Hot Best Seller

Frankie & Bug

Availability: Ready to download

In the debut middle grade novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman comes a poignant and powerful coming-of-age story that follows a young girl and her new friend as they learn about family, friendship, allyship, and finding your way in a complicated world. It’s the summer of 1987, and all ten-year-old Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older bro In the debut middle grade novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman comes a poignant and powerful coming-of-age story that follows a young girl and her new friend as they learn about family, friendship, allyship, and finding your way in a complicated world. It’s the summer of 1987, and all ten-year-old Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older brother and hang out with the locals on the boardwalk. But Danny wants to be with his own friends, and Bug’s mom is too busy, so Bug is stuck with their neighbor Philip’s nephew, Frankie. Bug’s not too excited about hanging out with a kid she’s never met, but they soon find some common ground. And as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning some important lessons about each other, and the world. Like what it means to be your true self and how to be a good ally for others. That family can be the people you’re related to, but also the people you choose to have around you. And that even though life isn’t always fair, we can all do our part to make it more just.


Compare

In the debut middle grade novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman comes a poignant and powerful coming-of-age story that follows a young girl and her new friend as they learn about family, friendship, allyship, and finding your way in a complicated world. It’s the summer of 1987, and all ten-year-old Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older bro In the debut middle grade novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman comes a poignant and powerful coming-of-age story that follows a young girl and her new friend as they learn about family, friendship, allyship, and finding your way in a complicated world. It’s the summer of 1987, and all ten-year-old Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older brother and hang out with the locals on the boardwalk. But Danny wants to be with his own friends, and Bug’s mom is too busy, so Bug is stuck with their neighbor Philip’s nephew, Frankie. Bug’s not too excited about hanging out with a kid she’s never met, but they soon find some common ground. And as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning some important lessons about each other, and the world. Like what it means to be your true self and how to be a good ally for others. That family can be the people you’re related to, but also the people you choose to have around you. And that even though life isn’t always fair, we can all do our part to make it more just.

30 review for Frankie & Bug

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    Get ready to transport yourself back to the 1980s when a very different world was dealing with tolerance and acceptance. Pre-teens knew very little about being gay... AIDS was discovered... and the concept of a transsexual was mostly a new thing. Of course, there has always been homosexuality and the idea of feeling different than those around you, but a 10-year-old had zero if any chance of truly being themselves back then. Frankie and Bug show us what it's like to live that unfamiliar life in Get ready to transport yourself back to the 1980s when a very different world was dealing with tolerance and acceptance. Pre-teens knew very little about being gay... AIDS was discovered... and the concept of a transsexual was mostly a new thing. Of course, there has always been homosexuality and the idea of feeling different than those around you, but a 10-year-old had zero if any chance of truly being themselves back then. Frankie and Bug show us what it's like to live that unfamiliar life in a time where you might get murdered for being different just as easily as people died of drug overdoses in the latter part of the decade. Pegged as a very young adult / middle-grade novel, there is a lot to learn even for adults (like me). Even for a very tolerant person (like me). Even for someone who is 'different' too (like me). I've read a few of Gayle Forman's books in the past and enjoyed them. Recently, a colleague mentioned that (s)he was a cousin of Forman's, and it reminded me I should read more of her books. I saw this one and figured it would be the perfect way to get back on the saddle. What a great way to remember her adorable attention to detail and ability to draw out a reader's emotions. Unlike her past books (If I Stay), I did not cry at this one... but again, it's emotional at the middle-grade level. It was a different kind of heart-wrenching-tugger. Frankie lives in Ohio, but her father dislikes that she acts and dresses like a boy. Frankie's mother sends her to live with an uncle in California, where even though they are more liberal, it's not a completely safe place. There's even a serial killer called the Midnight Marauder lurking about. Frankie arrives and to everyone else, Frankie is Philip's nephew. Because inside, Frankie has always felt like a boy even though he was born with a female's body. At 10... in the 1980s... this is not an understood thing. Nor is it really spoken about. But Frankie meets Philip's neighbor, Bug, and things suddenly change. On the flip side in Bug's world, she's going through some stuff too. Her mother works for the mayor and is raising her two kids by herself. Bug has an older brother, Danny, who needs to watch his sister this summer while Mom's working. Normally they go to camp but that's not an option this year. She's half Salvadoran, but some in the town think they're Mexican, and therefore they are often teased. Bug's smart, and she pushes through it, and when Frankie arrives, a whole new view of the world develops. She accept Frankie as a boy, later learns he's technically a girl in their world at that time, and tells everyone else to grow up. Who cares!? Exactly... the best attitude to have. If it doesn't impact you, then let it go. :) I'm not preaching tho, this is a book review. Truthfully, its a wonderful story with a little bit of sadness, happiness, fear, and confusion. I liked the book a lot. I wished it pushed the envelope a bit further. But it's really important and has an excellent approach to telling the story without speaking from a pulpit. I could see it opening a few readers' eyes to a different perspective. There is substance but not so deep that it stops you from also just enjoying that this is a story about friendship and what it means to support one another. I can't wait to read another Forman book this summer now!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    Bug is a tween growing up in the late 1980s. It's the summer and for Bug, the summer has always been about the beach that is until plans change this year. Normally her brother, Danny, watches her and they go to Venice Beach together, but this summer is different. Danny is now a teenager and doesn't want to hangout with his little sister day in and day out. Naturally, he would rather hangout with his friends. This obviously crushes Bug, because not only does she look forward to summer days at the Bug is a tween growing up in the late 1980s. It's the summer and for Bug, the summer has always been about the beach that is until plans change this year. Normally her brother, Danny, watches her and they go to Venice Beach together, but this summer is different. Danny is now a teenager and doesn't want to hangout with his little sister day in and day out. Naturally, he would rather hangout with his friends. This obviously crushes Bug, because not only does she look forward to summer days at the beach, she is also disappointed that her brother has pushed her aside. Bug's mother has good news though. Her best friend who lives upstairs has his nephew, Frankie, visiting for the summer and he is the same age as Bug. At first, things are awkward between Bug and Frankie, but eventually they hit it off. Together they hope to solve the crime of the Midnight Marauder, a serial killer who has been targeting their area. However, things quickly go from a more relaxed "investigation" to a more serious once when Phillip, Frankie's uncle, is attacked. Frankie & Bug by Gayle Forman is a brilliant coming-of-age story about two friends with the whole summer ahead of them, but it is actually a lot more than your usual summer reader. Readers will appreciate the subtle messages throughout and Forman's expert way of dealing with difficult, yet timely issues. Frankie & Bug is such a memorable read. Read the rest of my review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    Perhaps it was knowing everything these young characters were about to live through, perhaps it was the beautiful, hopeful message at the end of the story or perhaps watching Squid Game last week broke me as a human being but I fully sobbed when I finished this book. Set in late 1980s Venice Beach, this picture of a young girl's summer as she struggles with her older brother growing away from her, and the arrival of Frankie starts off a summer of discovery for the two friends, with a realistic g Perhaps it was knowing everything these young characters were about to live through, perhaps it was the beautiful, hopeful message at the end of the story or perhaps watching Squid Game last week broke me as a human being but I fully sobbed when I finished this book. Set in late 1980s Venice Beach, this picture of a young girl's summer as she struggles with her older brother growing away from her, and the arrival of Frankie starts off a summer of discovery for the two friends, with a realistic glimpse of Queer culture that was clearly meticulously researched. The trans rep in this is so good, Gayle stated that she is a cisgender white woman but talked to, and clearly listened to, people with the lived experience. Bug's family is Salvadoran and this seemed to be well written too, but I can't say for certain as I'm not own voices. This story is wrapped up perfectly, however I would absolutely read a whole series of Frankie & Bug's summer adventures, they were such vivid, memorable characters that leapt off the page. I absolutely, positively recommend this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    lily ✿

