Francie Summary & Study Guide

Karen English
This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Francie.
This section contains 440 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Francie Summary & Study Guide Description

Francie Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Francie by Karen English.

Karen English's Francie is a delightful story of a young black girl living in the deep south region of Noble, Alabama with her mother, Lil, and her brother Prez. Francie's father works in Chicago and has promised to send for them, but waiting for the move out of Noble seems to be endless, and there is some doubt that he will ever come through with his promises of a better life. Francie's Auntie Lydia lives nearby in their wooded neighborhood of Three Notch, with her son Perry and her new baby, Janie. Lydia's husband, Uncle June, also works away from home, but is close by in Benson, Alabama. The two sisters help one another get by. Their two little boys are fast friends, cousins and playmates whose mischief saves the day later in the story.

Francie incurs the wrath of a pair of sisters at school, who resent her intelligence and her refusal to cheat for them on a test. A new student, Jesse Pruitt, saves her from their assault after school, sealing a new friendship. Francie tries to teach the less-fortunate Jesse to read, but Jesse is forced to leave school and eventually, must fend for himself.

Francie graduates from grammar school early in the story. She works most days with her mother at Miss Beach's boarding house and in the homes of wealthy white women. The two do heavy cleaning, laundry, cooking and serving at social functions. On her occasional day off, Francie likes to sit up on her favorite hill under a chestnut tree, reading, eating a Scooter Pie and watching the local train go by. Here she dreams of her new life in Chicago.

Francie has several unfortunate encounters with those who consider themselves superior to her. She is unfairly accused of stealing. When she tries to defend herself, she is slapped in the face and humiliated by a local white girl who is, herself, a thief. Francie experiences many instances of disrespect and condescension from local white people, which is the norm in her culture. But with her feisty spirit and strong sense of fairness, Francie finds ways to right some of the injustices in her life.

When her friend, Jesse Pruitt, is unfairly accused of attempted murder, Francie's determination to help him puts her family and her entire neighborhood in jeopardy. Jesse manages to escape to California and, eventually, Francie's mother finds a way to take herself and her children out of Noble to rejoin her husband in Chicago. This is a hopeful story of hard work, determination and success for a family fighting the odds of poverty and racism.

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This section contains 440 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Francie Study Guide
Francie from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.