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A distinctive new voice in children's fiction

Francie lives with her mother and younger brother, Prez, in rural Alabama, where all three work and wait. Francie's father is trying to get settled in Chicago so he can move his family up North.

Unfortunately, he's made promises he hasn't kept, and Francie painfully learns that her dreams of starting junior high school in an integrated urban classroom will go unfulfilled. Amid the day-to-day grind of working odd jobs for wealthy white folks on the other side of town, Francie becomes involved in helping a framed young black man to escape arrest -- a brave gesture, but one that puts the entire black community in danger. In this vivid portrait of a girl in the pre--Civil Rights era South, first-time novelist Karen English completes Francie's world using lively vernacular and a wide array of flesh-and-blood characters.

Francie is a 2000 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book.

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