Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor

Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor.

 Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor.

Author Julie Anne Grasso

Educational Review and activities

by Jenny Graham (AbcJenny)

Julie Anne Grasso’s book Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor is the first book in the Frankie Dupont series. From the first few pages, as a reader you are drawn in to the mystery, humour and adventure of Frankie Dupont, a 10 year old boy training to be a Private Investigator. And what better way for Frankie to hone his skills than investigate the disappearance of his cousin Kat at Enderby Manor.

I found Julie Anne Grasso’s style of writing clever from character names to the development of the plot. This book would be a great inclusion in any educational or home setting.

After reading this book I would recommend:-

Shared Reading – Year Levels 2 and 3

Independent Reading – Year Levels 4-7

Reluctant/ Special Needs – Years 8 – 10

I have based my activities on independent readers whether it is read as a whole class, mixed ability small group, same ability small group or take home reader. I will base my activities on Levels 4-6 of the English Australian National Curriculum.

Activity One

Word Wall

Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Read different types of texts by combining contextual , semantic, grammatical and phonic knowledge using text processing strategies for example monitoring meaning, cross checking and reviewing (ACELY1691) Navigate and read texts for specific purposes applying appropriate text processing strategies, for example predicting and confirming, monitoring meaning, skimming and scanning (ACELY1702) Select, navigate and read texts for a range of purposes, applying appropriate text processing strategies and interpreting structural features, for example table of contents, glossary, chapters, headings and subheadings (ACELY1712)

During the reading of the book, Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor children monitor their own meaning of the words they read. If they are unfamiliar with the definition of a word, write the word and the page number on a sticky-note and place it on the Word Wall. For example in the book words like, pristine (page 61), methodical (page 52), countenance (page 63) or tetchy (page 22) could be words children are unfamiliar with. In groups, pairs, whole class or individually find the meaning of the word using previously taught strategies or new strategies the teacher may wish to introduce.

frankie 4

As children begin to read more challenging books they may want to look up definitions in dictionaries or on the internet to check their understanding is correct. The Worksheet, Word Detective helps children learn this skill.

frankie 3

Activity 2

Imaginative versus Informative – Who would be the better detective?

Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts containing key information and supporting details for a widening range of audiences, demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features (ACELY1694) Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704) Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)

Using Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Endernby Manor as a whole class example, model the use of imaginative text versus informative text. Use the character of Frankie Dupont and the job description Private Investigator. Write all the different Private Investigator terms Frankie used such as, FFD (Federal Fingerprint Database), FDD (Fingerprint Diagnostic Device) and how Frankie analysed data. Now research independently or as a whole class the correct terminology and equipment private investigators use when solving cases. Your class could google, write to a Private Investigator, Skype, ring, visit or have as a guest speaker, someone in the field.

Create a Venn diagram showing the differences and similarities between Frankie Dupont Private Investigator and a real Private Investigator.

frankie 5

As a follow up activity- ask students to think of a job. Now, write an imaginative story about a person in this role using imaginative equipment to complete their job.

Activity 3

Be a detective – Guess the characters’ role.

Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Identify characteristic features used in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to meet the purpose of the text (ACELY1690) Identify and explain characteristic text structures and language features used in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to meet the purpose of the text (ACELY1701 Analyse strategies authors use to influence readers (ACELY1801)

I think this is my favourite part of Julie Anne Grasso’s writing. I love the names of her characters, and it would be a great pre-reading activity. Use the worksheet, Character Guess Who? Ask students to connect the character names with the role they think they play in the book. After they have read the activity confirm how many they answered correctly.

frankie 1

The author’s skill in drawing readers in to the mystery and the page-turning ability of wanting readers to find out what happened to Kat is all down to the structure of the book. As a whole class look at the basic structure of a mystery novel. Have a go at planning a mystery using the template provided.

frankie 2

Remember to encourage children to think about the names they give their characters.

Activity 4

Illustrate your comprehension.

Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts (ACELY1692) Use comprehension strategies to analyse information, integrating and linking ideas from a variety of print and digital sources (ACELY1703) Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (ACELY1713)

Julie Anne Grasso has used illustrations to highlight sections of the book. These illustrations are detailed and reinforce the storyline.

Split the book up into scenes asking each child to illustrate their particular scene. This gives teachers a chance to check the comprehension levels of students and students a chance to visualise a set scene in the book.

These illustrations can then be placed as a story board around the classroom.

General themes.

There are many themes which run through this book which could be discussed with students. For example:

  • Career opportunities – What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Family Tree – Frankie and his dad shared the same interest in investigating, interview your family and see whether there are common jobs/interests/hobbies throughout your family.
  • Architecture – to build a building what steps do you need to go through? Are you allowed to build whatever you want, wherever you want?
  • Fantasy – another time, place, realm. Discover other fantasy books.

I like the underlying theme of ‘ never give up’ Frankie had to believe in himself to get the job done. He was questioned by adults about the techniques he used and the experience he had in the field. It would have been easy for Frankie to have left the investigation to others but he had belief in himself that he could do it.

What an inspiring book to give to kids.

For free PDF copies of the Frankie Dupont activities:

Activity One : Be a Word Detective.
Activity Two: Character Guess Who?
Activity Three: Plan your own Mystery Story.

Click on this link

Activity Sheets Frankie Dupont

To purchase a copy of Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor by Julie Anne Grasso click on one of the following links.

or visit the author Julie Anne Grasso’s website or Facebook page

Please find my other Educational Reviews and activities based on books by Australian authors at

or find me on Facebook

If you are a published author who would like an Educational Review based on your book, please send me an email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *