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Product Details

  • Age Range: 18 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 - 9
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786838191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786838196
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 3.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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 campus—The 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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From 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. Grades 7-12. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

I write novels.
My books: We Were Liars, Fly on the Wall, The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, How to Be Bad,The Treasure Map of Boys and Real Live Boyfriends.

Visit me at
Or come read the blog at
Twitter: elockhart
Pinterest: elockhartbooks

Customer Reviews

She has developed her characters amazingly well and story is very realistic.
Frankie is a character women and girls can relate with in her struggle to deal with boobs, smarts, and the longing to be one of the guys while being LOVED dnd desired.
This book was refreshing, and it ended on a slightly mysterious note, so I hope perhaps the author is open to sequels.
Shawn Mcginley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on March 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks begins with a written confession addressed to the administrative powers-that-be at the Alabaster Preparatory Academy. In the letter, Frances Rose Landau-Banks claims "full responsibility for the disruptions caused by the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds . . . [t]hat is, [she] wrote the directives telling everyone what to do."

But just who are these Hounds and what did they do? Who is Frances and why would she send her fellow students on these random acts of disruption?

Alabaster was once an all-male prep school. Even after it became co-educational, its secret society remained a boys-only club. The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds was famous - infamous, really - for its pranks, which were more kooky than cruel, more sophomoric than serious.

Frankie was once a quiet girl. Even after she became a curvy sophomore, she remained true to herself, not really aware of her new looks. Then she got her first serious boyfriend, and she was content with their relationship - for a time.

Before she was (in)famous, Frankie was the harmless little sister, the underclassman, the girl who knew but didn't really know. She was the younger sister of outspoken senior Zada. She was the youngest child of divorced parents, getting her name from her father, Alabaster alum Frank Banks and her conservative nature from her mother, Ruth. She enjoyed her freshman year at boarding school. She enjoyed the summer after her freshman year, when she read Dorothy Parker stories on vacation and had a chance encounter that would later prove interesting.

The book follows her through the age of fifteen, then sixteen, as her sophomore year and her curiosity lead her down an interesting path.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on April 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Frankie Landau-Banks has gone from geeky to gorgeous over the course of the summer, and she can hardly believe it when Matthew Livingston, the senior she worshipped from afar the year before, seems interested. But being Matthew's girlfriend comes with a lot of things Frankie didn't expect. She feels uncertain navigating the complicated politics of his social circle, and uneasy with the antics of his friends, which often seem to exclude her. Worst of all, she senses that he's not letting her all the way into his life--that, because she is a girl, he will never see her as an equal.

Then Frankie discovers that Matthew is a member of the school's exclusive--and male-only--secret society. At first she only spies on them out of curiosity. But as her desire to prove herself every bit as capable as Matthew's male conspirators grows, she finds herself getting wrapped up in the society's business of sneaking and pranking, without any of the boys suspecting a thing.

With Frankie pulling the strings, anything is possible.

THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS is one of those rare books that is equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking. Frankie's exploits are full of humor, suspense, and drama, but she's not afraid to stop every now and then and consider the consequences of her actions. Her insecurities make her as believable as her smarts and her guts make her admirable. Readers will be cheering her on from beginning to end--and wondering how the things she learns along the way might apply to their own school adventures long after they've put the book down.

Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By YA book lover on May 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is definitely one of those clever YA books that is a must-read for any teenage girl.

Frankie might not have made all the smartest decisions in this book but she figured out the main thing right: it is important to be your own person (not just a man's arm-candy), to be appreciated for your personal qualities and talents and not only for your pretty face and nice figure.

Writing style is flawless, dialog superb. I had to take away one star because the ending felt a little too open for me, I thought it called for something more. Maybe E. Lockhart is planning a sequel, I am not sure. But if she does, I will definitely read it and give her other books a try.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew W. Roberts on June 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a fourteen year old girl, (using her father's account!) this book has been one of my favorites that I've read recently! Frankie Landau Banks transforms over one summer from a geeky, frizzy haired girl who found pleasure in debate club to a gorgeous, sleek haired girl with a knockout figure! When the new semester begins at her fancy private school, (She is a sophomore) the totally-hot-and-popular-senior Matthew, starts taking an interest in her! From then on her life is a whirlwind of discovering how to play and what it's like to be played by her boys, discovering & secretly infiltrating a secret all male society and generally causing mayhem!

This book is a perfect read for any girl who is tired of being "part" of a guys' group, but never really included in "guy stuff"! This book was a fun and interesting read, because when reading about her life at the boarding school (because many of them smoke, drink and have wild and yet utterly cool parties) I felt inspired (in the utterly cool party and secret society sense) to go out and start something that would be remembered years later!

As well as being intriguing, this book was also hilarious! Frankie's mind works in such a cool way, from deciphering the real motives behind people's behavior to planning devious pranks that work perfectly; it is just awesome to be able to delve into it! It is also easy to relate to, because many of the things Frankie thinks about are what you begin to notice after reading this book! Things involving boys, cliques, and other school drama!

The only bad part about this book (and the reason it is only 4 stars) is because of the ending! You are furious because of the way Matthew and his friends act and saddened by what follows.
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