Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

 
(i)

 

Outcast finds her niche in smart, funny read.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some risky behaviors (writing fake letters, climbing a dangerously tall tree) don't have negative consequences. Junior high life is depicted very optimistically; in real life, Emma-Jean would probably be subject to a lot of ridicule.

Violence & scariness

A kid falls out of a tree.

Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book addresses the death of a parent. Also, Emma-Jean writes several fake letters with no consequences.

What's the story?

Unlike many kids in junior high, Emma-Jean is happy... in a way. By becoming a combination of \"Super Not-Care Girl\" and \"Nancy freakin' Drew,\" Emma-Jean can closely observe the kids around her, even if she can't count any of them among her friends. One of Emma-Jean's best friends had been her father who died two years before. Since then, she has detached herself from the kids at school. That's why it's all the more surprising when Colleen Pomerantz, a girl in her class, confides in her. On a whim, Emma-Jean helps out Colleen, only to set in motion a chain of events that will mean Emma-Jean might have to leave the safety of her outsider status and join the chaos of Gladstone Middle School.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If only we could all have a friend like Emma-Jean Lazarus. Or at least be like Emma-Jean, whom fellow student Colleen Pomerantz thinks of enviously as "Super Not-Care Girl." Emma-Jean doesn't care what the other kids think of her, and it's a good thing too, because everyone thinks she's really strange. When her mom suggests they look up "strange" in the dictionary, they find an apt definition of Emma-Jean: "extraordinary, remarkable, singular." All words, incidentally, that describe Lauren Tarshis' new book.

Tarshis omits the hackneyed formula of the junior high melodrama where boys, crushes, and notes read aloud in class rule the day. Instead she addresses real problems kids face at school: friends who tend to bully or teachers who seem to have it "in" for you. Better still, the style of writing reflect's Emma-Jean's train of thought which is intelligent, logical, and humorous; the book is fun without ever feeling frivolous.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Emma-Jean copes with the death of her father. Does moving on with life mean you have to forget about the person who died? Also, do you know anyone at school who doesn't have friends? How are they treated? How do you treat them?

Book details

Author:Lauren Tarshis
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Dial Books
Publication date:March 1, 2007
Number of pages:199
Read aloud:8
Read alone:9

This review of Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old September 10, 2010
 

Inspiring and Emotional (For me!)

The best book ever! I feel so misunderstood and Emma-Jean does a great job of showing, "Nobody's a sweet as a peach."
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byecv2000 November 13, 2011
 

"Unique" By someone age 10

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell out of a Tree is an great book based on two girls who experience an event beggining in the girls bathroom. The two girls find themselves twisted in a problem that only Emma-Jean could have the solution too, but even Emma-Jean is having trouble solving this one. Interfering with her fellow pupils is not Emma-Jean's speciallty. Will Emma-Jean be able to solve the problem and most of all, will she ever experience the thrill of a positive result again? Readers ages 9-11 will enjoy this warming story about two girls discovering they're place in the world.
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 October 20, 2012
 

emma jean lazarus fell out tree

is fun without ever feeling frivolous. Families can talk about how Emma-Jean copes with the death of her father. Does moving on with life mean you have to forget about the person who died? Also, do you know anyone at school who doesn't have friends? How are they treated? How do you treat them?
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence

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