Frances "Franny" Glass (Franny and Zooey) Frances “Franny” Glass is the sister half of J. D. Salinger’s short novel, Franny and Zooey, published in 1961 from two earlier appearances in The New Yorker in 1955 and 1957. Franny is a 20-year old college student who is having an existential breakdown and receives spiritual assistance from her brother, Zooey. Franny feels, as do so many young people, that life is meaningless and purposeless, and she has an egocentric, materialistic boyfriend who only serves to solidify such beliefs. She is also afraid that she is in danger of succumbing to a soul-less existence herself. Franny is the youngest in an eccentric family of seven siblings, who have been raised on an odd mixture of religious traditions by two retired vaudevillians, who also promote their children as radio “quiz kids”. Franny is at the point of almost catatonic immobility, whispering her “Jesus prayer” over and over as a mantra of salvation and mercy. It is her brother, Zooey, who ultimately comes to her rescue, reminding her of their older brothers’ teachings, which were imposed upon both of them at an early age. He points out that Franny has returned to the bosom of her family in her moment of crisis, and that her idea of Jesus is too exalted to be realistic. The holiness she seeks is all around her; it is in the chicken soup her mother offers her, it is to be found in the simple act of shining one’s shoes. And finally, Franny “…just lay quiet, smiling at the ceiling.” There is, after all, no real need for a Jesus prayer. The prayer is all around her, and all around everyone.
Mary Frances “Francie” Nolan (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) Mary Frances or “Francie” as she’s called is the sensitive and imaginative young protagonist in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the 1943 novel by Betty Smith, which was also made into a movie in 1945. The book traces her coming of age as the daughter of an Irish-American family living in near poverty in Brooklyn in the early 20th century. Their life is hardscrabble, tenuously held together by the mother’s fierce determination to make life better for her children and the father’s dreamy, alcohol-fueled, well-meaning benevolence. Mother is a janitress; Father is an occasional singing waiter. Their daughter, like the tenacious tree that grows and thrives in the cement of the squalid street, is able to rise above all of the obstructions life sets before her. She never becomes bitter or cynical about her plight, rather, she chooses to see the wonder of common, everyday delights, and she perseveres on her path with calm and proud certainty. She observes, she learns, and most importantly, she loves.
Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle - a song by Nirvana
A Baby Sister for Frances (Russell Hoban) - When a baby sister arrives, Frances the badger finds a charming way to prove her own importance. Recommended for ages 4-8.
A Bargain for Frances (Russell Hoban) - Frances and Thelma are friends -- most of the time. Thelma always seems to get Frances into trouble. When she tricks Frances into buying her tea set, it's the last straw. Can Frances show her that it's better to lose a bargain than lose a friend? Recommended for ages 4-8.
A Birthday for Frances (Russell Hoban) - As her little sister Gloria's birthday approaches, Frances wavers between being generous and being jealous. Frances epitomizes every youngster who chafes at being the un-birthday child. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Bedtime for Frances (Russell Hoban) - Famed for her many adventures, Frances made her debut with this title over thirty years ago. In this first Frances book, the little badger adroitly delays her bedtime with requests for kisses and milk, and concerns over tigers and giants and things going bump in the night. Long a favorite for the gentle humor of its familiar going to bed ritual, Bedtime for Frances is at last available with the warmth of full color enriching Garth Williams’s original nuanced and touching art. Kirkus Review says: “Here is the coziest, most beguiling bedtime story in many a day.” Recommended for ages 4-8.
Best Friends for Frances (Russell Hoban) - Frances doesn't think her little sister, Gloria, can be her friend. But when Frances's friend Albert has a no-girls baseball game, Frances shows him a thing or two about friendship—and a thing or two about what girls can do. Along the way, Frances discovers that sisters can indeed be friends…maybe even best friends. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Bread and Jam for Frances (Russell Hoban) - Frances is a fussy eater. In fact, the only thing she likes is bread and jam. She won't touch her squishy soft-boiled egg. She trades away her chicken-salad sandwich at lunch. She turns up her nose at boring veal cutlets. Unless Mother can come up with a plan, Frances just might go on eating bread and jam forever! Recommended for ages 4-8.
