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Share your Walking-to-School Stories

Five-time bestselling author Frank McKinney, well known for his deep creativity, boldly enters young reader fiction in this fantasy novel that is sure to race and gladden the hearts of readers of all ages. The story was inspired by the more than 1,500 walks (and counting) to school McKinney has shared with his daughter and her friends in real life. The one-mile daily odysseys through a dense rain forest, past an eerie nature preserve and over a rickety drawbridge, spawned wild tales that come to life in this thriller! Come along with Ppeekk and her friends into the fantastical world of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle...

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What's Dead Fred about?
 
Imagine walking to school and being terrified by a 50-foot prehistoric Megalodon shark living under an old drawbridge, discovering a 3-inch dead talking shiner fish, witnessing lunchboxes escorted by flying fish, all after stepping into the Good Luck Circle...

"An engaging and uplifting tale with more interesting characters than a Narnia adventure." - says Steve Alten, New York Times bestselling author of the Meg series

The 336-page story of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle was born from real-life Laura McKinney’s imaginative adventures on more than 1,500 walks to school. Over the last 10 years, since she was in pre-kindergarten, she has never been driven to school.

With her friends and her father, author Frank McKinney, she walks from their historic 77-year old beach cottage through a dense rain forest-like grove of tropical trees, past a eerie nature preserve, and over a rickety old drawbridge on the Intracoastal Waterway. These one-mile odysseys occur every single school day of her life.

Let Ppeekk, all her friends, Dead Fred, the evil Megalodon and his army of vicious crabs and blood-red remora fish take you on this fantastical journey...

"I had a wonderful time reading this along with my 10yr old Johanna. We made it even more fun by making different voices to go along with the characters. Johanna didn't want to stop reading and was disappointed to have to wait until the next night to continue.  To hear her yell with joy when Dead Fred came back to life was really a joy to me and I think it tells a story about life in general for children (and adults) about the challenges we all face in everyday life. From interacting with each other in the family, to making new friends, overcoming adversity, triumphs and the fact that there are always new challenges (megalodons) down the road." - Randell L. Grant 

...When thirteen-year-old Ppeekk (pronounced "Peekie”) Rose Berry moves from rural Indiana to sunny south Florida, she is forced to walk to school on her first day.

So what if her aloof father walks behind her? As an only child, she’s used to boring adults, or “coprolites” as she privately calls them.

Her walk turns into an eagerly anticipated adventure---rain, shine or hurricane.

Early in the school year, her favorite sandy path is being paved over with concrete. But hanging off the back of the concrete truck is a little old man no bigger than she is. He’s puffing on a pipe and, if the character on the Lucky Charms cereal box had a grandfather, the little man would be him.

As he climbs into the truck to drive away, he smiles and blows a smoke ring toward  Ppeekk. This smoke ring sparkles like a wreath of diamonds before it vanishes.

There at her feet is a strange petrified twig. She picks up the twig and draws a sweeping circle in the wet cement, trying to recall the brilliance of the smoke ring. 

The next day, after tossing a water balloon into what becomes the Good Luck Circle and then dancing inside, everything changes.

On the drawbridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, she finds a very small, very flat, very dead fish. When he comes to life in her hand, he has an amazing story to tell.

In the brilliant underwater world of High Voltage, manatees talk, starfish are the gate keepers, and practical-joking clownfish encourage children to launch their lunchboxes off the bridge.

Now the fiendish Megalodon, a 50-foot prehistoric shark, has laid siege to High Voltage and dethroned King Frederick the Ninth (whom Ppeekk calls “Dead Fred”).

The monster reigns amphibiously under the old drawbridge with his henchmen, the blood-red crabs and devil-like remora fish, whose suckers drain victims’ joy and imagination.

Worse yet, the same forces threatening the water are now seeping out, destroying the happiness, the sense of wonder, and the imaginations of their schoolmates, teachers, and families.

As she grows to know Dead Fred, she learns to trust and love him. Unlike her parents, he listens to her and counsels her.

Dead Fred trusts Ppeekk, too. In fact, he has a BIG favor to ask. Can she help him save High Voltage and the coveted Eternal Life Circle from the evil Megalodon?

Ppeekk and her friends use everything they’ve got to lure the evil Megalodon to his demise—exploding coconut bombs, strangler fig lassos, even themselves as human bait—to vanquish the beast and his rogue army.

In the climactic scene, they fight the battle of their lives in a Category-5 hurricane . . . Will they be able to save Dead Fred and High Voltage? Will they succeed in killing Megalodon and protect the life force represented by the Eternal Life Circle?

Will Bridget the nasty, cigar chomping bridgekeeper raise the mountainous drawbridge to keep her away from High Voltage, or lower it and allow her to pass?

Can she, sweet and gentle Ppeekk Rose Berry, who has never done anything overly adventurous, summon the courage to descend into this underwater world? Can she and her friends, rambunctious Mini Romey, brainy Quatro, Firecracker, Little Feet, G.J., Frizz, Mcflyo, Danimal do what Dead Fred needs her to do? 

