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An Orange for Frankie Hardcover – Picture Book, September 16, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
- Grade level : 1 - 4
- Lexile measure : AD780L
- Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
- Hardcover : 48 pages
- ISBN-10 : 039924302X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399243028
- Dimensions : 10.38 x 0.4 x 11.31 inches
- Publisher : Philomel Books; Illustrated edition (September 16, 2004)
- Reading level : 6 - 9 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I was disappointed in the story, for several reasons. First, Frankie concealing information and lying to his parents has no repercussions. Secondly, why bother ending the story saying that frankie dies the following year? This gets lumped in with Christmas stories like The Matchbox Girl that use poverty and charity to warm your heart, then end with the totally depressing death of a child. Not my kind of Christmas story at all.
The strory has all the elements of a classic Christmas story - people in need, selfless actions, separartion of a loved one, blizzard, happiness and appreciation for family and the little things in life that truly matter. This story would make a wonderful TV Movie for one of the family Cable TV stations. How refreshing and meaningful a movie like this would be compared to the Christmas Romance TV movies which have become rather stale!
To fully appreciate this story, one must remember that oranges were not as plentiful in the late 1800's and early 1900's as they are today. They were rather rare and expensive. The gift of an orange back then was a valuable gift. To this day the tradition of giving oranges still reamains in churches, Sunday schools and some schools.
Every year the precious oranges were displayed on the fireplace mantel of the Stowell family's farmhouse as part of the Christmas decorations - nine of them to be exact - one for each child in the family. Pa took the horse drawn sleigh to Lansing to obtain the oranges for this year's Christmas decorations but became stranded in a snowstorm. The train passed right by the Stowell family's property and would often stop at the Stowell farmhouse where the conductor would stop for coffee and breakfast. On this particular day, the conductor brought guests with him -- hobos who were homeless, hungry and cold. Frankie, the main character in the book, shows the true Spirit of Christmas by doing a wonderful thing. You will want to read this book to find out about his wonderful selfless act. You will also want to experience Pa being stranded in the blizzard and a wonderful miracle occurring. You will also want to read about Frankie's awful mistake and how the family banded together to make this Christmas extra special. This story is based on true incidents in the life of Patricia Polacco's family. There is a wonderful epilog included at the end of the book describing a miracle that occurs each Christmas in the households of the descendents of Frankie Stowell.
This is a Christmas gem which belongs in every family's Christmas library. The story would be an excellent read aloud during the Advent Season in preparation for Christmas. The book would be an excellent read aloud book in the school classroom as well. I loved it - you will too.
I will be reading this every Christmas season with them. I now look forward to getting this book out every year to share the story with them.
My little niece enjoyed all the pictures and she was pointing out the characters in the book while I read it to her.
A great story and meaningful as well.