Framed! by James Ponti is the first book in a series of crime-solving adventures with 12-year-old Florian Bates, a secret member of the FBI. This fun story focuses on an art heist as we get to know our main character and his best friend,
This fantastic book is the mystery title I selected for my Online Middle School Monthly Fiction Book Club in 2023.
This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.
Length: 320 pages
First Published: 2017
Publisher’s Description: Framed!
“So you’re only halfway through your homework and the Director of the FBI keeps texting you for help…What do you do? Save your grade? Or save the country?
If you’re Florian Bates, you figure out a way to do both.
Florian is twelve years old and has just moved to Washington. He’s learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things. It’s a technique he invented to solve life’s little mysteries such as: where to sit on the on the first day of school, or which Chinese restaurant has the best eggrolls.
But when he teaches it to his new friend Margaret, they uncover a mystery that isn’t little. In fact, it’s HUGE, and it involves the National Gallery, the FBI, and a notorious crime syndicate known as EEL.
Can Florian decipher the clues and finish his homework in time to help the FBI solve the case?”
My Goodreads Review
Florian Bates may only be 12 years old, but his impressive skills of observation have already earned him a spot working with the FBI. He has been practicing his TOAST technique, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things, for years and now he is using it to help the FBI solve the most recent art heist.
Thanks to help from his friend, Margaret, they begin to uncover the mystery and solve the crime. Time is ticking so Florian, Margaret, and the FBI will need to work quickly before they find themselves in danger.
This was such a fun read in my online book club for kids. Florian and Margaret make a great team and show the qualities of good friends. The idea of TOAST was a fun one for the readers and inspired many of the kids to try to practice it themselves.
One aspect of the book I really enjoyed was that while the characters were trying to solve the mystery of the art heist, the story also focused on their friendship and lives. We learn more about each of them and about their lives as middle school students. I appreciated there being more depth to the characters than just what each one brought to the crime-solving situation. It made them more relatable to middle school readers as well.
If your child enjoys this story, there are two more stories in the series so they can continue reading about Florian and Margaret and their adventures with the FBI.
My Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Framed!: Discussion Questions for Your Homeschool Study
1. Even though Florian works for the FBI, the author makes sure Florian’s life is relatable to readers. What are some ways that Florian’s life typical of a middle school student? What are some problems he faces that are typical of kids his age?
2. Margaret and Florian are very good friends. Do you think they also make a great team when solving problems? What skills/talents does Margaret bring to the team? How about Florian?
3. In the end, Florian learns how Margaret’s biological father is but promises not to tell her or anyone. Do you agree with his decision? How might it impact their friendship?
Homeschooling With Books: Discussion Questions To Help You Get Started
Grab this set of questions designed to facilitate a great discussion about any book with your kids:
Read the Sequels
Another Exciting Series by James Ponti
Middle School Titles Your Next Homeschool Study
Middle School Books Lists
- A Rover’s Story Discussion Topics and Homeschool Study - December 1, 2023
- Speak Up! Book Review and Homeschool Study Ideas - November 30, 2023
- Spy School Graphic Novel Discussion Questions and Book Review - November 29, 2023