The 10PM Question

Kate De Goldi

The 10PM Question
Allen & Unwin
1 February 2009

The 10PM Question

Kate De Goldi

‘In Kate de Goldi’s sensitive, vital and hilarious novel, Frankie and the reader walk hand in hand through pages that gleam with hope and humour.’ Ursula Dubosarsky

Frankie parsons is twelve going on old man, an apparently sensible, talented boy with a drumbeat of worrying questions steadily gaining volume in his head:

Are the smoke alarm batteries flat?

Does the cat, and therefore the rest of the family, have worms?

Will bird flu strike and ruin life as we know it?

Is the Kidney-shaped spot on his chest actually a galloping cancer?

Only Ma takes seriously his catalogue of persistent queries. But it is ma who is the cause of the most worrying question of all, the one that Frankie can never bring himself to ask. Then the new girl arrives at school and has questions of her own: relentless, unavoidable questions. So begins the unraveling of Frankie Parsons’s carefully controlled world.

‘A truly special book. Kate de Goldi’s dazzling writing will break your heart and make you wonder, marvel and laugh all at once.’ Agnes Nieuwenhuizen


Frankie is an intelligent, artistic 12-year-old boy who has a warm, loving family, but he is anxious – and his anxieties are defining and confining his life. Then along comes Sydney, a girl so alive and bold that he is at once invigorated and more fearful. Everything that he has attempted to keep organised and unquestioned suddenly appears to be fragile and exposed.

The 10pm Question sparkles with Frankie’s worried wit, the antics of his adored aunts, the silence of his Mum and of course Sydney. If you liked Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce and/or Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, then the characters in this book will delight you. I loved them all. For ages nine and up.

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