Francie

by Karen English

Francie Weaver, a 12-year-old African American girl, is growing up in Noble, Alabama,... read more

Francie Weaver, a 12-year-old African American girl, is growing up in Noble, Alabama, in the 1930s with her Mama and her little brother Prez. Her father, a Pullman porter, has been saving up money so that the family can move to Chicago, and as far as Francie’s concerned, it can’t happen soon enough. In the meantime, she bides her time by attending school, helping her Mama with her work as a domestic and, in her rare free moments, reading Nancy Drew novels while sitting on top of her favorite hill, eating Scooter pies. When Jesse, a 16-year-old friend, is wrongly accused of hitting a white man, Francie and Prez put their family and the entire Black community at risk by helping Jesse hide in the woods behind their house. English greatly enriches this compelling first novel with details of a specific time and place, as well as with well-rounded characters who come to life in the context of a close-knit community. Francie is such a likable young girl that when she leaves for Chicago at the book’s conclusion, we are as sorry as her neighbors to say goodbye to her. (Ages 9-13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2000

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