Franklin Delano Donuthead is a fifth grader with a lot of problems: For starters, his last name is Donuthead. He considers himself handicapped because one arm and leg are shorter than the other (by less than half an inch), his mother is trying to poison him with non-organic foods (like salami), he doesn’t have a father, and Sarah Kervick, the new girl, who’s mean and totally unhygienic, is attached to him, warts and all, like glue.
This is a hilarious and touching novel featuring a neurotic, scared boy and a tougher-than-nails girl who each help the other in more ways than they can imagine. Sue Stauffacher has crafted characters full of wit and sensitivity, with a little anti-bacterial soap thrown in for good measure.
Life has taken a decidedly dangerous turn for Franklin, Delano Donuthead, the world’s most assymetrical sixth-grader. He has to changes classes six times! now that he’s in middle school. His mother is dating a zamboni operator. And for some odd reason, Glynnis Powell, for whom Franklin shined his milk money back in grade school makes him blush like a tomato. How will all this redirection of blood flow affect his health? And will school bully Marvin Howerton succeed in catching Franklin alone in the boys’ bathroom?
Like it or not, Franklin needs to rely on the protection of Sarah Kervick, who must save him from disaster almost daily. But as Sarah’s real-life problems threaten to overwhelm her, Franklin is called upon to be stronger and more brave than he feels capable of.
Even a thorough knowledge of Franklin Delano Roosevelt speeches can’t keep him from the brink of disaster. With help from a quirky collection of friends, and a constant stream of advice from Gloria Nelots of the National Safety Department in Washington, Franklin’s about to discover that he might have what it takes to ‘step up to the plate.’ (In a manner of speaking, of course…he’s really not too fond of sports in general.)
Who knew growing up could be so hazardous to your health?
2006 William Allen White Reader’s Award of Kansas
- New York Public Library’s yearly list of 100 Best Books for Reading and Sharing
- Border’s “Original Voices” Pick for November 2006
- Michigan Notable Book for 2007
“Memorable characters and a lot of heart.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Will keep readers enthralled.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Prepare to laugh out loud!” —Associated Press
“Has anyone ever died laughing? Astonishingly touching and hilarious.” —Planet Esme’s ‘Don’t Miss List’
“A helping of belly laughs, plus a tender side-dish of unexpected friendship.” —Kidsread.com
“A wry, touching commentary on middle-school survival.” —Hazel Rochman, Booklist
“…characters so lovingly drawn, in all their quirkiness and (in Franklin’s case, at least) neurosis, that the reader falls in love with them too…. delightful, funny, poignant, but never sentimental, book.” —Matt Berman, CommonSenseMedia.org
“Kept me reading, laughing and hungry for more.”
—Vikk Simmons, Blogcritic.org
“Those who loved the first book will want to read this one, and … they’ll hope for a third to tie things up.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“…the reader cheers, swept up in the page-turning action. [Franklin] makes it through 6th grade unscathed. He’s kind and nervous and brave and smart. And, he does turn Glynnis Powell’s head. This reader cannot wait to see Franklin navigate 7th grade.” —Ilene S. Goldman, Edge of the Forest
Franklin’s fastidious voice is hilarious as he yearns for the nearly perfect Glynnis Powell, grapples with raising a flour baby (named “Keds”) for health class and continues his quest to avoid germs of all kinds. The laughs are balanced by genuine pathos, in the form of Sarah’s marginal life with her brutish father and of Donuthead’s own desire for the kind of affection and attention his mother gives to Sarah. When the chips are down, though, Donuthead—much to his own surprise—essays a rescue that tests all of his limits and assumptions. Funny and marvelously humane, it’s a worthy follow-up to his debut, Donuthead (2003). (Fiction 8-12) —Kirkus Reviews