Francie by Karen English
(Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books)

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A distinctive new voice in children's fiction

Francie lives with her mother and younger brother, Prez, in rural Alabama, where all three work and wait. Francie's father is trying to get settled in Chicago so he can move his family up North.

Unfortunately, he's made promises he hasn't kept, and Francie painfully learns that her dreams of starting junior high school in an integrated urban classroom will go unfulfilled. Amid the day-to-day grind of working odd jobs for wealthy white folks on the other side of town, Francie becomes involved in helping a framed young black man to escape arrest -- a brave gesture, but one that puts the entire black community in danger. In this vivid portrait of a girl in the pre--Civil Rights era South, first-time novelist Karen English completes Francie's world using lively vernacular and a wide array of flesh-and-blood characters. Francie is a 2000 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book.

About Karen English

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Karen English is a Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winning author and a retired elementary school teacher. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Laura Freeman has illustrated several books for young readers. Her artwork has also appeared in publications such as the The New York Times and New York magazine. Laura grew up in New York City, and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children. To learn more, please visit
Published December 26, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 213 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Again Francie, the confused yet gay and spunky heroine of Francie (1951 p.187) who found herself at temporary odds with life in an English boarding school, is abroad and learning, this time in Portugal.

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Kirkus Reviews

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In pre-Civil Rights rural Alabama, Francie goes to school and works, helping her mother as a maid for white families in town.

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Publishers Weekly

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in a later chapter, when the shopkeeper accuses Francie of stealing a book she brought into the store with her, Holly stacks the evidence against Francie.

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