The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks: A Novel
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks: A Novel

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Annotation: A popular girl who attends an exclusive boarding school creates a false online identity in order to infiltrate a secret, all male school club to which her father once belonged.
Catalog Number: #41003
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Pages: 345 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7868-3819-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-40953-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7868-3819-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-40953-8
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Frankie's boyfriend, Matthew, is the co-leader of an all-male secret society. By impersonating Matthew's co-leader over e-mail, Frankie takes control of the society, secretly engineering campus-wide pranks. A clinical-sounding narrator addresses readers directly, giving the book a case-study vibe and presenting Frankie's exploits in a dispassionate way. Readers are left to make up their own minds about this unique, multifaceted individual.
Kirkus Reviews
This cerebral and offbeat comedy of manners will appeal to fans of John Green's An Abundance of Katherines (2006). Spunky boarding-school sophomore Frances "Frankie" Landau-Banks is tired of being underestimated by the men in her life, including her upperclassman boyfriend Matthew and his wittier-than-thou friends. Inspired by P.G. Wodehouse's Code of the Woosters , she infiltrates Matthew's secret and exclusive male club—The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds—and, unbeknownst to them, begins orchestrating their elaborate pranks. She hopes the boys will be awed by her ingenuity and finally acknowledge her brains as well as her recently developed body. But Matthew & Co. are less than pleased to discover Frankie's deception, and she learns the hard way that "it's better to be alone . . . than to be with someone who can't see who you are." Lockhart has transcended the chick-lit genre with this adroit, insightful examination of the eternal adolescent push-pull between meekly fitting in and being liked or speaking out and risking disdain. A funny feminist manifesto that will delight the antiGossip Girl gang. (Fiction. YA)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up Over the course of one summer, Frankie Landau-Banks, a somewhat geeky girl with an unassuming nature, has developed into a 15-year-old with an attention-grabbing figure, a new attitude, and sights set on making changes at her elite boarding school in this novel (Hyperion, 2008) by W. Lockhart. The teenager also has a new boyfriend, a gorgeous senior who belongs to a long-standing secret society on campusThe Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, known mostly for silly pranks and a history of male-only membership. With a witty, sharp, and intelligently scheming mind, Frankie manipulates the Loyal Order to do her bidding with pranks meant to make a political statement about the male-dominated and classist nature of the school. Tanya Eby Sirois adequately voices the characters. Frankie's personality is portrayed most effectively; some of the slang and the attitudes of the male characters feel forced. Telephone calls are relayed using special effects that are mostly convincing, and the segments that are told via emails are well conveyed and perfectly paced. Listeners will feel that they are a part of the teen's disreputable and humorous history. An overall fun listen that the author's fans are sure to enjoy. Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 7 Up-Frankie Landau-Banks has always been underestimated. After spending her childhood as a bright but sheltered ugly duckling, she begins sophomore year at her elite boarding school as a swan, catching the attention of senior Matthew Livingston. Frankie is ecstatic, particularly when she learns that he is the leader of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male secret society. She spends most of her time with Matthew and his friends but soon realizes that no matter how smart or funny she may be, she will never truly be a part of the group, simply because she is a girl. This frustrates her to no end. In a remarkable turn of events, Frankie takes control and begins to direct the Bassets, through email, in a series of elaborate school pranks, revitalizing the Order and the student body as well. These ingenious pranks embody the vigor of Frankie's personality, making social commentary on everything from the school's lack of female leadership to its disgusting cafeteria salad bar. Lockhart has created a layered and engrossing story that is as smart and quick as Frankie, combining the thrilling prospect of how she will get caught with her earnest attempts to understand what it means to be an outsider, an underdog, and in love. An empowered female hero like Frankie is a rare and refreshing find. She is the ultimate feminist role model for teens: a girl with guts and imagination who's brave enough to take on the "old boy's club."-Emily Anne Valente, New York Public Library Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

Big ideas are an essential part of the fun in this sparkling tour de force. Back at her elite boarding school after a summer vacation in which she has grown from duckling to swan, sophomore Frankie starts dating cool, gorgeous senior Matthew and instantly becomes a part of his charmed social circle. Hanging with Matthew and his crowd is a thrill, but Frankie begins to chafe as she realizes that the boys are all members of the secret society to which her own father belonged, the Loyal Order of the Basset Hound, and that not only will they never let her join, Matthew will not even tell her about it. Lockhart (Dramarama; The Boyfriend List) dexterously juggles a number of smart and tantalizing themes—class and privilege, feminism and romance, wordplay and thought, friendship and loyalty—and combines the pacing of a mystery with writing that realizes settings and characters, large and small, with an artist’s sure hand. Inspired by a class called Cities, Art and Protest, Frankie concocts a brilliant plan to infiltrate the Bassets and has them carry out a series of pranks that wittily challenge the politics of the school. Girls especially will be interested in this unusual portrait of a heroine who falls in love without blurring her sense of self, even if none of her friends understands her, and in Lockhart’s fresh approach to gender politics. An exuberant, mischievous story, it scores its points memorably and lastingly. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* In the summer between her freshman and sophomore years, Frankie Landau-Banks transforms from "a scrawny, awkward child" with frizzy hair to a curvy beauty, "all while sitting quietly in a suburban hammock, reading the short stories of Dorothy Parker and drinking lemonade." On her return to Alabaster Prep, her elite boarding school, she attracts the attention of gorgeous Matthew, who draws her into his circle of popular seniors. Then Frankie learns that Matthew is a member of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male Alabaster secret society to which Frankie's dad had once belonged. Excluded from belonging to or even discussing the Bassets, Frankie engineers her own guerilla membership by assuming a false online identity. Frankie is a fan of P. G. Wodehouse's books, and Lockhart's wholly engaging narrative, filled with wordplay, often reads like a clever satire about the capers of the entitled, interwoven with elements of a mystery. But the story's expertly timed comedy also has deep undercurrents. Lockhart creates a unique, indelible character in Frankie, whose oddities only make her more realistic, and teens will be galvanized by her brazen action and her passionate, immediate questions about gender and power, individuals and institutions, and how to fall in love without losing herself.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Lockhart chronicles the adventures of Frankie Landau-Banks-student, girlfriend, deviant. In the summer between her freshman and sophomore high school years, Frankie undergoes a metamorphosis. She tames her wild, frizzy mane, grows curves in all the right places, and hones her razor-sharp mind. Gone is her family's "bunny rabbit," and here to stay is one stealthy woman. When she returns to school in the fall, Frankie captures the affection of school golden boy and logophile, Matthew Livingston. The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an arcane society of which Matthew is a member, piques her interest. The Bassets' claim to fame is their perpetration of mediocre pranks on campus. When a class paper plants a seed in her mind, Frankie sets out to enhance the Bassets' mischievous nature with a chain of e-mails, a treasure hunt, and the members' limitless credit cards. Lockhart fashions a thoroughly enjoyable tale of a good girl who aches to be bad. She deserves special mention for her ability to create likeable characters out of those that literature typically maligns-privileged, WASP-y males. Matthew and his cadre of friends are witty and buffoonishly humorous, and Frankie's desire to share their friendship and gain their approval is entirely understandable. The prose flows smoothly, and readers will remain engaged to see what new dastardly deed the heroine has planned. Fans will applaud at the conclusion as Frankie strides into the sunset, her head metaphorically bloody but unbowed.-Angelica Delgado.
Word Count: 59,635
Reading Level: 5.5
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.5 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 121946 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.7 / points:15.0 / quiz:Q43817
Lexile: 890L

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father's "bunny rabbit."
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Landau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer.
Especially when "no" means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society.
Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew's lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.


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