From the author's website:
Set in a small fictitious town in northern Illinois, this book traces the journey of twelve-year old Frankie Joe Huckaby. When Frankie Joe's mother is sent to jail, he is uprooted from his home in Texas to live with the father he has never met, his father's wife, and his father's four "legitimate" sons. Frankie Joe is miserable. Trying to adjust to his blended family proves too much to bear, so Frankie Joe hatches a plot to escape on his bike back home to Texas. For that he needs money, and so Frankie Joe's Freaky Fast Delivery Service is born. His deliveries win new friends for Frankie Joe, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss.
That said, the main character, Frankie Joe, appears to be somewhat of a conundrum. While he is portrayed as being unable to do much math, he then turns around and uses math skills to collect payments and draw up a cost sheet for running away. While he can't read very well, it seems his study skills include looking up difficult words in the dictionary and profoundly applying them to his life. Additionally, Frankie Joe is able to write meaningful and organized letters. While he is supposed to be a D-and-F student, that trait seems quite uncharacteristic.
For most of the books on this year's Mark Twain Award nominee list, I find the endings to be the most disappointing. Usually, it is the ending of a story that turns out flat, but with this one I want to recognize that the opposite may be true: I believe the ending of Freaky Fast Frankie Joe to be its best feature. Lutricia Clifton did not take the easy way out with the ending of this novel. There is just one relationship that doesn't come to fruition in the way that is hinted throughout the book.