, Frankie Joe feels like he has been kidnapped by his dad and his new family. Kidnapped and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson are two of Frankie Joe's favorite books. You can read the free E-Books here:

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Free E-book Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson









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Free E-Book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson









If you like Freaky Fast Frankie Joe, then try these titles:


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Lutricia Clifton
Holiday House
Project Gutenberg: Gutenberg Press
Bizz Kids
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Disney