The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

A Novel in Pictures

Preston, Caroline

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt
"For her graduation from high school in 1920, Frankie Pratt receives a scrapbook and her father's old Corona typewriter. Despite Frankie's dreams of becoming a writer, she must forgo a college scholarship to help her widowed mother. But when a mysterious Captain James sweeps her off her feet, her mother finds a way to protect Frankie from the less-than-noble intentions of her unsuitable beau. Through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, we meet and follow Frankie on her journey in search of success and love."--from cover, p. [2]

Publisher: New York : Ecco, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 0061966908
Characteristics: 228 p. :,ill. (some col.) ;,24 cm.


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Mar 06, 2015
  • StratfordLibrary rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Really enjoyed the style. The story is cute but the setup is great. I will use this in my classes." - Blind Date with a Book 2015 comment

May 26, 2014
  • Emmawrites rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Such a gorgeous book- beautiful to look at! The storytelling is also superb. (but honestly i got very sick of all of her lovers going wrong)

Jul 01, 2013
  • stclaireh rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I guess this could be called a graphic novel, but the real subtitle is "a story in pictures."
I liked the concept of this book, with images from the 1920s as illustrations. I think the author chose a good array of items that really do convey a sense of the 1920s. The graphics were obviously a labor of love. But the story itself was lacking.

Apr 03, 2013
  • marydave rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A fun read, with delicious illustrations!

Jun 13, 2012
  • Rowergirl25 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a great book for summer reading. The scrapbook format is so fun. I loved looking at all the items on the page. Plus, it was a great story!

May 22, 2012
  • KarenW rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Wonderful memorabilia illustrates this sassy diary of a girl maturing in the 1920's. Frankie, don't call her Frances, gets a scrapbook and uses her father's corona typewriter to record the experiences in her life. She goes from high school smartie pants to broken hearted to ingenue until she finds her way in life. Not only is this a reflection of the time period but an account of every girl's journey to adulthood.

May 02, 2012
  • ckaterun rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Innovative and fun to read, this novel gives a glimpse of early 20th century American culture.

Mar 26, 2012
  • azakelj rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A really interesting "read" - the scrapbook format really put a whole new dimension to the novel. It was clever and a fun read =)

Feb 13, 2012
  • melwyk rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I discovered this delightful book by chance this week, and have simply raced through it! It is a gorgeously created "scrapbook" of one Frances Pratt, of Cornish, New Hampshire.

This is extraordinary in its format. It's a fully illustrated book, using vintage images and realia that Frankie has "pasted" into her scrapbook, and yet there is a strong narrative created through both images and Frankie's typed addendums to each page. The look of the slips of paper carefully typed on an old Corona typewriter and stuck in is so realistically scrapbook-like, but still carries the story on. Lovely, lovely idea, and beautifully executed.

Jan 17, 2012
  • DanniOcean rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

reviewed in the Stratford Gazette

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Jan 17, 2012
  • DanniOcean rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Readers who loved the Griffin and Sabine novels by Nick Bantock will adore this new novel by Caroline Preston. It is an illustrated novel, with no lengthy chapters to read. instead, the novel is told mostly in scrapbooked pictures and memorabilia from the 1920's. in fact, most of the novel's atmosphere and character development is forwarded not by the tidbits of typewritten text, but by the myriad of images that accompany each small quip or paragraph, resulting in a novel that is both quirky and visually beautiful. Beginning in rural 1920's America, we meet Frankie Pratt as she is finishing up high school with dreams of becoming a writer. Readers will know that the 1920's was an immensely creative time for writers in America - Hemingway, Stein, Fitzgerald - although Frankie seems more keen on reporting. So with scholarship to the prestigious Vassar College in hand, she embarks on her journey which eventually takes her all the way to Montparnasse in Paris. Along the way she looks for love and is both rewarded and disappointed (often in hilarious ways), takes up residence in the (in)famous Shakespeare & Co, and rubs shoulders with movers and shakers of the artistic world of the flapper generation. Although she gets the wrong end of the stick from time to time (she thinks the fledgling magazine "The New Yorker" is doomed to fold within a month), Frankie takes her reader on a delightful romp through the best of the 1920's - it is the most delightful history lesson in the era's fashion, politics, arts and pop culture. Is the scrapbook theme a gimmick? No doubt. But it is precisely the type of book one cannot use on an e-book reader; with its images sideways, diagonal and upside down it is a book to be held and looked at at arm's length and its pages flipped back and forth quickly and at leisure to get the full effect of its gorgeous vintage ads, news clips and pictures. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is destined to become a favourite of 1920's era fiction and fellow scrap-bookers alike.


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