5 Star BOOK REVIEW
The stories of tenants who lived in a building located in Buffalo, New York for the past one hundred and twenty years come alive in Frances R. Schmidt’s heart-warming historical fiction novel, Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams. The novel is told through Fred’s voice who explores Buffalo and America’s history via the experiences of its tenants. Fred is a commercial building completed in 1900. The tenants who make the building their home arrive in New York in the hope of finding freedom from political, economic, and religious oppression. To Abigail, the first owner of the building, and many other tenants to come, Fred is a representation of freedom, financial stability, and hope. Alienated by her family, Abigail pays for the construction of Fred where she lives happily with her partner and child.


The story includes multiple themes. It revisits the past and compares it to the present. Freedom is a predominant theme in the novel. Other themes include tragedy, romance, and resilience. The characters and their backgrounds are fascinating. Patricia and Kathleen Duffy are Irish twins committed to the suffrage movement. Russian Jews Samuel and David work hard to establish a life for their families in America and become activists in the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America after experiencing heartbreaking loss, and Fred learns of the brutal treatment of African slaves through a tenant’s great-great-grandmother’s journals. The families also stand with and support each other through challenging times such as during the Great Depression and during different wars. Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams by Frances R. Schmidt is a uniquely told, well-researched novel that recounts events in American history through the experiences of intriguing and brave characters.


~Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-05-20T21:06:29+00:00

~Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

The stories of tenants who lived in a building located in Buffalo, New York for the past one hundred and twenty years come alive in Frances R. Schmidt’s heart-warming historical fiction novel, Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams. The novel is told through Fred’s voice who explores Buffalo and America’s history via the experiences of its tenants. Fred is a commercial building completed in 1900. The tenants who make the building their home arrive in New York in the hope of finding freedom from political, economic, and religious oppression. To Abigail, the first owner of the building, and many other tenants to come, Fred is a representation of freedom, financial stability, and hope. Alienated by her family, Abigail pays for the construction of Fred where she lives happily with her partner and child. The story includes multiple themes. It revisits the past and compares it to the present. Freedom is a predominant theme in the novel. Other themes include tragedy, romance, and resilience. The characters and their backgrounds are fascinating. Patricia and Kathleen Duffy are Irish twins committed to the suffrage movement. Russian Jews Samuel and David work hard to establish a life for their families in America and become activists in the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America after experiencing heartbreaking loss, and Fred learns of the brutal treatment of African slaves through a tenant’s great-great-grandmother’s journals. The families also stand with and support each other through challenging times such as during the Great Depression and during different wars. Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams by Frances R. Schmidt is a uniquely told, well-researched novel that recounts events in American history through the experiences of intriguing and brave characters.
Reader Review
I found the use of Fred as an observer and narrator to be a creative approach in presenting immigration to Buffalo’s West Side. The depiction of a succession of renters was enlightening and informative. It was  also touching in how Fred described their lives, their happiness, their sorrows as they lived in the building and then  moved to their own homes. I appreciated how Fred presented the challenges facing American groups find in the home and Fred. How individuals helped one another and cared for one another was quite touching. Fran presented sufficient historical markers such as the Immigration Act of 1924, the great depression, World War II to give historical reference to your novel’s narrative. The description of individuals was insightful and heartwarming, especially as they acted to assist one another in their effort to become Americans. Fred’s observations of his tenants was an effective tool for the reader to understand the challenges facing both foreign immigrants and migrants from the South to the North. I particularly found effective use of citing familiar landmarks such as Lafayette High School, the Buffalo Library, Bethlehem Steel and many other familiar sites on the West Side and other Buffalo institutions.

As I read, I forgot that I was reading a novel. I thought I was reading an historical account by an astute observer of individuals, often immigrants offering a meal and assistance to others, often of different nationalities and races.

Vincent L. Marando

Professor Emeritus

The University of Maryland, College Park

Forthcoming Book: “When Gertrude Visited, I Wasn’t Home”

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-04-21T15:26:15+00:00

Vincent L. Marando

Professor Emeritus

The University of Maryland, College Park

Forthcoming Book: “When Gertrude Visited, I Wasn’t Home”