Read Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle to find out!

 
Have A Dead Fred Day At Your Children's School!Have A Dead Fred Day At Your Children's School!
 

I would love to put together a "Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle Day" at your children's, grandchildren's or student's school!

I can assure you, it will be a day that your child and classmates will cherish forever!

What is a Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle Day?

As the bestselling author of the new young reader fantasy novel Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle (www.Dead-Fred.com), I have been traveling the country participating in "Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle Days" at many schools.

Due to the thrilling, yet uplifting and supremely inspirational message found in the book (which is what kids deserve to hear today), what we have found that really resonates with those who so love the Dead Fred story, is I and Ppeekk, the book's main character, actually come to your school to discuss the book!  

Prior to our visits, and to expand the children’s learning experience beyond the book, students can make their own Dead Fred things, like cards, posters, scenes, characters and other artwork as interpreted from the book.

One school wrote and performed an entire screenplay based upon the Dead Fred book.

Still others have shared the positive lessons they learned from the book in a short essay, and certain students are chosen to read their essays when we are there. Be creative!

None of the above is required at all, so if the faculty and students want to sit back and enjoy the afternoon – you are in for a treat!

Typically me and the book's main character, Ppeekk (pronounced Peekie) address the classes or assembly for 45 minutes to an hour, including Q & A.

If only part of your school has read the book we typically put that class or classes at the front of the room (assuming an assembly) so they can interact with me and Ppeekk, yet allow the rest of the children in attendance to hear and learn about the book and it's positive message.

Me and Ppeekk will also stay for lunch with your class if that is how the schedule works out.

 

 

Should students want to purchase their own copy of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle and have me and Ppeekk autograph it while we are there (which the children really love!), teachers or administrators send home a simple order form prior to our visit (feel free to ask - we will send you a sample).

Your children and their classmates and parents determine together if they want and deserve a book or books. They fill out the form, then return it to the school, along with payment just prior to our visit.

Dead Fred Day Teacher/Administrator TESTIMONIALS:

"Thank you so much for your incredible book, "Dead Fred, Flying Lunch Boxes and the Good Luck Circle" and your involvement in our "Dead Fred Day" at Carver Middle School. After our special day and reading your book, our students were inspired to create their own art garden Good Luck Circle, where every child can find their inner strength, just like the characters in your story.

During the garden project, our 300 "new" 6th graders read the book as a class and became totally engaged in the story and the project!  The Good Luck Circle and resulting art is a living, dynamic story where every child is reminded of the greatness within us all. Our Dead Fred Day still resonates with students and teachers." - Debbie Kaiser, PhD Carver Middle School 

"Bestselling author Frank McKinney coming to St. Andrews School and participating in our very own “Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes and the Good Luck Circle Day” has enriched the students’ minds, enlightened their hearts, and-most of all - inspired them to dream!

We really enjoyed having Frank and the star of the Dead Fred story, "Ppeekk,” at our school – what a surprise that was! We cannot wait for next year. I recommend all schools schedule their own “Dead Fred Day.” Click here for a short article that appeared in our newsletter. Your students will cherish the experience!" - Kristen Davis, St. Andrews School. 

"Recently I emailed Frank McKinney to learn more about his new bestseller, Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle. I received a quick reply explaining how the book was actually tailor fit for our students, ages 8-12.

Thrilled with the news, I scheduled a “Dead Fred Day.” Before Mr. McKinney arrived, the students learned about this local philanthropist who was inspired by his daughter (and their 1,500+ walks to school!) to write Dead Fred.

Oh, the students were very excited! After Mr. McKinney presented the background, history, and challenges of completing such a fantastic endeavor, the students asked questions. Well, there wasn't enough time in Mr. McKinney's “Dead Fred Day,” as our students were overcome with excitement to read Dead Fred... they were signing up, one after the other, for a chance to read the novel!

Thank you Mr. McKinney!! You delivered two amazing gifts to our class, YOUR NOVEL AND INSPIRATION!"
 - Ms. Shannon Schwartz, Language Arts Teacher, Village Academy, A K-12 Public School

 

Typically a guaranteed minimum order of 100 books, or a minimum donation of $2,500, made through our office is required to schedule a Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes and the Good Luck Circle Day at your school. Often these visits are underwritten by generous parents.

As a special bonus, Ppeekk will also sit at a special table with your child and their friends as well!


Call me at 561.662.4503 if you want to learn more, or to schedule a date.

We would love to make a Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle Day a reality for your children, grandchildren or students!

Below is recent feature article resulting from a Dead Fred Day:

 

 

 
An Encrypted 3-Headed Treasure Hunt…?
 
Ppeekk and her friends invite you to play the exciting 3-Headed Treasure Hunt game and win the Grand Prize!
 
The Treasure Hunt
 
Ppeekk has hidden words inside the book to the titles of two other books written by me that were released at the same time as Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle.
 
The names of those books are The Tap and Burst This!.

