Franny K. Stein

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Franny K. Stein
Cover of book one: Lunch Walks Among Us

Lunch Walks Among Us,
Attack Of The 50-Ft. Cupid,
The Invisible Fran,
The Fran That Time Forgot,
Frantastic Voyage,
The Fran With Four Brains,
The Frandidate,
Bad Hair Day,
Recipe for Disaster
AuthorJim Benton
Cover artistJim Benton
CountryUnited States
GenreChildren's literature
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Published2003 - 2020
Media typePrint (Paperback)
No. of books9

Franny K. Stein is a children's book series by American author Jim Benton. The series was first published in 2003 with the entry Lunch Walks Among Us by Simon & Schuster. The titles of the series all play on book or movie titles, such as Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Fantastic Voyage.


The Franny K. Stein follows its titular character Franny, a 7-year-old young girl that's ostracized from her classmates due to her strange behaviors and experiments. Throughout the series Fran is often called upon to battle various creatures or put into weird situations, sometimes ones that she herself contributed to either accidentally or deliberately.

Film adaptation[edit]

In 2007 it was announced that film rights to the series were optioned by East of Doheny, with plans to create a series of animated films.[1] No director or writer for the movie has been announced and there have been no further announcements on the series' progress.[1]


Critical reception for the series has been mostly positive,[2][3][4] with the School Library Journal praising the series for being "age appropriate" and having an appeal to both boys and girls.[5] Publishers Weekly has also given the series a positive rating,[6] calling the first book a "copiously and cartoonishly illustrated novel".[7] Kirkus Reviews gave an overall positive review but stated that it "isn’t anything like a blatant grab for Captain Underpants fans, oh no".[8]



No.TitleOriginal publish date
1"Lunch Walks Among Us"1 September 2003 (2003-09-01)
Franny K. Stein is not your average girl. She prefers poison ivy to daisies and piranha to goldfish, and when Franny jumps rope, she uses her pet snake. This makes it almost impossible for Franny to make friends. But Franny's a scientist. And inspired by her favorite teacher, she undertakes one of the most difficult and dangerous experiments ever conceived. It's called "trying to fit in." Franny's experiment seems to be a tremendous success, and she's enjoying newfound popularity, when a freak garbage-pail incident creates a monster that only a mad scientist can defeat. Whatever will Franny do? Will she go back to being her creepy old self in order to save the day? And will her experiment be doomed if she does? In Franny K. Stein, artist Jim Benton has created a pint-size heroine with enough pluck to face down any challenge — be it making friends, thrashing monsters, or being herself. See Franny go from fiendish to fabulous and back again! Okay, just kidding.
2"Attack Of The 50-Ft. Cupid"1 January 2004 (2004-01-01)
Franny's mom says every mad scientist needs a lab assistant. So for Valentine's Day Franny gets just that: a Lab assistant. Except Igor isn't a pure Lab. He's also part poodle, part Chihuahua, part beagle, part spaniel, part shepherd — and all thumbs. Franny is fuming. She doesn't even need an assistant. What's she supposed to do with a good-for-nothing one like Igor? And things get even worse when a giant, fifty-foot, arrow-shooting cupid starts causing trouble all over town. Franny knows it's up to her — and only her — to save the day. Or is it?
3"The Invisible Fran"1 September 2004 (2004-09-01)
There's nothing better than being a mad scientist — at least according to Franny. So she's making her mission to help her classmates discover their own inner mad scientists. All Franny needs for her latest experiment are a few volunteers, a half-completed two-headed robot, and an invisibility potion. However, this experiment just might prove to be Franny's most difficult. What do you do when your classmates don't know anything about mad science and there's a doubly dumb robot running amok to prove it?
4"The Fran That Time Forgot"1 March 2005 (2005-03-01)
Franny has invented broccoli that eats itself and a hamster-powered tricycle. But now she's decided to change her middle name. What's so difficult about that? Franny is about to find out!
5"Frantastic Voyage"December 2005 (2005-12)
Franny's faithful canine assistant swallows a doomsday device that is ready to go off at any moment. With her miniaturization machine, she shrinks herself and goes on a field trip through the body of a ticking time dog.
6"The Fran With Four Brains"26 December 2006 (2006-12-26)
Being a mad scientist in the modern world is very hard work. With so much that needs to be done in such a short period of time, multitasking can get way out of hand. Franny needs some additional help. But for Franny there is only one person in the world she trusts to help her with her experiments -- herself. So she acquires assistance the mad-scientist way, by building a few real, live, steel-plated Franbots.
7"The Frandidate"2 September 2008 (2008-09-02)
If they voted for her, people were giving Franny all the control she wanted. But Franny's platform doesn't have the same appeal as her competitors who are offering new playground equipment, so she finds another platform...The Frandidate. Made of DNA samples from a dog, a chameleon and a parrot, along with a scrap of carpet (so she'll know where people stand), Franny creates the perfect candidate who says and does exactly what people want to hear! But soon her suit starts making promises she knows she won't be able to keep and Franny realizes she might have gone too far. The Frandidate will give you everything you want, science, humor and some old fashioned politics!
8"Bad Hair Day"23 July 2019 (2019-07-23)
Franny K. Stein isn’t a fan of glamour. She doesn’t style her hair, the thought of wearing makeup makes her want to gag, and she couldn’t care less about wearing dressy dresses when she’d much prefer her lab coat. But sometimes Franny wonders if her mom wishes she were different. Which gives Franny an idea…for an experiment! What if she can turn the beauty products her mom loves into something more exciting? Every experiment has its experimental error, and when Franny’s hair takes on a life of its own, Franny must save the day (and her hair) to finally realize her mom loves her just the way she is.
9"Recipe for Disaster"21 July 2020 (2020-07-21)
Franny K. Stein isn’t a good baker. But when she sees that the fundraisers for the art and music departments at her school aren’t making enough money, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Using her genius mind and kitchen, which is really just another type of laboratory, she sets out to create The Most Delicious Muffin On Earth! Sales, of course, go through the roof. But bad things can happen when people become exposed to the best thing they’ve ever tasted. They can become...overenthusiastic.


  1. ^ a b "Kid stuff: 'Franny' set for big screen". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "2005 Cumulative Title Index January-December". School Library Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Review: Frantastic Voyage". Booklist. Retrieved 27 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Review: Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid". Booklist. Retrieved 27 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Preschool to Grade 4". School Library Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Children's Review: Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 27 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Children's Review: LUNCH WALKS AMONG US". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 27 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Review: FRANNY K. STEIN, MAD SCIENTIST". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 27 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Gryphon Award". The Center for Children's Books. Retrieved 27 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Golden Duck Awards Winners By Year". Locus Magazine. Archived from the original on 2 July 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.

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