    [4.5 stars] there are some middle grade books that ring true, and are enjoyable to read at any age, and this is one of them. i immediately felt at home following bug, a ten year old girl who just wants to enjoy her summer and spend time at the beach. she has a delightful innocence that makes me long for childhood again. her older brother, danny, is fourteen and has become a moody teenager who needs his space away from her (although their sibling relationship still ends up being adorable as anythin [4.5 stars] there are some middle grade books that ring true, and are enjoyable to read at any age, and this is one of them. i immediately felt at home following bug, a ten year old girl who just wants to enjoy her summer and spend time at the beach. she has a delightful innocence that makes me long for childhood again. her older brother, danny, is fourteen and has become a moody teenager who needs his space away from her (although their sibling relationship still ends up being adorable as anything.) insert a found family aspect with the other adults who live in their apartment, and viola! we’ve found a feel-good book. their neighbor philip’s nephew frankie is visiting for the summer. bug hopes it’s to save hers, as danny is no longer willing to babysit her and take her to the beach every day, but their friendship has a rather rocky start, as frankie is much more interested in solving a series of murders around their area than he is in splashing in the waves. but as children have a way of doing, they manage to work through their differences and become best friends (💖) additional pluses of this book: without spoiling anything, there’s transgender, gay, and even genderfluid rep (!!!) the book artfully tackles difficult concepts like homophobia and racism in gentle ways that will make children feel empowered.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    I loved this one! Although the author is a cisgender white woman, it felt like she did a ton of research and really talked and listened to others as she put together this story about a transgender boy and a biracial girl in Venice Beach, CA during the late 1980s. Interestingly, this book takes place in the same time period as another book I just finished reading, the second Aristotle and Dante book. This book definitely tackled many instances of injustice and how marginalized people find their s I loved this one! Although the author is a cisgender white woman, it felt like she did a ton of research and really talked and listened to others as she put together this story about a transgender boy and a biracial girl in Venice Beach, CA during the late 1980s. Interestingly, this book takes place in the same time period as another book I just finished reading, the second Aristotle and Dante book. This book definitely tackled many instances of injustice and how marginalized people find their space in this world. While the story begins with Bug as a naive and somewhat bratty kid, I love how she grew in her maturity and understanding of how things were for others, which included her family, even her awful aunt. While this book definitely tackled some serious topics, I felt that it held back a little, probably because of the age of the target audience. In spite of this, I totally appreciated this story as an adult and believe that this book should be in school libraries. This is my third book by this author and I look forward to discovering more books by her.

