OK, friends have been recommending The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart, to me for a long time. Descriptions made it sound like another "spunky girl" YA novel, so I kept putting it off as I read Austen mashups, and William Gibson, and steampunk novels. Finally, I was forced to read it for a booktalk I gave to teachers last week.
Worst of all, her boyfriend Matthew is king of the Loyal Order of the Bassett Hounds, a secret society that Frankie's father had told her all about. Matthew and his co-king Alpha won't even admit to its existence, as they plan lame, unimaginative pranks. When Frankie poses as a male Bassett online, she uses her research paper for a class on "Cities, Art and Protest" (included, with bibliography) to plan & execute elaborate art-happening social-commentary campus pranks. Her research and thoughts on class awareness, wealth and privilege, and urban anarchy could lead readers to emulate her campaign at their own schools. Or, at least to get a decent salad bar in the cafeteria.
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