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Literature / Franny K. Stein

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Franny K. Stein is a series of children's chapter books by Jim Benton, who also wrote Dear Dumb Diary. They focus on Franny, who at the tender age of seven is already a practicing mad scientist who turned her own room into her lab. With the aid of her assistant Igor, a dog, Franny is constantly performing experiments. Unfortunately, do to Franny's relative inexperience with life, she rarely thinks her experiments through. This usually leads to all kinds of trouble, which Franny and Igor then have to fix.


This book series contains examples of the following tropes.

  • An Aesop: Every book has one.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Franny's dog has intelligence comparable to a monkey or an ape.
  • Creepy Child: Franny pretty much lives this. She routinely has bats in her room. No matter how many times her mom gets rid of them, they just keep reappearing. Franny doesn't get them form anywhere, they just show up, because they like her. In the first book Franny actually tries to get away from this, to fit in. In the end, however, the other students learn to accept Franny for who she is, though they're still kinda scared of her.
  • Dr. Fakenstein: Franny, as if her full name didn't make it obvious already.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Kissypie, Franny is so embarrassed by it that she goes back in time to change it. She chooses Kaboom instead, but everybody laughs at that too.
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  • Future Me Scares Me: Teen!Franny is much more abusive to Igor than the Kid!Fran and has plans to hurt all of Fran's classmates. Why? She just can't let go of being made fun of for an Embarrassing Middle Name.
  • Orphaned Series: It's been nearly a decade since the last book was published, making this trope more than likely. Benton probably realized the Dear Dumb Diary series was more profitable.
  • Kid Genius: Franny is this, full stop. She builds complex machines and has demonstrated expert knowledge in chemistry, robotics, and bioengineering. In the first book Franny actually produce's a functioning Frankenstein's monster out of luncheon meat and batteries. Did I mention she's only seven years old?
  • Lethal Chef: Surprisingly averted. Franny is a fairly capable cook. She takes cooking classes in her spare time and routinely cooks gourmet dishes for herself.
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  • Mad Scientist: Franny.
  • Two-Faced: In one book, Franny invents a suit that literally allows her to become this.


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