  6. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler Forman’s middle-grade debut Frankie and Bug is melancholic and bittersweet with an uplifting conclusion that shows readers, young and old, that while ignorance may breed ignorance, the same can also be said for acceptance and love. Illustrating how far we have come in terms of equality, this look back will certainly take readers by surprise. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler Forman’s middle-grade debut Frankie and Bug is melancholic and bittersweet with an uplifting conclusion that shows readers, young and old, that while ignorance may breed ignorance, the same can also be said for acceptance and love. Illustrating how far we have come in terms of equality, this look back will certainly take readers by surprise. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nev

    Frankie & Bug is a sweet Middle Grade story about the reluctant friendship between two kids forced to spend the summer together. The book follows Frankie and Bug as they try to solve the mystery of a serial killer in their town. But the more important aspects of the story are the things they learn about family, friendship, and identity. The book takes place in 1987 and features LGBTQ+ characters. So there is talk of homophobia, transphobia, and the attitudes that people in the 80s had about AIDS Frankie & Bug is a sweet Middle Grade story about the reluctant friendship between two kids forced to spend the summer together. The book follows Frankie and Bug as they try to solve the mystery of a serial killer in their town. But the more important aspects of the story are the things they learn about family, friendship, and identity. The book takes place in 1987 and features LGBTQ+ characters. So there is talk of homophobia, transphobia, and the attitudes that people in the 80s had about AIDS. I think it’s brought up in a way that is appropriate for Middle Grade readers. However, there were times when I felt like more explanation was needed for the characters to fully understand, but it passed by so quickly in the story. The story of the serial killer felt like it was taking away from the rest of the story. The page time dedicated to it felt over the top. If that part of the book was decreased then maybe the other sections of the story wouldn’t have felt so rushed. The synopsis is all about coming of age, learning to be your true self, and being an ally. So it was confusing that so much of the book is dedicated to a mystery plot that's never fully realized.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Bug (Beatrice) is really disappointed that her brother won't spend time with her anymore since he is growing up and developing friends of his own.  Danny is now "Daniel" and wants his space.  She is convinced her life is ruined and can't spend time at the beach like normal.  In 1987, Venice Beach, Bug is now stuck with her landlady and her upstairs neighbor, Phillip.  Things change when Phillip's nephew, Frankie comes to stay for the summer.  Frankie is addicted to following the news about the M Bug (Beatrice) is really disappointed that her brother won't spend time with her anymore since he is growing up and developing friends of his own.  Danny is now "Daniel" and wants his space.  She is convinced her life is ruined and can't spend time at the beach like normal.  In 1987, Venice Beach, Bug is now stuck with her landlady and her upstairs neighbor, Phillip.  Things change when Phillip's nephew, Frankie comes to stay for the summer.  Frankie is addicted to following the news about the Midnight Mauder, a serial killer roaming their area.  If you know anything about this time in Los Angeles, it was truly the era of fear, with several serial killers on the loose. When Phillip ends up in the hospital, Frankie and Bug switch their investigation from trying to solve the serial killer to try to find out what happened to Phillip.  Things don't add up and family secrets start to spill out all around them.  I still have trouble saying 1987 is now history since I remember that year very clearly when there were serial killers all over LA and racism and homophobia were on full display.  The story is so reflective of that time period and these characters all bring it to life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    This moving middle grade book has a lot to say about allyship and being true to yourself. The audiobook is fantastic, read by Stockard Channing. It gives me Ramona vibes because Channing also narrated that series, but also because it's about a young girl who doesn't know what she doesn't know, who's figuring things out and presented through a very child-focused lens. I found Bug's character development as she grows from a self-centered kid only caring about getting to do her favorite things over This moving middle grade book has a lot to say about allyship and being true to yourself. The audiobook is fantastic, read by Stockard Channing. It gives me Ramona vibes because Channing also narrated that series, but also because it's about a young girl who doesn't know what she doesn't know, who's figuring things out and presented through a very child-focused lens. I found Bug's character development as she grows from a self-centered kid only caring about getting to do her favorite things over the summer to a more thoughtful, empathetic person to be really engaging and realistic.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    4.5 Fabulous historical fiction read about found family, friendship, being comfortable with yourself, the AIDS crisis, and the 1980s. I loved so many things about this book to include the dialogue, refugee parallel, and subtle voice to address tough topics. I would definitely recommend this book to my 6th graders since Forman discusses AIDS, prejudice, hate violence, and LGBTQIA+ issues in such a well presented 10/11 year old tone, yet I don’t think the ages of the protagonists would turn off my 4.5 Fabulous historical fiction read about found family, friendship, being comfortable with yourself, the AIDS crisis, and the 1980s. I loved so many things about this book to include the dialogue, refugee parallel, and subtle voice to address tough topics. I would definitely recommend this book to my 6th graders since Forman discusses AIDS, prejudice, hate violence, and LGBTQIA+ issues in such a well presented 10/11 year old tone, yet I don’t think the ages of the protagonists would turn off my older readers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I absolutely loved this book! It was a heartwarming story with complicated characters whose layers are revealed slowly throughout the book. Gayle Forman deals with some heavy topics in a way that is so accessible to children and normalizes all these different life experiences. Love love love! I’d give it six stars if I could!!! 🤩