Frances (W. D. Valgardson) - Frances lives in a beach town on Lake Winnipeg, the center of Manitoba’s Icelandic community. Her family has lived in the town since Icelandic immigrants settled there in the late 1800s. One day Frances finds an old journal. The entries are written in Icelandic, and the pages are torn, moldy, and blurred. Yet Frances can’t bring herself to throw it away. At the local old folk’s home, Frances finds a cranky, ailing man who agrees to help her read the journal. A friendship grows between them as the story of the journal unfolds. It’s a tale of love, hardship, scandal, and a group of mysterious stowaways — the story of Frances’s great-great-grandparents. Frances digs into her past and uncovers more than one family secret. In the end, Frances learns to use the past to navigate a future that will take her full circle — back to the land of her ancestors. Recommended for ages 9-12.
Getting to Know France and French (Nicola Wright) - Children ages 8 through 12 enjoy a guided tour of France, with French landmarks, culture, history, foods, and much more. The text is in English, but many of the illustrations are bilingual--and the last six pages present an introduction to French words and phrases. Recommended for ages 8-12.
Great Joy (Kate DiCamillo) - It is just before Christmas when an organ grinder and monkey appear on the street corner outside Frances’s apartment. Frances can see them from her window and, sometimes, when it’s quiet, she can hear their music. In fact, Frances can’t stop thinking about them, especially after she sees the man and his monkey sleeping outside on the cold street at midnight. When the day of the Christmas pageant arrives, and it’s Frances’s turn to speak, everyone waits silently. But all Frances can think about is the organ grinder’s sad eyes — until, just in time, she finds the perfect words to share. Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo pairs once again with acclaimed artist Bagram Ibatoulline as she presents a timeless story of compassion and joy.Recommended for ages 4-8.
Famous People Named Frances - Frances Ethel Gumm (birth name of renowned entertainer Judy Garland); Frances McDormand (actress); Frances Farmer (actress); Frances Hayes (U.S. First Lady); Frances Folsom Cleveland (U.S. First Lady); Frances Burney (English novelist); Frances Hodgson Burnett (children's book author); Frances Shand Kydd (mother of Princess Diana of Wales); Frances Bean Cobain (daughter of Kurt Cobain); Frances of Rome (Catholic saint); Frances Osborne (English author)
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Frances - Amanda Peet (actress); Kurt Cobain (musician); Courtney Love (musician); John Edwards (politician); Rutherford B. Hayes (U.S. President)
Frances Elena Farmer (19 Sep 1913 – 1 Aug 1970) - Frances Farmer was an American stage and screen actress, but she is best known for the various accounts of her often horrific life story, including a 1982 movie, Frances, starring Jessica Lange. Hailing from a solid middle class background in Seattle, Frances made an early sensation in Hollywood in the 1930s in such films as Rhythm on the Range and Come and Get It, but she never cottoned to the way of life in the movie industry. She went to New York and starred in Clifford Odets’ play, Golden Boy, for The Group Theater in 1937. She conducted a love affair with the married Odets, which ended disastrously for her. Returning to Hollywood, she intended to carve out time for stage work as well as film, but her increasing alcoholism and erratic behavior stymied her career in all directions. She embarked on a downward spiral of arrests, breakdowns, psychiatric hospitalizations (some involuntary) and received diagnoses of schizophrenia and resultant electroshock therapy (that much-vaunted lobotomy never happened). After being released to her mother’s care in 1950, Frances went on to petition for and was granted her civil independence in 1953. She went on to relative success in television and summer stock and wrote her autobiography, but soon re-experienced some of her earlier mental problems. Frances died of cancer in 1970, leaving no children after three marriages, and only sparse evidence on film of the truly luminescent being she once was.