Frankie & Bug
Author: Gayle Forman
It’s 1987, and 10-year-old Beatrice “Bug” Contreras has a plan: spend her summer months with her brother, Danny, on Venice Beach as she has for the past two years. But when 14-year-old Danny—who has matured into the name Daniel—wants more time to himself, Bug learns she will be instead hanging out with 11-year-old Frankie, the nephew of Phillip, her mother’s best friend and their upstairs neighbor. Frankie, who is visiting from Ohio, is trans at a time before this identity was well understood and has not been treated with kindness or acceptance by his parents. Bug’s not too excited about hanging out with a kid she’s never met, but they soon find some common ground. And as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning some important lessons about each other, and the world.
Frankie and Bug become fascinated with trying to solve the case of the Midnight Marauder, a serial killer who has been striking in the area. But when Phillip is attacked and ends up in the hospital, their investigation changes. Maybe what they'll uncover instead are some smaller truths about the world, like what it means to be your true self and how to be a good ally for others. Or that family can be the people you’re related to, but also the people you choose to have around you. And that even though life isn’t always fair, we can all do our part to make it more just.