Like Pearson’s very successful debut The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates, this story describes a series of silly and humorous events, but it also explores themes of family, friendship and forgiveness.
Frank’s dad is called Frank, and so is his grandfather. Yet, apart from their names, the three members of the Davenport family share very little. Frank’s dad and grandpa are not on speaking terms and, as a result, Frank has never met his grandpa, who lives nearby in a residential home (so Frank discovers). It is somewhat surprising to everyone, therefore, when Grandpa Frank’s late partner leaves Frank Junior Junior nearly half a million pounds in her will and instructs him to spend it on caring for his grandpa.
Frank’s parents are furious and demand he hand the money over to them, but Frank is determined. He is sick and tired of having to move house and school all the time because of his dad’s debts and accepts the challenge to find his grandpa and make the rest of his life an exciting and memorable one.
Rather predictably, Grandpa Frank turns out to be less than grateful of his grandson’s attentions to begin with, and adopts a grumpy and curmudgeonly persona. However, Frank’s idea for a great big bucket list eventually wins him round.
Frank comes up with all sorts of weird and unusual activities for his grandpa to do, and all of them provide drama and heart-stopping moments for his grandpa, and hilarious moments for the reader. Unfortunately, even half a million pounds will only buy so many hot air balloon rides and parkour lessons, though, and it becomes clear in the third act that it is going to take more than money to mend the rift in the relationship between his father and grandpa, and even more again to get his dad out of financial trouble!
Frank is a warm-hearted and loveable hero whose resilience in the face of his greedy parents is impressive, and the relationship he builds with his grandpa is very rewarding, emotionally. Some of the other characters in the book are a little less than original (Frank’s father is a salesman straight from the school of Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter, for example) but this detracts little from what is a lively and action-filled adventure story.