The 10 p.m. Question by Kate de Goldi

Title: The 10 p.m. Question
Author: Kate De Goldi
Stand Alone
Format- Paperback
Publisher- Candlewick
Published- May 8th, 2012
Pages- 256
Source- Library

Worry-prone Frankie keeps his family secret under control — until a bold, inquisitive girl enters his life — in this warm, witty, and captivating YA novel.

Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons is a talented kid with a quirky family, a best friend named Gigs, and a voice of anxiety constantly nibbling in his head: Could that kidney-shaped spot on his chest be a galloping cancer? Are the smoke alarm batteries flat? Has his cat, The Fat Controller, given them all worms? Only Ma, who never leaves home, takes Frankie’s worries seriously. But then, it is Ma who is the cause of the most troubling question of all, the one Frankie can never bring himself to ask. When a new girl arrives at school — a daring free spirit with unavoidable questions of her own — Frankie’s carefully guarded world begins to unravel, leading him to a painful confrontation with the ultimate 10 p.m. question. Deftly told with humor, poignancy, and an endearing cast of characters, The 10 P.M. Question will touch everyone who has ever felt set apart.

Frankie is a precocious little boy who has all of the worries in the world on his mind. He is the sweetest person you will find around. He loves his mother very much but she's the source of most of his anxiety. He thinks about things beyond his age and responsibility. He's a little irrational sometimes thinking once that a weird spot on him meant he possibly could have cancer. He's a little bit of a hypochondriac in this sense. He tells his mother about all of his worries routinely at 10 p.m. He can't tell her about the most important thing on his mind though. He wouldn't dare. Then comes Sydney with her questioning ways. It's the thing she does. She asks questions and like a child she isn't very polite about it. He tries to steer her away from questions he and his family avoid talking about like why his mother never leaves the house or why his family is silent on the subject. But one way or the other the question will be asked and Frankie's world will be rocked.

Frankie and his mother's relationship was very sweet. His mother bakes all day for her business. I was salivating sometimes when they just even mentioned cake because if you ever mention cake around me I instantly think about it and taste it in my mind. He has fond memories about her and food. Frankie being the sweet boy he is goes to his mother about almost everything. He is a mama's boy in a good way. His mother is always there for him. He is very "on his tippy toes" about everything though including her. She notices his worrying and tries to gently tell him that he has nothing to worry about. I love that there was goodness in their home and in their relationship with each other. The book may have a serious part to it but otherwise it was very funny and warming to the heart.

The other members of the family are not like Frankie. His siblings are regular kids who mostly act like regular teenagers. His brother is very enterprising, always having a new idea for a business. He's a very happy, carefree boy, with a big personality. His sister is a typical teenage girl. Always on the phone, not letting on she cares about anyone else but herself. His father... They call him Uncle. I forget why but it was so strange, confusing, and pretty unique that I had to mention it. What really stuck in my mind with him is a little bit inappropriate. He has this long shirt he wears to go to bed and apparently he doesn't wear underwear with the shirt. I remember Frankie's sister complaining about having to see his private parts. It's weird but I think you might understand why it stuck in my mind. He also has a big personality and genuinely loves and cares for his family. He's a good guy even if he really needs to wear some underwear. The people with the biggest personality in his family though have to be the Aunties. Each one of them fatter than the next. They have their own routine too that they do every week. It's so funny how Frankie describes them like their fat is glorious or maybe that was his best friend Gigs who's also always there for him but does get angry at him a little for hanging out with Sydney so much. They invented their own language so you know they will always be tight. Gigs is very "wide eyed and bushy tailed" all the time. He's a great friend. All of Frankie's family and friends are sources of great happiness. None of them are bad people. He couldn't have found a better group of family and friends around if he tried.

Sydney is the new girl who you could never describe as typical. She lets it all out there. She even tells Frankie about how her mother goes from man to man to get money, moving whenever they stop paying. She is forced to babysit her younger siblings when she really needs to go outside and act like a kid. She asks the hard questions possibly because her life has been so crazy for a girl her age and she might not have a chance to ask them later. You don't really read much of her family life so her character isn't tainted with so much seriousness. Sydney was a great person. I loved her. She was loud and in your face but she never means any harm by it. She's just that way and she makes no excuses for it. She provided a change into the routine of Frankie's life. She's unpredictable. She could ask anything but although he was worried about what she would ask next I think Frankie was excited to have her as a friend. She changed things up for him. He needed her to ask questions so he could ask the most important question of all.

All things said and done the reveal of what he wanted to ask his mother for the longest time is very heartbreaking. He goes through a lot towards the end. It's like his world is crashing in front of him and he doesn't know what to do to survive. It's all so very tragic and real and beautiful. Frankie is a character that will have a place in my heart forever as do all of my characters but he is one of the characters that really stands out. I really just want to hug him. I feel like he could use a hug. We all worry about things and maybe sometimes we do so too much. He made me think about all those times where I worry too much and I couldn't possibly imagine having to worry all the time. I couldn't handle it so to see this boy go through it was heart-wrenching to me but it helped that he had such a kind soul. His perspective, his family, and his friends were the ingredients to one amazing book.

You can find more about Kate de Goldi and her books at:


  1. This sounds like a heartbreaking story! Sometimes I like reading books that make me cry.

    1. I do way too often. My mom thinks I read morbid things but this wasn't so sad.

  2. I am sure I've seen this cover but I had no idea what this book was about. Frankie sounds like a great kid, and I would love to read his story. I like emotional books, too, I don't know why, but if a book can make me cry, then it's good!

    1. Almost every book will make me cry so I try not to base that off the rating or review.

  3. Okay- I must read this one! I have never heard of it- but it sounds like a book I would love. It sounds sad, but worth it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This book sounds a little quirky but really interesting! The main character Frankie sounds like a great main character. I think we all have a little bit of hypochondriac in us, I know I do. LoL. I look forward to reading this one myself.

    1. Haha! I guess so. I don't think I could ever be as bad as Frankie but sometimes...


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