Frankie & Bug

S. & S. Audio. Oct. 2021. 521p. $17.99. ISBN 9781797129563.
Gr 4-7–It’s the start of the summer of 1989 and 10-year-old Bug feels like life is unfair. Her older brother Danny is pulling away and says he needs space, leaving her with nobody to take her to the nearby beach in Venice, CA. When their upstairs neighbor Philip’s nephew, Frankie, arrives from Ohio, it doesn’t seem that there might be any connection between the two, but when a serial killer, called the Midnight Marauder, catches their interest, it’s the beginning of a summer of adventure, an unusual friendship, and Bug learning more than she could have ever imagined about life. She discovers that family doesn’t always have to be limited to blood relatives and that some people can be good and mean at the same time. The scene where Bug learns that Frankie is transgender is both funny and poignant, words that sum up many events in the book. Bug is refreshingly innocent and open-minded, wearing her heart on her sleeve, but she realizes there are times when keeping her thoughts to herself is the wisest course. The audio is read by Stockard Channing.
VERDICT An excellent look at life and coming of age in the late 1980s and a solid choice for school and public library collections.

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