Discussion Questions: Freaky Fast Frankie Joe

1. Examine the cover. What do you notice? Predict what this story will be about. In what part of the country do you think it occurs? What other setting details might be a clue?


2. What do Frankie Joe's actions and inner thoughts tell us about his personality? Describe Frankie Joe's personality with three adjectives (Remember: an adjective describes or qualifies a noun or pronoun). Give three examples from a chapter where you see each trait in action.


3. Frankie Joe is exposed to two very different kinds of families in the book. Who were members of his Texas family? His Illinois family? Compare and contrast his adopted family in Texas with the blended family in Illinois.


4. Frankie Joe's mother is described as being a "jackrabbit." What do you think that meant? Give examples from the book that support the description.


5. Frankie Joe was surprised with his mother's decision at the end of the book. Should he have been? Why or why not?


6. Frankie Joe's father wants his children to "be all the can be." How did Mark, the oldest half brother,  try to measure up to this expectation? Give examples of what Mark thought his father meant. How does Mark's definition differ from Frankie Joe's? Which boy do you think measured up to their father's definition best? Why?


7. Lutricia Clifton could have chosen any name for the town Frankie Joe moved to. What is the significance of the name Clearview?




A report explains a series of events and/or experiences, and must contain information that is factual, straightforward, and accurately detailed.  It is also important to document your sources in a bibliography.  A bibliography is a listing at the end of the report that shows readers where you found your information.  With your teacher-librarian’s permission, launch your web browser and do a search on the following.  When you find pages with relevant information, bookmark or save them to your “Favorites.” 

To get started, answer these questions:


1.  What do you know about turning corn into ethanol?  What are the advantages of using organic materials for fuel? 

2.  What do you know about tall-grass prairies?  How did these prairies affect pioneer farmers’ success in growing corn, soybeans, and other grain crops? 

3.  What does the term, “Breadbasket of the World” means?  What crops are grown in the Midwest that support this description?  Where do they end up? 


Write a report on one of the following (with your teacher or librarian’s help, develop a bibliography to include with your report to show readers where you found your information). 


1.  The process for turning corn into ethanol OR The benefits of turning corn into ethanol.

2.  The conversion of the tall grass prairies that covered the Midwest into what is now called “The Breadbasket of the World.”