Monday, December 19, 2011
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt tells the story of a girl growing up in New Hampshire in the 1920s. She is a bright girl, but her family doesn't have much money since her father died, so when she is accepted at Vassar College with a partial scholarship, she turns it down, knowing what a financial burden it would be on her mother, who works as a night nurse, to pay the rest of her tuition. However, events conspire to enable her to accept the scholarship, following a most disappointing experience in love, and she sets off to gain an education and follow her dream of becoming a writer.
The story is told through text, photographs, old-time advertisements and magazine clippings, and is filled with authentic memorabilia such as ticket stubs, menus, greeting and post cards, and photographs. Throughout the book Frankie's strong and honest voice shines through. She makes mistakes, suffers disappointments, celebrates victories,documenting everything faithfully in the pages of her colorful scrapbook.
This book would make an excellent gift for anyone who enjoys scrap-booking, and it's also a wonderful look at life in the U.S. and Paris during the 20s. I'd recommend this to teens as well - it's a great coming-of-age story, and the historical details are fascinating. The list of clothing required for girls at Vassar College, for example, was hilarious. My grandmother lived and went to college during this time period, and it was fun to imagine her having some of these same experiences as Frankie. Although it made me wish I'd asked her more questions about that time in her life.
At any rate, this is a delightful story that is told in a unique way, and I highly recommend it.
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston (HarperCollins, 2011)