Review by Robinne Weiss
Frankie N. Stein wants to be a famous inventor, but her inventions only get her into trouble. Her monster tomato named Martie grows to the size of a beach ball and terrorises the school, her shrink ray is confiscated by the teacher, her Homeworkulator decides it doesn’t like doing homework, her Megadron hot air balloon monster eats children…But these setbacks only spur Frankie to more wild ideas.
The Frankie Files is a collection of what are essentially journal entries written by a precocious, nerdy girl. Frankie’s voice is distinct, strong, and full of dry humour, though her thought processes are decidedly those of a child—don’t look for coherence or logic in the mind of a six year-old. As in many children’s books, most of the adult characters in The Frankie Files are simply impediments to Frankie’s brilliant ideas. All except one mysterious woman, Ms Xavier, who shows up from time to time to enable and encourage Frankie in her creative scientific pursuits.
At times, the appearance of Ms Xavier and the leaps of imagination in Frankie’s mind were a bit too chaotic for my taste. If you’re looking for a coherent story with a strong plot, The Frankie Files isn’t what you’re after, but The Frankie Files is a silly and delightful read that kids are sure to love. I can see children identifying with Frankie, and clamouring for the next Frankie adventure.
The Frankie Files, a series of wacky interconnected science fiction stories for middle grade readers, can be purchased on Amazon. It includes the Sir Julius Vogel Award winning story, Frankie and the Netball Clone.