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    4.5 stars. Very thoughtfully handled story about queerness for the middle grade set. The concept is subtly woven into the story in an age appropriate manner. The book has a great message about the importance of being who we are meant to be even if it isn't always easy. 4.5 stars. Very thoughtfully handled story about queerness for the middle grade set. The concept is subtly woven into the story in an age appropriate manner. The book has a great message about the importance of being who we are meant to be even if it isn't always easy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    Stockard Channing is the narrator!! The main story of a 10yo girl struggling with changes in her life as her older brother begins his teen years is a good, relatable story. That said, the authors drops in too many issues that feel forced, pushed in, competing and occasionally not on par with the time and place. For example, in addition to the “coming of age” type story there is racism issues, misogyny “you can’t bc you’re a girl” and a gay friend that’s beaten as HIV/AIDS rages (these side stori Stockard Channing is the narrator!! The main story of a 10yo girl struggling with changes in her life as her older brother begins his teen years is a good, relatable story. That said, the authors drops in too many issues that feel forced, pushed in, competing and occasionally not on par with the time and place. For example, in addition to the “coming of age” type story there is racism issues, misogyny “you can’t bc you’re a girl” and a gay friend that’s beaten as HIV/AIDS rages (these side stories do work with the story and period), however there’s also a serial killer, family dysfunction, parent death, a transgender child, skinheads, etc. To be clear, I’m all for positive-stories about trans kids but it feels very out of place here and all the other issues were tumbling on each other I’m also unsure why the author felt I’m the story needed to be pinned down in Venice CA. It didn’t really work for the story. Beach town USA would have been fine. If you’re going to use a specific city during a specific time it should have relevance to the story and act as a background character imho. Here it just seemed tossed in for no reason except to anger me 😆

  14. 5 out of 5

    Evren

    4.25/5 I was granted an eARC of this book on behalf of the publisher in exchange for a fair, honest review. I really like middle-grade books that feature LGBTQ+ characters, so I really wanted to read this book and see where it went. This book takes place in 1987 and stars Bug. Bug is a 10-year-old girl who lives on Venice Beach with her mother and her older brother. She loves to spend her summer on the beach with her brother, but this year plans change. When her brother wants some space, she assum 4.25/5 I was granted an eARC of this book on behalf of the publisher in exchange for a fair, honest review. I really like middle-grade books that feature LGBTQ+ characters, so I really wanted to read this book and see where it went. This book takes place in 1987 and stars Bug. Bug is a 10-year-old girl who lives on Venice Beach with her mother and her older brother. She loves to spend her summer on the beach with her brother, but this year plans change. When her brother wants some space, she assumes that her summer is going to be spent alone at home. Frankie comes to stay the summer with his uncle, Bug’s upstairs neighbor, and the two spend time together. It’s a rough road, but can they make it work? Gayle Forman did a good job at writing Bug. Bug is in a place in her life where she’s a bit rough around the edges and full of herself. She’s 10, that’s just how many kids are. During this book you get to watch as Bug develops her mentality and learns about the community around her. She learns that not everything revolves around her and that there are some things people don’t want to tell her. The emotion that went into this book was unexpected and just wrecked me at times. I didn’t know this book took place in 1987 with all the things that come with living in 1987 so I was unable to prepare myself. This book got to me at points, especially when it came to Bug learning about the hate around her. It was well-written and managed to make me invested in how the relationships and characters would play out. This story was beautiful even when it managed to break my heart. I just felt invested in these characters lives and their happiness, that it hurt when they got hurt. ~ Check out my other reviews on my Blog, Instagram, or Twitter. ~

