Title: Fanny Parker
Author: Hannah Roberts McKinnon
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Concepts: natural resources, scarcity, Great Depression
Review: Franny’s small Oklahoma town is experiencing one of the worst droughts since the Great Depression era, and people are suffering. Many local farmers have lost their harvests and have needed to apply for government aid, and neighbors exchange worried glances as they wonder who is next. In the midst of these troubled times, Franny and her tight-knit family are happy to welcome new neighbors: a kind, artistic woman named Lindy and her handsome teenage son, Lucas. As Franny and Lucas develop a strong bond through their common interest in caring for stray and hurt animals, they also begin to share some secrets about Lucas’s family situation that may be too big for just the two of them to keep.
This tender novel offers middle grade readers a powerful taste of how a small-town community comes together to support its members as they struggle with a sharp seasonal downturn and with personal difficulties. With the story told through the voice of young Franny, the tone is never heavy and includes pleasant insights into how children find opportunities to help others during challenging situations.
Review by: The Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children