2008 National Book Award Finalist,
Young People's Literature
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
In The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks, E. Lockhart brilliantly explores power dynamics at an elite boarding school. Sixteen-year-old Frankie, frustrated by the exclusion from her school’s all-male secret society, infiltrates the group, sending the unknowing boys on a spree of ingenious pranks. The protagonist experiments with grammar to hilarious effect, and serves as an inspiration to teenage girls who aren’t content being relegated to arm-candy status. Subversive and clever, this young adult novel is a stunning story of gender, entitlement, and the making of an anti-heroine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
E. Lockhart is the author of Dramarama, The Boyfriend List, Fly on the Wall, and The Boy Book. She is also one of the co-authors of How to be Bad, with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski. She has never been a member of a secret society. Not that she'd tell you, anyway.
ABOUT THE BOOK (from
Frankie Landau-Banks at age
Her father's "Bunny Rabbit."
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.
Frankie Landau-Banks at age
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.
No longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer.
Especially when "no" means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew is lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.
Frankie Landau-Banks, at age
Possibly a criminal mastermind.
This is the story of how she got that way.
E. Lockhart's BlogE. Lockhart's Website
A PIECE OF EVIDENCE
December 14, 2007
To: Headmaster Richmond and
the Board of Directors,
Alabaster Preparatory Academy
I, Frankie Landau-Banks, hereby confess that I was the sole mastermind behind the mal-doings of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. I take full responsibility for the disruptions caused by the Order—including the Library Lady, the Doggies in the Window, the Night of a Thousand Dogs, the Canned Beet Rebellion, and the abduction of the Guppy.
That is, I wrote the directives
telling everyone what
I, and I alone.
No matter what Porter Welsch told you in his statement.
Of course, the dogs of the Order are human beings with free will. They contributed their labor under no explicit compunction. I did not threaten them or coerce them in any way, and if they chose to follow my instructions, it was not because they feared retribution.
You have requested that I provide you with their names. I respectfully decline to do so. It’s not for me to pugn or impugn their characters.
I would like to point out that many of the Order’s escapades were intended as social criticism. And that many of the Order’s members were probably diverted from more self-destructive behaviors by the activities prescribed them by me. So maybe my actions contributed to a larger good, despite the inconveniences you, no doubt, suffered.
I do understand the administration’s disgruntlement over the incidents. I see that my behavior disrupted the smooth running of your patriarchal establishment. And yet I would like to suggest that you view each of the Loyal Order’s projects with the gruntlement that should attend the creative civil disobedience of students who are politically aware and artistically expressive.
I am not asking that you indulge my behavior; merely that you do not dulge it without considering its context.
Frances Rose Landau-Banks, class of 2010