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Franklin School Friends Books In Order

Publication Order of Franklin School Friends Books

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Annika Riz, Math Whiz (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Izzy Barr, Running Star (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Simon Ellis, Spelling Bee Champ (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cody Harmon, King of Pets (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Franklin School Friends is a series of children’s books written by Claudia Mills. The books explore the lives of the kids that attend Franklin School and the challenges they encounter on a daily basis.

+The Story

Franklin School Friends is another Claudia Mills classic, a series of books that provide a glimpse into the workings of ordinary kids living ordinary lives. Franklin School is a good school that not only drives its students to pursue academic success but it also pushes them to shoot for the stars in the area of extracurricular activities.

The Franklin School Friends series places special emphasis on Mrs. Molina’s third-grade classroom and, in particular, students Kelsey, Simon, Annika, and Izzy. Each of these kids is given a chance to shine as their struggles and challenges in Franklin school come to light and they grow as human beings in the face of these difficulties.

Kelsey Kline takes center stage at the start of the Franklin School Friends series. Kelsey is just a normal girl with an obsession for reading. The library is her favorite place in the entire school, and the only thing she loves more than reading is being the best reader in the school.

This puts her in contention with Simon who seems to be a little too good at everything, including reading. The idea that Simon seems to be reading so many more books than her rubs Kelsey the wrong way. Even more irritating to Kelsey is the attitude of her friends Izzy and Annika who couldn’t care less about reading. She learns to temper her expectations of others and to revert to her older habits of reading for the joy of it rather than to acquire a prize.

Annika Riz mirrors Kelsey in that she also has an obsession. But instead of reading, Annika’s love lies in Math. Kelsey, Annika’s friend hates math and anything related to it. She would rather spend her days at school buried in a book.

Annika couldn’t care less about reading. In fact, she couldn’t care less about anything else that isn’t math. When she is first introduced, Annika is struggling with the notion that her friends and classmates hate her favorite subject so much.

It becomes her goal to show them just how cool math can be by taking on Simon, Kelsey’s rival, and beating him in a competition.

Izzy is in a completely different boat from Kelsey and Annika. Unlike her friends each of whom finds their passion in an aspect of academics, Izzy Barr only cares about sports. There is no sport in Franklin School that Izzy hasn’t played and dominated completely.

The fact that her friends are only mildly interested in athletics isn’t a source of discomfort for Izzy. She is more than happy to immerse herself in the world of running and baseball and the like and to give everything she has to overcome her rival, skipper.

The source of Izzy’s distress is her father. Izzy has a half-brother from her father’s previous marriage. Not only is Dustin good at sports but Izzy’s father doesn’t get to see him all too often. As such, he makes an effort to attend every single one of his sporting events at school, a feat Izzy would applaud if it wasn’t for the fact that he has missed almost all of her athletic activities at school.

Izzy’s determination to get her father to attend just one of her activities drives most of her stories. Her determination for approval in the sporting arena consumes her and even compels her to win if only to show her father just how good she is.

Simon Ellis is a little different from many of his friends at Franklin School. Unlike Izzy and Kelsey and the rest of them, Simon doesn’t have any one obsession. Rather, he is good at a whole lot of things. In fact, he is almost too good, to the point where it begins to affect his friendships at school.

Things come to a head when Simon realizes that some of his classmates are tired of losing to him. Simon loves doing his best in whatever he is doing. When he is confronted with the way his classmates feel whenever they lose to him, he is challenged to try and figure out whether winning is worth the price of losing his friends.

Along with Cory, who loves animals above all else and has a whopping nine pets, the Franklin School Friends Series has a lot of diverse characters that it works with. Claudia Mills, the author, tries to use these books to encompass as many personalities as possible. This way her readers are bound to find themselves represented in at least one of her characters.

The books are very earnest in the way they present the challenges that children experience in school. Claudia makes an effort to show that, while children have easier lives than most, they still have challenges of their own, and their lives can be filled with as much turmoil as those of older individuals.

The Franklin School Friends Books are written with third graders in mind. Though, do not be surprised to find adults reading and enjoying these books as well. The stories told are short and straightforward but there’s always a philosophical and ethical nugget hidden within that will appeal to older sensibilities.

The only criticisms these books ever receive usually revolve around Izzy. The character’s father got divorced and then remarried, this giving Izzy step-siblings from her father’s previous marriage. Some parents are not comfortable introducing to their young children the idea that families do not always stay together and that, sometimes marriages end.

+Kelsey Green, Reading Queen

Kelsey loves to read. In fact, she’s probably the best reader in school, or so she would like to think. When a reading contest is announced, Kelsey isn’t happy to find that her rival Simon Ellis could be reading more books than her.

And in her efforts to lead Mrs. Molina’s class to victory in the school-wide contest, the idea that her friends Annika and Izzy are falling behind begins to irk her.

+Annika Riz, Math Wiz

Annika loves math but her friends hate the subject. When Annika decides to face Simon Ellis in a Sudoku contest, it is with the intention of showing Kelsey and Izzy just how cool math can be. But the whole school seems more interested in the upcoming school carnival.

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