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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree


Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree
By Lauren Tarshis

Emma-Jean is not like other seventh grade girls. She does not care if she's popular, if kids are teasing her, or even if people genuinely like her. Emma-Jean is one of those kids that is "strange" and very unlike her fellow students. She simply does not comprehend social behaviors well and ends up misjudging how to fix one girl's problem she is having with her friends.

Colleen is a sweet girl, the one who never thinks badly about another person - or when she does, feels awful about it. All in all, she is not a crier. That is exactly what Emma-Jean encounters her doing in the bathroom and it is in that moment that Emma-Jean decides to help the distressed Colleen. Only Emma-Jean goes about it entirely the wrong way - forging school notes and other such bad behaviors to help Colleen.

I listened to this book on audio. It's one of the nominated Rebecca Caudill books for Illinois. I have to say, it was cute but overall a strange book due to the characters in it. There's some other issues in the book, such as Emma-Jean's father dying when she was younger and typical bullying scenarios that don't effect Emma-Jean the way it would other children.

Overall, it was a so-so book. It was entertaining and made you think about why Emma-Jean thought the way she did. Definitely one of those books to make you think of the old nature vs nurture argument.

4/5 Roses


11 comments:

  1. Hi, been following your blog for a while now, mostly lurking. But I enjoy your reviews.

    We happen to have one of these Emma Jean Lazarus books in our school library (k-8th grade). The we have is Emma Jean Lazarus Falls in Love. It's been checked out a few times since coming into the library (this fall) and the students seem to like it - no one said the loved it (like twilight) but a few of the girls enjoyed it. I didn't realize there was another title. Makes this a series I guess. I would like to get this one for the Library, so I'll be checking out prices.

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  2. I enjoyed this book a lot. I thought Emma Jean may be a child with Aspergers Syndrome. It made a unique story and I went out and got a copy of Emma Jean Lazarus Falls in Love (the sequel) as soon as I finished it.

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  3. I haven't read the book, but my first thoughts after reading your review were that the character might have Asperger's Syndrome (like Icedream did) OR that the author took a few courses in childhood psychology and behavioral disorders in college. Is that a strange reaction? I might try this one, just because I do seem to gravitate towards the bizarre. Nice review!

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  4. This sounds horrible. Or maybe I'm just tired and shouldn't read book reviews when I'm tired. :)
    Alright, but I bet you lose something when you listen to it instead of read it. I can never seem to like a book when I've listened to it instead.

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  5. Thanks for an honest review. What shame it was not a much better book. Sounds disappointing.

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  6. Hmm this book sounds interesting. I may have to look into finding it at the library to see what I think of it.

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  7. This book sounds...different. Not a bad thing. Might have to check this one out of the library and give it a shot. Thanks for the review.

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  8. The characters sound intriguing. I think it's refreshing to read about people who are different instead of your usual run of the mill stereotypes.

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  9. I've never heard of this book.

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  10. It's too bad that you didn't like this that much. Just from your review I'd have to agree with some others and say that it sounds like Emma Jean may have Asperger's, but I think something like that would come up in the book at some point. If only so you realize the character isn't 'different' for no apparent reason.

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  11. I love the title of the book. This might need to be a library checkout rather than book to own, though.

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