Loner artist Frankie struggles with his family when he helps a street artist renowned in his hometown near the Twin Cities in Minnesota.
Frankie's mom and dad are gender-bending amateur actors who own a cleaning business. Frankie's access to the company's trucks interests hot but mean Rory and her cousin David, who designs and wears skirts—and often deals with torment at school. Their uncle is clandestine guerrilla artist Epic, whom Frankie admires, and Rory and David propose that he help haul materials for Epic’s installations. A series of late nights results in major trouble for Frankie at home, and his discovery of his sister's own illegal doings further complicates the already-abrasive relationship between the siblings. Frankie's working-class, white, arty family is convincingly depicted in this energetic offering. His mom and dad's obvious affection and worry for their kids is heartening, even as Frankie's sometimes guilty disdain for it will resonate with teen readers—though at times it's hard to believe their parents are so ignorant of their many antics. The pacing of the feud between Frankie and his sister goes on a little long, but a romantic subplot involving a sort of triangle among David, Frankie, and Rory is fresh and sweetly real.
Inky comics washed and textured with bright orange are interspersed throughout—a fine embellishment in this distinctive, smart novel. (Fiction. 14-18)