Using those four words (The Tap & Burst This), Ppeekk has a challenging Treasure Hunt with exciting prizes for you:

Can you locate the page numbers in Dead Fred where the two words “The Tap” and “Burst This” can be found? The two words for each title must be found in sequence. Clue #1: The words "The Tap" and "Burst This" (all 4 words) are not found together. Clue #2: They don’t have to be capitalized.

Now for the “3-Headed” part of the challenge. To be eligible for the Grand Prize below you must perform the same Treasure Hunt in the other two books written by me, The Tap and Burst This! 

You must find the words “Dead Fred” and “The Tap” inside the Burst This! book and find “Dead Fred” and “Burst This” inside The Tap book. Another clue: The words are harder to find in The Tap and Burst This!
 

 The Grand Prize:
 
If you think you’ve found the treasure in the form of all six of the book titles in the three different books then email me the page numbers for each book and the sentence or sentences the titles were used in. My email address is Frank@Frank-McKinney.com.
 
Include your name and phone number. You may fax the info as well to 561.623.6455. Be sure to include your proof of purchase for all three books. You can buy The Tap and Burst This from us here: http://www.frank-mckinney.com/books.asp, at Amazon, other online retailer or at your favorite bookstore.
 
On August 1, 2012 Ppeekk will pick one winner who will receive the following Grand Prize sometime after school starts in 2012:
 
1. Round trip airfare for you and one of your parents from your home state to Delray Beach, Florida (if you are located outside Florida).

2. Accommodations for the two of you on the ocean for two nights in Delray Beach.

3. Just like in the book, you will get to walk with Ppeekk, Mini-Romey, Quatro and me (Edward) along the same path they walk to school!

4. Just like in the book, you will get to meet the actual Dead Fred, maybe even Megalodon!

5. Just like in the book, you will get to launch a lunchbox off the famous drawbridge!

6. Just like in the book, you will get to step inside the Good Luck Circle!

7. Just like in the book, you will get to meet the mean, cigar-chomping bridgekeeper, Bridget.

8. Just like in the book, you will get a 20-second shopping spree at 7-11! That’s right, grab all the candy, ice cream or Slurpees you can in 20 seconds!

9. That night you and your parents will be treated to a pizza party with us where Ppeekk and her friends will discuss stories about the book.

BONUS PRIZE: Did you know that I wrote all of my books, including Dead Fred from my treehouse "office" perched 23 feet above the Atlantic Ocean in Delray Beach, Florida?

That's right, my oceanfront treehouse office is connected to our home via 50-foot suspension bridge. It is a secret and special place. 

The treehouse has 12 windows overlooking the ocean, air-conditioning, a bathroom with sink, shower and toilet, a loft with a king size bed and flat screen TV and a bamboo desk.

As a BONUS to the GRAND PRIZE, you will have an opportunity to visit and experience the treehouse with me and Ppeekk!

So... carefully review the Treasure Hunt instructions and clues, find the titles in all three books, send in your page numbers, sentences and proof of purchase for all three books and GOOD LUCK!

 
Share Your Walking To School Stories
Dead Fred Interactive Blog

Who is your favorite character and why?

Which character are you most like?

What’s your idea for a new villain in the next Dead Fred book?

This is an interactive BLOG where you can share your stories, thoughts and ideas...

 
 
 
Click Below To See Dead Fred on NBC TV
 
 
Having trouble viewing? Click here to view on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VhwU8xE2l4
 
 
 
Having trouble viewing? Click here to view on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbLmRkyjoN8
 

Having trouble viewing? Click here to view on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02leNUTYJxM
 
Read Dead Fred Book Reviews

The newest book review of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle by Carma Spece of the well known magazine "The Genre Traveler"

Read the most recent review!>> 

A July book review of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle review in Motherhood Later...Than Sooner blog:

Read the new review!>>

A recent Dead Fred book review in Good Living Magazine (turn to page 13):

Read a new review!>>

New book review of Frank's novel Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle - just in time for summer gift giving!

"Ppeekk's Courageous Adventure" - a unique interview/review format of Frank's new book Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

A Cherokee Connection book review of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle compared to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson!

The MOST thorough book review to date of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

A "My Red Apron" book review of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

Stories For Children magazine reviews Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

Next Twilight, Potter or Narnia? Read a new book review of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

Pacer Books reviews Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

View this review>>

Hampton.com's "The Bookshelf" book review of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

View this review>>

EVliving.com book review of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

View this review>> 

Prominent book reviewer "Feathered Quill" reviews Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle  

View this review>>

Examiner.com's "Horror Happenings" reviews Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

View this review>>

Read a recent review by "Stories For Children Magazine" of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

View this review>>

Read a review of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle by Wayne Walker, prominent reviewer for HomeSchoolBuzz.com

View this review>>

Hot Indie News: a review of McKinney's Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes and the Good Luck Circle

View this review>>

 
Here are two exciting chapters for your enjoyment titled The Strangler Fig Battle & The Good Luck Circle 
     
Above please find ordering information for Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle, as well as the other two new releases from Frank McKinney titled The Tap and Burst This! Frank McKinney's Bubble-Proof Real Estate Strategies.