Frankie's World by Aoife Dooley

Published on November 18, 2023

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Frankie’s World by Aoife Dooley

Reviewed by Elizabeth DeVincenzo

This middle-grade graphic novel introduces readers to Frankie, a sixth grader who lives in Ireland with her mom, step-father, and younger sister.  Frankie has always felt a little different from other kids.  She has trouble concentrating in class, says the wrong things at the wrong times causing her to get in trouble, and is often told she is too sensitive.  She is also small for her age and receives injections from her doctor to help her grow.   With the exception of her best friend, Sam, Frankie is bullied at school and called a “freak and a weirdo”.  Frankie feels her brain works differently from other people, but she maintains a sense of humor about it to cope with the bullying. Frankie’s character is likable and witty.  Frankie can’t understand why she is the way she is, and decides to locate her biological father with the help of Sam and her new friend Rebecca.  She is hoping that once she meets him, maybe she will gain an understanding of herself.  Aoife Dooley, a neurodivergent Irish comedian, based some of this graphic novel on her experiences growing up with undiagnosed autism.  She wasn’t diagnosed with autism until she was an adult and struggled throughout her childhood like Frankie does. Included is an explanation  of autism, and facts and myths about autism.  This book would appeal to anyone who has felt like they never fit in. Recommended for fans of Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels and realistic fiction graphic novels.  Frankie’s adventures continue in the sequel, Finding My Voice.

Target audience: Ages 8-12

American Library Association Best Graphic Novel for Children, 2022

"Validating for those who need it, delightful reading for all." -- Kirkus Reviews

"A positive journey to self-discovery... Clean, bold comic-style artwork in black, blue, and orange is eye-catching and easy to read, and illustrations are fun and engaging." -- School Library Journal

"Affirming." -- Publishers Weekly


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