The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston

If you’re looking for a book to read on your new e-book reader, don’t start here.  Don’t look here for your next audio book either.  A quick search of online booksellers will confirm that this novel is not available in either of these formats, even if you wanted to ignore my advice.

That’s because The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is meant to be leafed through the way you would leaf through, say, a scrapbook.  Viewing one page at a time, as on a typical e-reader, would not serve this book well.  The vintage pictures used to illustrate the story need the space of the two-page spread so the eye can easily move from text to picture and back to text.  This book is a feast for the eye and needs a format that can showcase the many changes in font, color, and background.  And for now, in my opinion, that optimal format is paper.

Caroline Preston has said it was her lifelong love of vintage materials that inspired her to create what some would call her first graphic novel.  (For more detail watch an interview with her and read an article on how she created this book at her website,

The story centers on Frankie Pratt, a young girl from a family of modest means.  The time period is the 1920s and Frankie may be from a small New Hampshire town but she has big ambitions.  She dreams of going to college at Vassar, and upon graduation, embarking on a career as a writer.  The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt chronicles what happens to Frankie as she tries to make her dreams come true.

Frankie is a sympathetic heroine and I loved the combination of text and vintage pictures.  This is a book I savored, looking at the images, reading the text, then looking back at the pictures and reconsidering them in light of what I had just read.  Something about the interplay between the written word and visual images lent a poignancy to the story that I found moving.

If you are a fan of either historical fiction or graphic novels, give this book a try.  I also think it would appeal to teen girls and is a good choice for book clubs, especially those looking for something a little different from what they usually read.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.


Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s