Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (copy)

When we moved into our new Mississippi home, there were some things the previous owner graciously left behind. There were straight-back walnut chairs, a wood lathe, twin bedsprings, and two 75 lb dogs; surprisingly, the two dog houses were gone. It was in minutes of our own 75 lb dog being released from the car that dominance was established. Our sweet household dog, Reba, was attack by both yard dogs and she remained in terror for a couple of months.

After three years of unsuccessful integration, our dog died (unrelated causes) and a new puppy was brought into the yard. We struggled with the idea of allowing them to mix, but puppies have a tendency to roll over and expose their bodies to aggressors. We watched closely as she wiggled excitedly from my arms and ran head-on into the alpha dog. At no point did she flip over, turn tail and run, or suffer a nip on the ear. Within a year, this same puppy, around 30 lb, became the alpha dog without much ado.

These are my thoughts as I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. In this young-adult novel, main character, Frankie, becomes the alpha dog in a group of males older and way bigger than her.

Frankie, short for Franklin, recalls a time when she could walk the halls of Alabaster Preparatory Academy in complete obscurity. Being bookish, she was content with her friends, good books and innocent crushes on certain male students such as Matthew Livingston. Any social activity was vicariously attended through her older sister and senior, Zada.

That was last year. This year Frankie has the figure of Venus, and no problem coming out of her shell. When she accidently wrecks her bicycle in front of the school entrance, none other than Matthew Livingston comes to her rescue. She is literally in shock as he offers his hand and walks her all the way to her first class.

The following week and Frankie is attending a senior party as Matthew’s date. The party is a little slow except for the cajoling between Matthew and his three buddies: Alpha, Dean, and Callum. Alpha’s real name is Alessandro Tesorieri, but he is considered the alpha dog of the pack. Frankie realizes Alpha isn’t that aggressive to smart females and her ability to rise amongst the group is possible.

Follow along as Frankie masterminds pranks with code names like Doggies in the Window, Night of a Thousand Dogs and Canned Beet Rebellion that assures her rise to female alpha.


Lana said...

the dog story is yours? That's funny. What an odd thing to find when you move into a house.

Erica said...

i THOROUGHLY enjoyed that book. it was fascinating. one of the best YA books i've read in some time, plus two others you should read: "graceling" by kristin cashore, and "the adoration of jenna fox" by mary e. pearson.

maggie moran said...

Yes, TX Mommy! Our dog believed in separate but equal facilities since she stayed in the house and didn't mess with (was beat up by)those lower class yard dogs! :P We constructed a fence to keep them from tangling. I left out two other dogs we introduced first that became submissive. Our little Tammy actually became the alpha of 4 older 75 pounders in a year. She never backed down and it was like she knew she would rule the roost.

Thank you so much Erica! I'll be presenting books at MLA in October for YALSA and I need the good stuff! Please feed me all your extensive knowledge!!! ;D

Paul said...

How is Ole Miss doing Maggie ? :-)

Tiffany Norris said...

Sounds really good! And, yes, that dog story is odd (but interesting).

Vickie said...

I love your lead in story!

maggie moran said...

Oh, she is hoppin', Paul! She never slows down! :)

Thanks Tiffany! Nothing more stranger than the truth. :)

Thanks Vickie! We have quite a lot of pet tales. ;)

Sharon said...

That sounds like a fun read!

Love reading about your dogs! I have 3 of my own.

maggie moran said...

Oh, I love my puppies, Sharon! They are getting rather old now and I guess we will be restocking in a couple of years. :( We miss not having an indoor dog, too.

gautami tripathy said...

That was good!

BTW, everything distils into reading is my new blog. Please do visit it, subscribe to it or follow it! Do help me spread the word.

Jessica said...

Thanks for the review. I love the puppy perspective! I've been meaning to get to this one for a while now for the Printz Challenge.

maggie moran said...

I've got you in my bloglines Gautami!

What a great challenge, Jessica! I love Printz books!