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Who Was That Masked Man Anyway Paperback – September 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; First Edition edition (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531054578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531054574
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,598,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As expertly crafted as Avi's Nothing But the Truth , this lightning-paced satire set during WW II shows how Franklin D. Wattleson, a superhero fan, creates his own brand of adventure when taking on the identity of "Chet Barker, master spy." With best friend Mario, 12-year-old Frankie stirs up considerable excitement and trouble carrying out his plot to dispose of evil scientist Mr. Swerdlow (the Wattlesons' upstairs boarder) and marrying off brother Tom (a wounded vet) to sixth-grade teacher Miss Gomez (whose fiance was recently killed in action). Ignoring continual reprimands for neglecting homework and snooping into other people's affairs, Frankie manages to complete his mission successfully. Nostalgia buffs in particular will be drawn to this book, which contains segments of old-time radio serials and commercials. Besides providing much hilarity, this ingeniously structured montage of broadcasts, fantasies and conversations exposes many ironies of heroism and war. Ages 9-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6?It's 1945, and when Frankie isn't re-enacting his favorite radio dramas, he's spying on a "mad scientist" who has rented a room in his parents' house. Touching, funny, and totally original, the story is told completely through dialogue and excerpts from old programs.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

More info at avi-writer.com and facebook.com/avi.writer
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Avi is part of a family of writers extending back into the 19th century. Born in 1937 and raised in New York City, Avi was educated in local schools, before going to the Midwest and then back to NYC to complete his education. Starting out as a playwright--while working for many years as a librarian--he began writing books for young people when the first of his kids came along.

His first book was Things That Sometimes Happen, published in 1970, and recently reissued. Since then he has published seventy books. Winner of many awards, including the 2003 Newbery award for Crispin: the Cross of Lead (Hyperion), two Newbery Honors, two Horn Book awards, and an O'Dell award, as well as many children's choice awards, he frequently travels to schools around the country to talk to his readers.

Among his most popular books are Crispin: The Cross of Lead, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, the Poppy books, Midnight Magic, and The Fighting Ground.

In 2008 he published The Seer of Shadows (HarperCollins), A Beginning a Muddle and an End (Harcourt), Hard Gold (Hyperion) and Not Seeing is Believing, a one-act play in the collection, Acting Out (Simon and Schuster). Crispin: the End of Time, the third in the Newbery Award-winning series, was published in 2010. City of Orphans was released in 2011, receiving a number of starred reviews. Learn more at Avi-writer.com. Follow Avi on Facebook, facebook.com/avi.writer, where he shares an inside look at his writing process.

Avi lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and family.

Customer Reviews

He did not deserve to have things turn out as well as they did for him.
E. S. Charpentier
He is constantly kept after school for not behaving and his parents don’t seem to think that is a problem.
Pat Smith
It was easy to read, fun to read in parts, and discuss dialogue in text.
Deborah McNamara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
In 1992, Avi published, "Who was that Masked Man Anyway?" a book that is set in America at the time of the Second World War. Avi's story is both entertaining and instructive to read. The main themes in this book are the use of radio dialogue, how entertainment helps people escape from reality, and friendship.

The main characters in this book are a boy named Frankie, his friend Mario, his brother Tom, and his teacher Ms. Gomez. Frankie is obsessed with his radio programs and wants to "rid the world of all evil". Mario on the other hand, usually doesn't want to be a part of Frankie's adventures. Mario is a straight A student and isn't really the heroic type because his father died in the war. Frankie is the leader and Mario is the follower. Tom was a soldier who fought in the Pacific against Japan. After getting wounded in a battle, he came back to Frankie's house and is currently living there. Ms. Gomez is also an important character because she is trying to help Frankie do well in school. Frankie has a big problem: he is failing 6th grade. Three days after Tom comes back from fighting in the war, Frankie concocts a "fantastic" plan: to get Tom to marry his teacher so that he won't have to repeat 6th grade. Mario is eventually dragged into this mess and the two boys go on many adventures. In the end, Frankie is able to almost finish his plan. Ms. Gomez and Tom marry, but part that didn't work out was that he still had to do 6th grade again.

The use of radio dialogue in this book was a major part of the book. It made the book unlike any other. Using the dialogue, you were able to show action and adventurous journeys. An example would be in the beginning, Frankie was listening to "Captain Midnight," a popular radio show at the time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By wendybird on February 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
... I was intrigued by the 1940's backdrop (I loved Number the Stars and Summer of my German Soldier--this was nothing like them at all). It is a comic romp following a pair of over-imaginate boys who listen to radio shows the way modern kids watch saturday morning cartoons. Avi even includes snippets from The Green Hornet and other popular radio shows of the time. A pretty school teacher and a war-injured big brother get mixed up in the boys attempts to aid the war effort in their own unorthodox way.
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By Pat Smith on November 13, 2014
Format: Paperback
Who Was That Masked Man Anyway?
Avi
Historical fiction

Review: This story is about a sixth grade boy named Franklin. Franklin is growing up during World War 2 and he fancies himself a hero. Why does he believe he is a super hero? It’s because all Frankie wants to do is listen to all of his radio programs such as the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet, because back then people did not have TV. Everything was on the radio. Taking after the heroes he hears about on the radio, Frankie tries to prove that the guy renting his brothers room is a mad scientist and also tries getting his brother better after being wounded in the war.
I personally did not enjoy this book all that much. I thought that Frankie was very mischievous and disrespectful. He is told repeatedly to stay out of Mr. Swerdlow’s room and he repeatedly disobeys. Also he makes school into a joke and messes with the lives of those around him. The worst part is that his parents don’t really do much to discipline him. They tell him no radio but he sneaks over to his friend’s Mario’s house and listens to it anyway. He is constantly kept after school for not behaving and his parents don’t seem to think that is a problem. I just feel that this story will make kids feel like it’s ok to act anyway you want because there is no consequence to their actions. I hate saying this about the book because I usually really enjoy Avi’s work, but I just do not think this is one of his best works.

I received a free ecopy of the book from Netgalley for my honest opinion.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Join 6 th grader Frankie, totally wrapped up in old time radio adventures - and - kind of cool - he creates bunches himself - starring - himself! And, of course, his buddy, Mario, his sidekick.

Why old time radio shows? It's the 1940s, TV shows haven't happened yet - and the internet? A sic-fi dream. Frankie gets in deep, as he loses his room to his returning soldier brother and tries to get rid of his mom and dad's roomer.

And school? Hey! It's boring to a guy living the life of a super hero!

Will Frankie be able to get rid of the roomer so he can get his old room back? Will his wounded brother who doesn't leave his room marry his teacher?

Frankie cooks up plot after plot and it all comes down to - well, you better read it!

And that will be a good time! Why? Because Avi just uses dialogue and old time kind of corny radio adventures and ads and you know? It's a fast read and it's great, because it works!
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Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
This was a enjoyable book to read by my low readers. It was easy to read, fun to read in parts, and discuss dialogue in text. Since the book is out of print, it was exciting to see all the different places in the United States where the class set of books came from. The only downfall was the length of time it took (over 2 weeks) to receive the books.
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