  15. 5 out of 5

    T.J. Burns

    I thoroughly enjoyed this sensitively written, respectfully portrayed description of two tweens as they begin to make discoveries about who they are and where they fit into this universe. Told from the the point of view of a twelve-year-old girl, Bug is resistant to changes in her environment, especially changes in her 15-year-old brother, Danny, who has suddenly (in Bug's opinion) discovered that he "needs his space." Growing up in the 1980s in Venice Beach, California, Bug would be completely I thoroughly enjoyed this sensitively written, respectfully portrayed description of two tweens as they begin to make discoveries about who they are and where they fit into this universe. Told from the the point of view of a twelve-year-old girl, Bug is resistant to changes in her environment, especially changes in her 15-year-old brother, Danny, who has suddenly (in Bug's opinion) discovered that he "needs his space." Growing up in the 1980s in Venice Beach, California, Bug would be completely happy just going to the beach every day. Her little micro-world is small, but multicultural, tolerant, and open for all kinds of people. But her brother's adolescence and his exploration into his Salvadoran cultural heritage, her exposure to her new friend Frankie's "unusual" behavior, and confrontations with a closed-minded band of skinheads forces Bug to open her eyes and make discoveries -- some uncomfortable, some unexpected, some enlightening -- about her family, her community, her city, and herself. I received an advance copy of this book from Simon & Schuster Children's Books in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Bug (Beatrice) is looking forward to spending the summer of 1987 hanging out at Venice Beach with her older brother Daniel, just like they have for the past several years. When Danny wants more "space", their mother decides that she will instead have to hang out at their apartment. One neighbor, Hedvig, watches out for her, as does Phillip. When Phillip's nephew, Frankie, shows up from Ohio to spend the summer, Bug is expected to hang out with him, even though he E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Bug (Beatrice) is looking forward to spending the summer of 1987 hanging out at Venice Beach with her older brother Daniel, just like they have for the past several years. When Danny wants more "space", their mother decides that she will instead have to hang out at their apartment. One neighbor, Hedvig, watches out for her, as does Phillip. When Phillip's nephew, Frankie, shows up from Ohio to spend the summer, Bug is expected to hang out with him, even though he doesn't like the beach. Instead, he is enthralled by the Midnight Marauder, who is terrorizing the area, bludgeoning unsuspecting victims. Bug's mother works for the local mayor's office, and keeps assuring them that they are safe, but they doubt her. When gangs of skinheads threaten Bug and her brother because of his Salvadoran looks, and Phillip is beaten up because he is gay, safety seems like a precarious state. Frankie becomes more comfortable in his new environment, and it turns out that he was sent to live with Phillip to get some "nonsense out of his system"-- Frankie is transgender, and wasn't even aware that there was a word for how he identified until he meets others like him in the area. When Aunt Teri comes to watch Bug (and reluctantly, Frankie), family secrets come out, and Bug must learn to make peace with her judgmental aunt and learn to support her new friend. There are a growing number of books addressing LGBTQIA+ issues in the 1980s, including Papademtriou's Apartment 1986 and Pixley's Trowbridge Road, and it's interesting to see this issue from a historical perspective. It's hard for younger readers to understand just how much things have changed. AIDS doesn't make the news quite as much today, but was certainly a huge concern at the time, and unfortunately, the views of this disease resulted in the mistreatment of the gay population. I did appreciate that Ryan White was mentioned as someone who was affected by this disease through a blood transfusion. Bug's desire to hang out on the beach and explore her world might be novel to young readers who are never allowed out of the house without direct adult supervision, and the idea that Danny could be out because he was a boy will also be an indication that this is historical fiction. The vibrant culture of Venice Beach during this period of history is nicely explained, and while I'm not sure the Midnight Marauder was an actual person, the inclusion of this mystery is certainly in keeping with the news of the time. Readers who enjoyed Lisa Bunker's Zenobia July or Gephardt's Lily and Dunkin and the sense of supportive community depicted in those books will find Bug's summer of growth and change an interesting time to visit.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gmr

    This was such a touching and heartfelt book that not only explores what it means to be a true family, but digs a little deeper into the tougher topics that can be hard for adults, let alone kiddos, to breach. I loved how the author didn't hold any punches, but was gentle for the sake of being so. I love how when the big reveals happen, Bug was just so open, so clear minded, so filled with love that the choice of hatred or fear really didn't have a hope of survival. I love that different cultures This was such a touching and heartfelt book that not only explores what it means to be a true family, but digs a little deeper into the tougher topics that can be hard for adults, let alone kiddos, to breach. I loved how the author didn't hold any punches, but was gentle for the sake of being so. I love how when the big reveals happen, Bug was just so open, so clear minded, so filled with love that the choice of hatred or fear really didn't have a hope of survival. I love that different cultures were explored, different lifestyles were revealed, and prejudices exposed, all while reminding us how so many of those feelings and at the very least what we do with them is entirely up to us. We can let our fear, or distaste rule our thoughts, or we can ask questions, seek understanding, and realize that everyone should feel safe BEING WHO THEY ARE. No one deserves to be treated as less than because of their skin color, heritage, lifestyle, or any other arbitrary reason. Bug's mom said it best... "Life isn't fair...the most you can hope for is that it's just..." Will YOU be that voice for justice? Will YOU take a stand for those that can't? Will YOU stand tall when someone you know and love is at risk? All hard choices, but all things that can lead to the change in the world we need to see. Frankie & Bug is an amazing story perfect for Middle Grade readers and beyond. You'll fall in love with the characters, want to be a part of their unorthodox family, and you know what? I believe if we showed up in Venice out of the blue, any of this fabulous crew would be waiting with open arms. Read it for yourself. Read it for those in your tribe. Read it for the wonderful story it is and the messages it contains. Read it to get outside your head and into the hearts of others, and then spread that understanding, that openness, that acceptance to all within your reach. Read it because you hope for a better tomorrow and are willing to reach for it today. **copy received for review; opinions are my own

