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Starred Review. Grade 5–7—Intellectually gifted but socially aloof from her seventh-grade peers, Emma-Jean is nonetheless happy with her life. She has positive relationships with several adults, a number of interests to pursue, and the memory of her late father to inspire her. Her life inexorably changes after a chance encounter with a classmate leads her to become a problem-solver without realizing the ripple effect that her actions will have. Readers will be fascinated by Emma-Jean's emotionless observations and her adult-level vocabulary (e.g., palliative). Tarshis pulls off a balancing act, showing the child's detachment yet making her a sympathetic character. Exceptionally fleshed-out secondary characters add warmth to the story, including the school janitor who unobtrusively resolves all manner of middle school drama. The plot meshes well with the setting, a close-up of school social life. Future Jane Austen fans will appreciate the subtle humor, minute observations, and snapshot of the unwritten class structure that governs 12-year-old behavior. Get this into the right hands by recommending it as a read-aloud for kids lucky enough to be read to in later elementary or early middle school.—Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
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Supremely logical Emma-Jean has little in common with her seventh-grade classmates, and she observes their often-tumultuous social interactions with a detached, scientific curiosity. But when kindly Colleen seeks her advice in dealing with the school's resident mean girl, Emma-Jean is moved to apply her analytical mind--and a bit of desktop forgery--to aid her classmate. Pleased with the initial results of her meddling and a newfound sense of belonging, Emma-Jean sets out righting the everyday wrongs of middle-school life with some surprising success. Told from the alternating viewpoints of ultrarational Emma-Jean and sensitive, approval-seeking Colleen, a few key events of the story seem implausible, such as a shady car dealership exchanging a new car for a lemon after receiving one of Emma-Jean's flimsy forgeries. Still, the story ends on an inspiring up note, with Emma-Jean attending her first school dance and developing tentative friendships with her fellow classmates, which should please fans. Kristen McKulski
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Emma-Jean and the tale of how she ultimately fell out of a tree, is a delight. This is a refreshing take on navigating friendships and supporting others through the hardships of... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Rita Kenefic
i love this book. it makes you think about how people get dragged into others lives to help them without realizing that they're only temporarily fixing the problem. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Run26.2_Swim50
I chose this rating because it was a amazing book I recommend this book to all of the people who feel that they are different
this was an amazing book.
I saw this book and wondered how it could have a reading level across three grades. It appeared to be at a 3rd grade level but posted at 5th grade level. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Joseph P. Mugivan
A heartwarming story of a unique 7th grade girl, the smartest and strangest girl at school, who believes logic can answer all of life’s problems and decides to help others but... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Genetta Adair
This book was outstanding! I (as an 11 year old girl) find it extremely easy to relate lots of my peers with the characters in this book! Read morePublished on February 22, 2013 by Lucy Machlan