Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Bargain for Frances

A Bargain for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1970/1992. HarperCollins. 64 pages.

It was a fine summer day, and after breakfast Frances said, "I am going to play with Thelma."
"Be careful," said Mother.
"Why do I have to be careful?" said Frances.
"Remember the last time?" said Mother. 

"Which time was that?" said Frances. 
"That was the time you played catch with Thelma's new boomerang," said Mother. "Thelma did all the throwing, and you came home with lumps on your head."
"I remember that time now," said Frances.
"And do you remember the other time last winter?" said Mother. 
"I remember that time too," said Frances. "That was the first time there was ice on the pond. Thelma wanted to go skating, and she told me to try the ice first."
"Who came home wet?" said Mother. "You or Thelma?"
"I came home wet," said Frances.
"Yes," said Mother. "That is why I say be careful. Because when you play with Thelma you always get the worst of it."

Poor Frances! Her mother was right. Again. Thelma had ulterior motives with wanting to play tea party with her friend, Frances. And Frances got tricked! Tricked into trading her money for Thelma's old tea set. Her ugly old plastic tea set. (A set so ugly that even Gloria sees it as junk.) Thelma then uses the money to buy a new tea set--the exact tea set that Frances had been saving for for months and months. Will Frances get even with Thelma? Can she outwit this trickster? Can this friendship be saved?!

I have enjoyed rereading the Frances books. Have you read any of these? Do you have a favorite?

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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