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stéphanie Louis

    Bug (Beatrice) is growing up in the ’80s, and she wants to spend her summer with her older brother Danny (Daniel) on the beach. Like she does every year. Unfortunately, this year (1987) is going to be quite different. Her brother doesn’t want to spend as much time with his little sister as he did in the past because he is now a teenager, and Bug doesn’t understand why her brother is distancing himself from her. The cherry on the top is that she now has to spend time with a total stranger named F Bug (Beatrice) is growing up in the ’80s, and she wants to spend her summer with her older brother Danny (Daniel) on the beach. Like she does every year. Unfortunately, this year (1987) is going to be quite different. Her brother doesn’t want to spend as much time with his little sister as he did in the past because he is now a teenager, and Bug doesn’t understand why her brother is distancing himself from her. The cherry on the top is that she now has to spend time with a total stranger named Frankie. And he is definitely not interested in the same things as Bug until they discover the shared interest about the Midnight Marauder. “Frankie & Bug” is such an important and cute coming-of-age novel for our middle grade readers out there. But not only for them because Forman gives us an important lecture about acceptance, love, tolerance and friendship. This lesson can also be helpful for an older target of readers. Teenagers, Young Adults and Adults. The author states that she is herself a cis-gendered white woman, but you can observe, throughout the whole novel, that she has done her research, as she talks about a bi-racial girl and a young transgender boy. I loved to read about how we saw Bug growing up maturity wise. This heartwarming novel is a must-read that I cannot recommend enough to all of you.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Zeman

    I loved this story…the fact that it takes place in the 80s and shines a light on violence against the LGBTQ community, fear of the unknown with the AIDS epidemic and identity is a book ahead of its time. I wish there was a book like this when I was growing up in the 80s. The author touches on finding one’s identity, acceptance, friendship and family. It’s 1987 and Bug’s life is about to change. Every summer Bug gets to hang out with her big brother, Danny, at the beach in Venice where they live. I loved this story…the fact that it takes place in the 80s and shines a light on violence against the LGBTQ community, fear of the unknown with the AIDS epidemic and identity is a book ahead of its time. I wish there was a book like this when I was growing up in the 80s. The author touches on finding one’s identity, acceptance, friendship and family. It’s 1987 and Bug’s life is about to change. Every summer Bug gets to hang out with her big brother, Danny, at the beach in Venice where they live. But not this summer. This summer Danny wants to be called Daniel, lift weights and hang out with his own friends at Muscle Beach. Bug is stuck at home most of the time until Frankie comes to visit their neighbor, who is his gay uncle. Frankie and Bug do not hit it off right away. The only thing they seem to have in common is their search of the Midnight Marauder, a serial killer who is on the loose. Through this shared interest Bug and Frankie grow close enough for Frankie to share his secret: he wasn’t born a male and his family sent him to California from Ohio for the summer to “get it out of his system”. This MG book explores what it’s like to not be able to share who you are with the world.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    It's the summer of 1987 and all 10 year old Bug wants to do is go the beach with her older brother Danny. But Danny who has started going by Daniel wants to be on his own with his friends, their mother is too busy with work, and now Bug is stuck with their neighbor Phillip's nephew Frankie. Bug is convinced that that her entire summer is ruined. But as she gets to know Frankie and they find common ground tracking the Midnight Marauder a serial killer loose in L.A. area. As the summer goes on Bug It's the summer of 1987 and all 10 year old Bug wants to do is go the beach with her older brother Danny. But Danny who has started going by Daniel wants to be on his own with his friends, their mother is too busy with work, and now Bug is stuck with their neighbor Phillip's nephew Frankie. Bug is convinced that that her entire summer is ruined. But as she gets to know Frankie and they find common ground tracking the Midnight Marauder a serial killer loose in L.A. area. As the summer goes on Bug and Frankie form a close friendship and begin to understand the sometimes messed-up world we live in. This book had me feeling so many things from start to finish. It's truly a coming of age story for Bug primarily and Frankie secondly. It discusses racism, homophobia, found family, socioeconomic status, the refugee experience and it does it all in a way that feels natural for a 10 year old kid to be learning about it. There's a great authors note and a great list of resources. Likely going to be one of my favorite books from this year. A good recommendation for a 4th/5th/6th grader who likes historical fiction, realistic fiction or stories about different types of people.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    Gayle Forman’s debut middle grade story is one to keep on your radar for an October release. It’s 1987 in Venice, California and all Bug wants to do is spend her summer on the beach every day as normal. But then her brother, Danny, wants to be called Daniel, wants space from Bug, and no longer agrees to “watch” Bug all summer - plans are changed. Their neighbor Phillip picks up his nephew Frankie from the airport to somehow fill the void of Danny in Bug’s summer life. Frankie not only fills the Gayle Forman’s debut middle grade story is one to keep on your radar for an October release. It’s 1987 in Venice, California and all Bug wants to do is spend her summer on the beach every day as normal. But then her brother, Danny, wants to be called Daniel, wants space from Bug, and no longer agrees to “watch” Bug all summer - plans are changed. Their neighbor Phillip picks up his nephew Frankie from the airport to somehow fill the void of Danny in Bug’s summer life. Frankie not only fills the void, but becomes Bug’s best friend. Skinheads run the streets, AIDS crisis is in full swing, a murderer is on the loose, and there’s so much hate in the world Bug doesn’t know about. As Bug learns more about accepting the things you can’t change, she also learns to accept others for who they are - love them deeply, and be true to yourself first. Bug finds friendship and family. “So you get it?” “Get what?” “What it’s like for people to be mad at you, just for being you.” 🏳️‍🌈 Themes: prejudice, LGBTQ, acceptance, family, friendship.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Frankie & Bug is a tender story of friendship and growing up. Bug is a self-focused ten-year-old girl as the story opens on the summer of 1987 in Venice Beach, California. By the end she has learned a lot about friendship and learning to listen and respond to others needs and wants. Bug isn't happy that her older brother Danny (who now wants to be called Daniel) no longer wants to hang out with her. As a result she won't be able to spend most of the summer at the beach the way she did the previo Frankie & Bug is a tender story of friendship and growing up. Bug is a self-focused ten-year-old girl as the story opens on the summer of 1987 in Venice Beach, California. By the end she has learned a lot about friendship and learning to listen and respond to others needs and wants. Bug isn't happy that her older brother Danny (who now wants to be called Daniel) no longer wants to hang out with her. As a result she won't be able to spend most of the summer at the beach the way she did the previous year. In addition to the changes in Danny, the upstairs neighbor's nephew, Frankie is coming to visit for the summer. At first that seems like a good thing, but she and Frankie don't really click at first. An interest in catching a serial killer bring them together but the budding friendship runs into a number of challenges. On top of a fluctuating friendship with Frankie, Bug and her family also run into serious issues regarding her biracial family and the local skinheads as well as homophobia. As Bug struggles to come to terms with the injustice and unfairness around her, she and Frankie find that friendship can develop between those who are different if one takes the time to listen and work through the challenges. Forman has created two memorable characters in Bug and Frankie. They come from very different backgrounds, enjoy different things, and don't really click at the beginning. Once Bug finds Frankie's secret, her eyes begin to open to the world around her. The setting is superbly presented and I found myself almost living and breathing with the characters. The secondary characters prove to have depth which makes for a more engrossing read. And while the book deals with trans and homophobia as well as racism, the book is mostly about Bug growing up and learning to think about someone other than herself. A wonderful tale of friendship that also makes the reader think about right and wrong, and what it takes to stand up for what you believe. Highly recommended.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Di Richardson

