Frank's first novel since Wrecked (2005) is a searing examination of teenage prostitution.
Dime is 14, loves books, and turns tricks. After her foster mother kicked her out, living with Daddy is like something out of a dream. Daddy buys her clothes and sticks up for her against Brandy and L.A., the other girls in the house—and he's so gentle when he takes her virginity. When Daddy needs Dime to make some money, she joins L.A. and Brandy on the track, having sex for coin. The arrival of new girl Lollipop, just 11, makes Dime realize she doesn't love Daddy anymore—and she doesn't want this life. It's only when they realize Lollipop is pregnant that Dime knows what she'll do. If she writes a note that explains everything, people will take care of Lollipop's baby. But what she'll do to protect Lollipop and her baby can only end one way for Dime herself—and it's a sacrifice she's ready to make. The story is related in flashbacks as Dime ponders her note, taking inspiration from The Book Thief and imagining writing it in various allegorical voices: Sex, Violence, Money. Since her overall narration is fairly straightforward, the note device often feels self-conscious rather than artful.
Dime’s desire to save her friend transcends artifice and approaches heroism, making for a tremendously affecting novel. (Fiction. 14 & up)