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Dancing With Elvis [Paperback]

By Lynda Stephenson (Author)
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Item description for Dancing With Elvis by Lynda Stephenson...

In Clover, Texas, in 1956, high-schooler Frankilee deals with a manipulative, not to mention prettier, foster sister, a boyfriend she doesn't want, and a community divided over school integration. The only thing that keeps Frankilee sane is her fantasies about Elvis Presley rescuing her.

Publishers Description
Ever since she and her mother rescued Angel from her parents, Frankilee Baxter has been miserable. In addition to being more pretty and talented than Frankilee, Angel begins dating the boy Frankilee likes. Frankilee devises a plan to get rid of Angel, but, what she doesn't bargain for is getting involved in a burglary, a kidnapping and a shooting.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Pages   323
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.24" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2006
Publisher   Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Grade Level  Multiple Grades  
Age  12-17
ISBN  0802853005  
ISBN13  9780802853004  

Availability  0 units.

More About Lynda Stephenson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lynda Stephenson grew up in a small town in Texas and now lives with her husband and her cat, Elvis, in Edmond, Oklahoma. Dancing with Elvis began as a short story, but Lynda decided to stick with Frankilee and see her through her troubles. The result is her first published novel.

Lynda Stephenson was born in 1941.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Social Issues > Prejudice & Racism > Fiction
2Books > Subjects > Children > Literature
3Books > Subjects > Teens > History & Historical Fiction > Historical Fiction
4Books > Subjects > Teens > Social Issues > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Education (K-12) > General Education > Readers

Reviews - What do customers think about Dancing With Elvis?

High school girls  Mar 8, 2007
An appropriate story for female teenagers. A good example of very common
issues and emotions that many high school girls deal with. A little bit old fashioned so some older women would enjoy this read to bring back memories from their own childhoods.
Enjoyable but a bit over the top......................  Jan 1, 2007
DANCING WITH ELVIS is melodramatic yet entertaining coming of age story set in the Texas Panhandle in the 1950's. Frankilee is a likeable heroine and Angel makes a truly evil villain but the ending is way too over the top and made me lose a little respect for the rest of the book. The book does do a good job of describing what life was like in the 1950's segregated South. It's not strictly a young adult book (this middle aged reader enjoyed it) but seems to have been marketed as such.
Dancing With Elvis  Dec 19, 2006
Dancing With Elvis is a very interesting book. It is about a girl who "adopts" a girl from her school who is being abused. At first Frankilee is very exited about the new experience, but after a while, she learns that her new sister is not someone to be thankful for. Angel is mean, rude, and is very good at hiding it. She deceivingly takes Frakilee's role in her family and steals the affection of others. Frankilee despises Angel but is also quite jealous of her. She envies her beauty, her popularity, and her boyfriend. She is disgusted by how much Angel has although she is so mean. She wishes she had blessed with all of these things. The plot of book is somewhat confusing. It took me awhile to understand what was going on. The book was also very historic. It took place in the 1950s and it showed in the book. The author talked about the fashions, the music, the prejudiced thoughts, and much more throughout the book. It taught me a lot about this time period. This book is very interesting and I definitely recommend reading it. In the end, there is quite a shocking surprise, but you'll have to wait and read the book!
She Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog  Aug 19, 2006
Frankilee (named Franklin Delano Roosevelt by her eccentric maternal grandfather, who named his 6 daughters after presidents) lives in the Texas Panhandle town of Clover. Bright and eager to move forward in high school the summer of 1956, the girl tries to save a peer who is being abused in her home. Frankilee's mother, a slightly ahead of her time crusader insists Frankilee save the girl, whose mother is known to be the town character and highly abusive. Angel's back and arms have a cross hatch of scars, all testaments to long term abuse.

Once they have Angelica (later nicknamed Angel) ensconsed in their home, they contend with the mother beating and kicking the girl; the father making one visit and the townspeople looking the other way as they want no truck with Angel's crazy mother. Angel is like the 1956 cover of "Hound Dog," which Elvis made famous - "they said you was high class, but that was just a lie..."

Angel is sneaky and insidious. She gradually takes over the house including one James Colton, whom Frankielee has all but set her cap for. Only Wanita, the wise housekeeper and her family see through Angel; Frankilee's parents appear entranced by her as do the girl's maternal grandparents. Angel flirts outrageously with Frankilee's grandfather; he gives her heirloom jewelry, which upsets his immediate family.

Frankilee is determined to uncover Angel's scheme, so she enlists the aid of her friend, Jerry-Fred (called "Jerry-Frank" once in Chapter 6) to join her in some investigative reporting. Jerry-Fred yearns to be Frankilee's boyfriend; she insists that they remain platonic good friends.

Angel is like a slithering serpent. She cons Frankilee's parents into paying to have her scars removed; she wheedles a puppy as a gift whom she names Elvis to needle Frankilee, who adores the King of Rock & Roll.

I like the way the issues of the late 1950s are addressed; Frankilee and her parents support integration, but the town's small minded bigots strive to maintain separate schools based on race. Wanita and her family are the direct recipients of bigotry; Wanita's oldest son was shot to death. Devastated, Wanita does not return to work for several months until Frankilee persuades her to return. Wanita and her family as well as Frankilee's father and the new coach are delightful characters who fight like soldiers against a single enemy - RACISM. Hats off to Frankilee's father!

The cast of characters are interesting and eclectic; a new teacher/coach breathes fresh air into the small-town Clover High School and his landlady, a very weird woman named Mabel Katherine Hightower provide an even wider array of interesting personalities. Mabel Katherine's story is sad, but in a way funny. Her only chance at love came when a traveling man spent a night with her; his pet monkey bit her finger which resulted in a hasty trip to emergency and removal of the finger. The story of the monkey has become part of the town legend, as well as the woman's family tree extending to a plantation in Georgia during the Civil War.

Small town bigotries and fresh progressive thinking simmer during 1956-58, the years this story covers. The ending is juddering, jarring and intense. This is an author to watch out for!

GREAT!!!  Mar 23, 2006
This was one of the better books I've read on racism and life in the 1950's. The concrete details grounded in this novel really gave authenticity to this book and made me feel like I was experiencing the conniving Angel incident, the racism, and the other events right along with Frankilee. I, too, enjoyed the way the author employed big events of the 1950's into this story. Anybody who enjoys historical novels, as well as those on racism and with a dose of humor involved, would probably enjoy this book. Sometimes the swearing might seem too much for some people (it didn't bother me at all), but it also adds a nice quirk to the character of Frankilee. The novel spans from the year 1956 to 58 and tells the story of teenaged Frankilee after her parents take in the pathetic Angel Musseldorf. From the start, Frankilee gets bad impressions of the girl - everything from Angel's demanding new clothes and whining to naming her rambunctious dog after Frankilee's lover-boy, Elvis are enough to make a character who is truly fun to hate. I had plenty of fun hating Angel throughout this novel. And then Frankilee finds out the truth about the girl.

In short, it's a great read. I finished it off in one night and it wasn't enough. Highly recommended!

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