Cover image for Freaky green eyes
Freaky green eyes
Oates, Joyce Carol, 1938-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperTempest, 2003.
Physical Description:
341 pages ; 19 cm
Fifteen-year-old Frankie relates the events of the year leading up to her mother's mysterious disappearance and her own struggle to discover and accept the truth about her parents' relationship.
Reading Level:
810 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.0 7.0 73465.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.8 13 Quiz: 36045 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Later, I would think of it as crossing over. From a known territory into an unknown. From a place where people know you to a place where people only think they know you.

It began with me a year ago this past July. A few weeks after my fourteenth birthday. When Freaky Green Eyes came into my heart.

When her parents separate, Franky Pierson has no trouble deciding whose side she's on. After all, her mother is the one who chose to leave. And when her mother is suddenly reported missing, Franky believes she's simply pulled a disappearing act and deserted their family for good. But a part of Franky, a part she calls Freaky Green Eyes, knows that something is wrong. And it's up to Freaky to open Franky's eyes to the truth.

Author Notes

Joyce Carol Oates was born on June 16, 1938 in Lockport, New York. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Syracuse University and a master's degree in English from the University of Wisconsin.

She is the author of numerous novels and collections of short stories. Her works include We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, Bellefleur, You Must Remember This, Because It Is Bitter, Because It Is My Heart, Solstice, Marya : A Life, and Give Me Your Heart. She has received numerous awards including the National Book Award for Them, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature. She was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with her title Lovely, Dark, Deep. She also wrote a series of suspense novels under the pseudonym Rosamond Smith. In 2015, her novel The Accursed became listed as a bestseller on the iBooks chart.

She worked as a professor of English at the University of Windsor, before becoming the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. She and her late husband Raymond J. Smith operated a small press and published a literary magazine, The Ontario Review.

(Bowker Author Biography) Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most eminent and prolific literary figures and social critics of our times. She has won the National Book Award and several O. Henry and Pushcart prizes. Among her other awards are an NEA grant, a Guggenheim fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Lifetime Achievement Award, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-10. Freaky Green Eyes is the name 15-year-old Franky gives to her stronger self, the part that has to deal with the enigma that is her parents' relationship. With a nod to the O. J. Simpson case, Oates pulls readers into a fast-paced, first-person thriller that begins when Franky's mother, an artist, begins spending alone time at her cabin. It's immediately clear that her situation isn't idyllic; Franky's father, former football hero and popular sportscaster Reid Pierson, is calling the shots as to when his wife can come and go. There's no nuance to Reid's character. He's a charming, controlling bully who rules his family; should his will be thwarted, he gets physical. When Mrs. Pierson and a male friend disappear, there's also no mystery about who's behind the abduction; the clues, if that's what they are meant to be, are awkwardly dropped. Yet what could have been a predictable plot in the hands of a less-experienced writer becomes an absorbing page-turner as Franky slowly lets herself accept the violence that has always been in her family and finds the courage to stand up to her father. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The daughter of a charismatic football star-turned-sportscaster narrates Oates's (Big Mouth & Ugly Girl) captivating novel, which bears some resemblance to the O.J. Simpson story. Fifteen-year-old Franky narrates and opens with a flashback to a party she attended just after her 14th birthday, "when Freaky Green Eyes came into my heart." This feisty alter-ego emerges when Franky is nearly raped, defends herself, and tells no one about the incident. The quick-thinking survival instincts that "Freaky" embodies, become essential to the narrator's ability to make sense of her world, as her parents' marriage begins to collapse. Franky sides with her father, even though she suspects he is hurting her mother; she blames her mother for "provoking" him, and acts like she doesn't miss her mother when she begins to spend more time away from the family to pursue her art in a small town an hour from their suburban Seattle home. Oates makes manifest the narrator's inner struggle between Franky and Freaky, and paints Franky's father as both magnetic and menacing. Even after her mother and a gay male friend go missing and her father is a key suspect, Franky initially makes a statement on his behalf. But Freaky wins out, making a "Freaky-impulsive" decision that leads her to uncover the truth. The gray Northwest setting provides a fitting parallel to the heroine's life, where facts are often hard to see. Oates builds the mounting tension masterfully, crafting a fast-paced narrative that will haunt readers long after the final page. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10-Francesca (Franky) Pierson opens this story by Joyce Carol Oates (HarperTempest, 2003) by introducing us to the no-nonsense, competent, take-action adult persona she feels taking shape inside herself whom she calls Freaky Green Eyes. It's these eyes that see her situation clearly, although Francesca herself doesn't want to connect all the dots and let herself understand her family's awful situation. Her father is an abuser, both emotionally and physically, and Francesca and her younger sister and older half-brother all know how to tiptoe around him and keep him absolutely happy and in control. But her mother seems increasingly unwilling to keep him in balance by being completely subservient and compliant. Franky turns against her mother emotionally for rocking the boat, yet sees the truth. When her mother and a male friend disappear, it becomes obvious to listeners that Franky's father is to blame. As Freaky Green Eyes comes more and more to the fore, Franky begins to see her family's situation more realistically. Stina Nielsen lets listener's hear Franky's dawning awareness of the terrible truth, perfectly voicing her emotional responses to the situation. Teens in upper middle and high school will be drawn to this fine psychological portrayal of family violence.-Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

I. Crossing Overp. 1
II. Missingp. 193
III. In the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico: Decemberp. 319