Saturday, August 25, 2007

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, by Lauren Tarshis

Just like Clementine, I think reading the whole first chapter of this novel will work well as a "hook" for fifth and sixth grade readers. I, for one, was hooked by the end of the first paragraph.

What I loved about this book: I am not like Emma-Jean, at all. I could relate much easier to Colleen, the other character whose head you get to dwell in. Like Colleen, (but very much unlike Emma-Jean), I care a lot about what people think of me. I hate being bullied, and I HURT when people are cruel. But even though I couldn't relate that well to Emma-Jean, and she kinda seemed like a robot at times, I still adored her. It's a cool thing to realize you can really LIKE someone whose personality is very different than your own. I came to understand and believe in her reality and I wanted very badly for things to turn out well for her.

I wonder what kids will make of this book. If and when I get some data on that question, I'll let you know. And if I ever have a girl baby, I love the name Emma-Jean. A little Mormon history combined with a nod to my Dear Husband's mom. Perfect.

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