    I am always on the lookout for books to share with my littles, but can’t take it if there is too much teen angst. This is a middle school aged book, and I just thought it was really sweet, and not condescending. I loved it! The book is set in 1987. Bug is a 10 year old girl who has spent the last few summers hanging out at Venice Beach with her brother. But he is 14 now, and doesn’t want to hang out with his little sister any more. Enter Frankie, who has come to spend the summer with his uncle P I am always on the lookout for books to share with my littles, but can’t take it if there is too much teen angst. This is a middle school aged book, and I just thought it was really sweet, and not condescending. I loved it! The book is set in 1987. Bug is a 10 year old girl who has spent the last few summers hanging out at Venice Beach with her brother. But he is 14 now, and doesn’t want to hang out with his little sister any more. Enter Frankie, who has come to spend the summer with his uncle Phillip, Bug’s mom’s best friend and their upstairs neighbor. It’s a very different summer for Bug and she grows up quite a bit, and comes to a new understanding of what makes a family. This book tackles some really difficult topics…prejudice in a number of different form, and features ah and transgender characters in a really beautiful and loving way. I am really glad I found this one!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leah (Jane Speare)

    It’s 1987 in Venice, California; skinheads roam the streets, the AIDS crisis is full swing. Now Bug isn’t initially too aware of these big events, she’s just annoyed that her mom cancelled summer. But when a neighbor’s nephew, Frankie, arrives in town (obviously for the sole purpose of hanging out with Bug) they pass days at the beach and tracking down a serial killer: an agreed upon compromise between these two kids’ passions. I loved Bug SO much. Seeing the world through her eyes was a memorab It’s 1987 in Venice, California; skinheads roam the streets, the AIDS crisis is full swing. Now Bug isn’t initially too aware of these big events, she’s just annoyed that her mom cancelled summer. But when a neighbor’s nephew, Frankie, arrives in town (obviously for the sole purpose of hanging out with Bug) they pass days at the beach and tracking down a serial killer: an agreed upon compromise between these two kids’ passions. I loved Bug SO much. Seeing the world through her eyes was a memorable experience. I was reminded that most of our prejudices are externally formed and a child’s view of the world is so beautiful and kind by nature. This book is so heartwarming and tackles large issues with grace and sensitivity. While I have enjoyed Forman’s YA books, I hope she continues to add middle grade to the mix as her talent shined brightly in here. Frankie & Bug is quite special and will be enjoyed by people of all ages. Found families for the win forever and ever.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Pena

    Doesn’t really feel like it was written for middle schoolers. Didactic. Characters don’t feel authentic for their ages.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carly Bohach

    I listened to this and it was wonderful. Frankie and Bug were fun and spunky but conquered serious subjects in the best way!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nicole M. Hewitt