I found the use of Fred as an observer and narrator to be a creative approach in presenting immigration to Buffalo’s West Side. The depiction of a succession of renters was enlightening and informative. It was  also touching in how Fred described their lives, their happiness, their sorrows as they lived in the building and then  moved to their own homes. I appreciated how Fred presented the challenges facing American groups find in the home and Fred. How individuals helped one another and cared for one another was quite touching. Fran presented sufficient historical markers such as the Immigration Act of 1924, the great depression, World War II to give historical reference to your novel’s narrative. The description of individuals was insightful and heartwarming, especially as they acted to assist one another in their effort to become Americans. Fred’s observations of his tenants was an effective tool for the reader to understand the challenges facing both foreign immigrants and migrants from the South to the North. I particularly found effective use of citing familiar landmarks such as Lafayette High School, the Buffalo Library, Bethlehem Steel and many other familiar sites on the West Side and other Buffalo institutions. As I read, I forgot that I was reading a novel. I thought I was reading an historical account by an astute observer of individuals, often immigrants offering a meal and assistance to others, often of different nationalities and races.
Reader Review
“Fred” certainly is a voice needed now. The zeitgeist of our country at this present time is so negative we need to be reminded of what it is to be human. Thank you “Fred” for reminding me on each page of the human elements of kindness, understanding, hope, forgiveness, and love. Most importantly is the guidance and inspiration provided by our parents, family members, and friends. It is through them we gain the virtues of human beings. So many lessons to be learned from “Fred” sharing his stories. I look forward to seeing this book on the cinematic screen one day. Enough of robots and automatons---time to get back to real life. Thank you Fran for your story.

~Teresa

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-04-21T15:42:26+00:00

~Teresa

“Fred” certainly is a voice needed now. The zeitgeist of our country at this present time is so negative we need to be reminded of what it is to be human. Thank you “Fred” for reminding me on each page of the human elements of kindness, understanding, hope, forgiveness, and love. Most importantly is the guidance and inspiration provided by our parents, family members, and friends. It is through them we gain the virtues of human beings. So many lessons to be learned from “Fred” sharing his stories. I look forward to seeing this book on the cinematic screen one day. Enough of robots and automatons---time to get back to real life. Thank you Fran for your story.
Reader Review
This book is wonderful, I couldn't put it down. Fran did a fantastic job of writing and researching Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

~Kathy T.

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-04-23T19:41:40+00:00

~Kathy T.

This book is wonderful, I couldn't put it down. Fran did a fantastic job of writing and researching Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Reader Review
This book was amazing!   I enjoyed catching glimpses into the lives of so many people spanning so many decades, but having something in common, Fred.

We forget the roots of Buffalo and why it is the way it is today.  It is because of these people who came to this area looking for a new start and a new life.   Fred provided some stability for them all.

The story reminds me of my experiences at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in NYC.  There, you are able to walk through buildings where countless families have lived and learn their stories.  As I read Fred, I was transported back to those old buildings.

I am looking forward to driving by Fred one day and giving him my best.

Thank you  Fred!

PS....It should be made into a play!

~Tiffany M.

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-04-30T14:31:48+00:00

~Tiffany M.

This book was amazing!   I enjoyed catching glimpses into the lives of so many people spanning so many decades, but having something in common, Fred. We forget the roots of Buffalo and why it is the way it is today.  It is because of these people who came to this area looking for a new start and a new life.   Fred provided some stability for them all. The story reminds me of my experiences at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in NYC.  There, you are able to walk through buildings where countless families have lived and learn their stories.  As I read Fred, I was transported back to those old buildings. I am looking forward to driving by Fred one day and giving him my best. Thank you  Fred! PS....It should be made into a play!
Reader Review
Fred Building of Dreams, this is one of those books that you can't put down, as I read each Chapter I really felt that I learned a lot about all of the immigrants that passed through or stayed on the West Side of Buffalo, NY.. This book Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams really shows how life should be lived and their is  also a lot of lessons to be learned in this book.

This book teaches us all about how all the nationalities got along, It did not matter what country you came from, or what the  color of your skin was. I cried at the end of the book.

I could read this book again.

~Sue

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-07-06T14:37:57+00:00

~Sue

Fred Building of Dreams, this is one of those books that you can't put down, as I read each Chapter I really felt that I learned a lot about all of the immigrants that passed through or stayed on the West Side of Buffalo, NY.. This book Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams really shows how life should be lived and their is  also a lot of lessons to be learned in this book. This book teaches us all about how all the nationalities got along, It did not matter what country you came from, or what the  color of your skin was. I cried at the end of the book. I could read this book again.
Reader Review
The fact that any building has a story to tell, I find "FRED" to be the one in a dozen, that I have visited or heard from, the most complex story of love, drama, sadness and yet amazing with many mysterious stories,  that perhaps only scratches the surface of "FRED's" history, and maybe with what we know from researchers and the author, allows our minds to wonder, and guess, what this extraordinary people gave to  "FRED'S" walls, and gives us an extended story that takes us to places where our hearts and minds have never been.

~JMO

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-09-28T17:35:14+00:00

~JMO

The fact that any building has a story to tell, I find "FRED" to be the one in a dozen, that I have visited or heard from, the most complex story of love, drama, sadness and yet amazing with many mysterious stories,  that perhaps only scratches the surface of "FRED's" history, and maybe with what we know from researchers and the author, allows our minds to wonder, and guess, what this extraordinary people gave to  "FRED'S" walls, and gives us an extended story that takes us to places where our hearts and minds have never been.
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