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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia - Jenny Torres Sanchez

Release Date - June 2013

Jenny Torres Sanchez
Running Press Kids

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

A little over a year ago, my son learned that one of his school janitors committed suicide. Just hours earlier, my son chatted with the guy and asked him if he had any plans for their three-day break and the response was: "Definitely going to take advantage of the sunny weather and hit the golf course." Two hours later, the man's family came home to find he'd taken his life. My son always wondered if he overlooked something in that conversation. Much is the case in Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia.

When readers meet Frenchie, they meet a girl who is hiding a secret. She had a crush on a classmate, and when he committed suicide, he destroyed Frenchie's world. She can't tell anyone that she was with him for hours before he took his life. Her secret knowledge of that night is tearing her apart.

Frenchie made me cry. Her pain is so apparent. The girl is in dire need of a support team throughout much of the book, but she can't share her secret and that leaves her with the grave site of someone named Emily Dickinson, not the poet but Frenchie likes to think it could be, to talk to about that night.

Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia had me hooked from the start. I couldn't stop reading until I'd learned every nuance of Frenchie's secret. Jenny Torres Sanchez is an outstanding writer. She had me hooked, made me cry, and also had me emitting a satisfied sigh when I reached the final page. The subject is a little dark, but I think there are many teens out there who would find a level of solace with Frenchie's ordeal.

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