    This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction For any kid just beginning to understand the ways the world can let you down and how we can lift ourselves and others up against adversity. Frankie & Bug is set in Venice Beach in 1987, at a time when prejudices and outright hostility against LGBT people and people of color were commonplace (I suppose the same could still be said today, but I do think we’ve made progress). But Bug is only 10, and she’s just starting to This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction For any kid just beginning to understand the ways the world can let you down and how we can lift ourselves and others up against adversity. Frankie & Bug is set in Venice Beach in 1987, at a time when prejudices and outright hostility against LGBT people and people of color were commonplace (I suppose the same could still be said today, but I do think we’ve made progress). But Bug is only 10, and she’s just starting to understand the complexities of the world outside of her comfortable bubble. This year, things are changing. At first, it’s just that her brother seems to be outgrowing her, and her typical summer at the beach is ruined when he wants to do his own thing instead of hanging out with her. When her neighbor’s nephew comes to town, Bug sees him as a bit of a consolation for her lost summer, but friendship doesn’t come immediately (or easily). But when Frankie reveals he’s trying to solve a string of murders, the two form an unlikely bond over the investigation. Bug is sure that they can figure out the mystery and become town heroes. It turns out that the murders might be the least important mystery in Bug’s life, though, as she starts to learn hidden truths about her family and friends. Suddenly Bug starts to realize that there are injustices in the world that can be just as scary as a murder and almost harder to understand. Kids might not relate to every aspect of life in the ancient year of 1987, but the themes of this book are still very relevant today. Most tweens have been in the midst of relationships that feel like they’re growing and changing without them. And many kids in this age group are probably just starting to understand the injustices of the world and the ways that certain groups of people are treated unfairly or with outright scorn. Sometimes seeing these issues in a past setting can help kids frame their current experiences. Forman handles difficult topics in a way that kids will understand and be able to relate to. Plus, the mysteries will keep them turning the pages! ***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher so that I could provide an honest review. No compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

  28. 4 out of 5

    Renee (itsbooktalk)

    4.5 - audio was excellent

  29. 5 out of 5

    Namelessfox

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.0 stars (ARC won from Goodreads giveaway/Aladdin/Simon&Schuster) Oh snaps again, I won another Goodreads giveaway - THANK YOU! :) Frankie & Bug is a story about 2 kids who don’t know each other but end up spending the summer together and growing into good friends. They initially are frosty towards one another but a mutual interest in a serial killer called the Midnight Marauder (yeah, I was like wtf at that. At their age, I was making friends over Poke’mon cards, not murderers haha) brings them 3.0 stars (ARC won from Goodreads giveaway/Aladdin/Simon&Schuster) Oh snaps again, I won another Goodreads giveaway - THANK YOU! :) Frankie & Bug is a story about 2 kids who don’t know each other but end up spending the summer together and growing into good friends. They initially are frosty towards one another but a mutual interest in a serial killer called the Midnight Marauder (yeah, I was like wtf at that. At their age, I was making friends over Poke’mon cards, not murderers haha) brings them closer together. Story wise, the plot felt unbalanced for me - at times we’d just be doing kid things, like going to the beach, going to Disneyland, or having a sleepover, and then all of a sudden things would just go dark. Let’s go to the beach - skinheads. Let’s go to Disneyland - and on the way, hear about Character A running from the Soviets. Let’s have a sleepover - hate crime. A lot of sharp turns, this book! Character wise, I enjoyed main character Bug. Sure she threw tantrums but given her circumstances and her age, I don’t blame her. If I spent the whole school year commuting over 2 hours each day, going home to gun shots, and not being able to hang with friends because again, gun shots, and then I find out I can’t go to the beach (the one place that made the whole school year tolerable) and I have to hang with some stranger, I’d lose my shiz too. I really liked she cried about silly stuff like that but other things she’s like, so what, who cares if he likes dudes or he’s wearing skirts, we have more pressing issues - what to eat for lunch! The other character, Frankie…I didn’t like him much. He was too prickly. I liked his Uncle tho - he was funny and made some great food! Would have liked more spotlight on the side characters - a lot seemed really interesting! All in all, an okay read. It didn’t really feel like there was much of a story, other than characters waiting for their turn to talk about their circumstances. A lot of things I thought we’d follow up on or have more detailed information - like the Hermit, the Muscle Crew, Flo, Bug’s grandparents, the Uncle, and even the Midnight Marauder himself. But once we passed their checkpoint in the story, we never looked back. I liked that there were some great quotes and life lessons here! And the cover was cute :) Thanks again Goodreads and Aladdin/Simon and Schuster for the ARC!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I loved the setting of Frankie & Bug: the summer of 1987, Venice Beach, California. I didn't love that Bug's reactions to some of the difficult and confusing issues that came into her life seemed inauthentic for a 10-year-old girl growing up in that time period. I loved the setting of Frankie & Bug: the summer of 1987, Venice Beach, California. I didn't love that Bug's reactions to some of the difficult and confusing issues that came into her life seemed inauthentic for a 10-year-old girl growing up in that time period.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...