The Life and Deaths of Frankie D.

Dundurn. May 2021. 264p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781459747586.
Gr 7 Up–Life as an orphan is hard enough, but Frankie D. must also deal with a skin condition called lamellar ichthyosis, which means her skin looks and feels scaly like an alligator’s. Having been found on the street as a child, Frankie knows nothing about her past. Things get strange when she starts having visions of someone named Francis. Francis is young and works in a carnival side show as “alligator girl.” Each vision gives her a little more information about Francis and why she is having these visions in the first place. Nelson has crafted a magical realism story that will keep readers wondering until the end. Most teens will relate to Frankie, as she wears her insecurities literally on her skin. While Frankie’s ethnicity isn’t stated, a few other characters are BIPOC.
VERDICT Readers who like mysteries and a little bit of magic will enjoy this one.

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