Franklin Endicott and the Third Key: Tales from Deckawoo Drive Vol. 6
Kate DiCamillo, Author
Chris Van Dusen, Illustrator
Candlewick Press, Fiction, Jun. 8, 2021
Suitable for ages: 6-9
Themes: Worry, Courage, Mystery, Humor, Friendship
Frank Endicott is a worrier. He worries about lions, submarines, black holes, leprosy, and armadillos. He lists his worries alphabetically in a notebook and suffers vivid nightmares that even a certain neighborhood pig can’t dispatch.
When Frank accompanies Eugenia Lincoln on an errand to duplicate a key at her favorite dark and dusty thrift shop, Frank earns fresh cause for alarm. Greeting them through the window is a headless mannequin, with a dead toothy weasel sitting on its shoulder. Miss Lincoln leaves Frank to wait alone with the shop’s proprietor, odd Buddy Lamp, while she runs some errands. As Frank browses while he waits, he spots an piece of amber with a dead insect inside and a jar full of eyeballs.
When Mr. Lamp presents Frank with the original key and its copy, he’s surprised to find a mysterious third key in the envelop. He tries to return the key, but Mr. Lamp insists that he’s never seen the key before and refuses to take it back. Will Frank be able to bravely face his fears and deal with the unexpected key. After all there is a mystery to solve. With a little help from friends (old and new), hot cocoa, and some classic short stories read aloud, the prognosis is good.
The latest tale from Deckawoo Drive—and New York Times best-selling creators Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen—is a balm for young worrywarts facing the unknown.
What’s to like about this book:
Kate DiCamillo’s delivery style is unique and appealing for young readers. She writes beautifully but thinks simply in her chapter books. Her simple sentences are packed with big words that challenge readers. It is a fun and engaging book for emerging readers.
This is volume six in the Tales from Deckawoo Drive. Franklin Endicott is a worrier and many children will identify with his story as he learns he has more courage than he gives himself credit. Many of the same characters reappear in each of the stories, including Eugenia Franklin, a quirky neighbor who nudges Franklin to take risks. Buddy Lamp is also has a strange way about him. I mean, who collects eyeballs. But it works well in this story! And of course, Mercy Watson the pig makes an appearance.
Van Dusen’s frequent illustrations add so much to the story and capture with wonderful exaggeration all the drama, humor and emotions of Franklin’s journey.
Kate DiCamillo is the beloved author of many books for young readers, including the Mercy Watson and Tale from Deckawoo Drive. Her book Flora & Ulysses and the Tale of Despereaux both received Newberry Medals. A former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Kate DiCamillo lives in Minneapolis.