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Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (Emma Jean Lazarus #1)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  3,466 Ratings  ·  426 Reviews
Emma-Jean Lazarus is a lovable oddball who thinks she can use logic to solve the messy everyday problems of her seventh-grade peers. It's easy: she just follows the example of her late father, a brilliant mathematician. Of course, the more Emma-Jean gets involved, the messier her own life gets. Suddenly she's no longer the person standing on the outside of all social inter ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Dial (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jennifer
Aug 01, 2007 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidbooks
5 Reasons why Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree is a strange book ( strange adj : extraordinary, remarkable, singular)

5. Emma-Jean dressed like Albert Einstein for Halloween.
4. Colleen's pastel pink bedroom makes her feel like she's trapped in an old dog's ear.
3. Poet Mary Oliver, To Kill a Mockingbird and the Pittsburgh Steelers, all mentioned in the same book. Now how often does that happen?
2. The book never tries to label Emma-Jean. She just is who she is.
1. The ending hints to
...more
Kate
Nov 14, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing
This story begins Emma Jean Lazarus opens a door. Literally, it's the door to the girls' bathroom at school, where she finds Colleen Pomerantz (a kind, sensitive girl and not one of the usual 7th grade criers) sobbing over a problem with a friend. Figuratively, it's the door we all open when we make the sometimes scary decision to reach out to another human being. This is a big deal for all of us, but especially for Emma Jean, who's one of those brilliant, wise-beyond-her-years kids who seems to ...more
Melissa
May 25, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it
A sweet little book about an ultra-logical girl (and let's have a shout-out here for the mathematically minded girls in the house, or a representation of girls on the autism spectrum, as Emma-Jean seems to be). Thanks for the recommendation, Becca (who described this to me as a "nice book about nice people" and she was, as always, spot-on).
Brandi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Vegan
May 09, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 10 & all the way up, especially for anyone who's ever felt like an oddball or been fond of one
This book is utterly delightful, sweet, and very smart. Emma-Jean is an endearingly strange (strange = extraordinary, remarkable, singular) character. Colleen and the other middle school kids are also interesting, and I appreciate how the adult characters are more fleshed out than they are in some kids’ books. Emma-Jean's bird was yet another appealing character.

It's an almost perfect little book. I do have a slight quibble with how neatly certain events got wrapped up at the end, but I just lov
...more
Tamara
Sep 02, 2007 Tamara rated it really liked it
As a juvie fiction novel, this one is a definite gem. It contains simple language and a simple story, but with wonderful details.

The voices of the two main characters ring true. Although their later-life labels may be obsessive compulsive and worrywart, their 7th grade selves are simply endearing. Emma Jean, who is direct and logical, doesn't quite get her overly emotional classmates, but when Colleen asks for help, Emma Jean comes to the rescue.

Though the same dilemmas of a reinvented family
...more
Ani
Aug 27, 2008 Ani rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: current and former smart kids who don't quite fit in, math-lovers
Recommended to Ani by: Brookline Booksmith
Shelves: kids
This book really celebrates the balance between individuality and finding your place among others, between solitude and letting other people into your life. The heroine is a bright young girl who doesn't fit in with her peers, yet doesn't lament this fact or even really let it bother her. She just watches and observes. Her approach to life (rational, logical), leads her to take on different solutions to her peers' problems. Emma-Jean is unique among children's books heroines- even those smart, i ...more
Rebecca
Sep 14, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 4th grade and up
I think the simple books are really the best, and the hardest to do well: Rules, Missing May, The First Part Last, The Hundred Dresses, Weetzie Bat. And Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree. 7th grader Emma Jean is a most unusual character who takes everything at face value, and her almost-friend Colleen is a wonderfully recognizable character who worries about everything. When Emma Jean is finally brought out of her shell by Colleen's plight with bully Laura, her desire to anonymously solve all ...more
Natalie
Feb 04, 2008 Natalie rated it really liked it
I think I sat next to Emma-Jean at lunch.
katie
Dec 11, 2008 katie rated it really liked it
Emma-Jean is not like most middle school students- she prefers study trees and other flora. She uses logic and rationale to solve problems. When she finds Claudia crying in the girls room- her life slowly begins to change. Emma-Jean believes she can solve Claudia's problem with her best friend Kaitlyn. When she proves to be successful, Emma-Jean believes she can solve other's problems, like finding a wife for her mothers border Vikram or solving Will's science grade issue. Then Claudia's solutio ...more
Vonnie
Sep 18, 2013 Vonnie rated it really liked it
audiobook

I needed a fun, light, and quick audio to listen to during my hectic schedule. I came across this middle school book and became interested in its title. This book was very enjoy and quite cute.

Emma-Jean was an interesting character. She was very intelligent and her manner of speaking showed that she was well educated for a seventh grader. Emma-Jean was also a social outcast because of her "weirdness." Though it does not explain what Emma-Jean has, it lead me to believe that the was a
...more
Heidi
Feb 19, 2010 Heidi rated it really liked it
Grades 6-9
Rebecca Caudill Nominee 2010
Audiobook read by Mamie Gummer

Emma-Jean Lazarus, an unusual seventh grader grieving the loss of her brilliant father, learns about the subtleties of friendship, love, and solving problems. Tarshis accurately captures the various voices and conflicts of middle school. Readers will be able to feel the turmoil of the characters trying gain acceptance with their peers while trying to discover their identity.

Because its exploration of bullying and acceptance, th
...more
Lisa
Jul 03, 2008 Lisa rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deana
Oct 06, 2007 Deana rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Emma-Jean is a funny and realistic narrator. This book has been touted as a "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" for the reader set and I can certainly see the parallels. However Emma-Jean is never painted as autistic although it's quite possible that she's somewhere on the spectrum of diagnosis. Emma-Jean is an avid observer of her classmates, her mother and while she doesn't participate in the relationships around her she tries her best to make things work out the way that she f ...more
ashley
Nov 28, 2011 ashley rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book because it helped me realize that just because someone is an oddball like Emma-Jean doesnt mean that they cant be a good friend to have. I have more friends now than I had before the book and they are awesome it is a really good book and i would recomend it to anyone that wants a book that they can feel like theyre standing right there. I am currently reading the second book in the series Emma-Jean Lazarus fell in love. I love how the author really pulls you in and that ...more
Tiffany
Tarshis has a brilliant pen. Her sentences are simple yet lure you to continue reading. Something very direct yet mesmerizing. She uses the multiple voices narration, switching between Emma-Jean and Colleen. Emma-Jean is a conscientious studious child with an affinity to nature as well as well loved by both her parents, one of which passed away in a car accident, her father. Although she usually does not get emotionally involved with the students at William Gladstone Middle School, seeing Collee ...more
Brandon O'Neill
Aug 22, 2011 Brandon O'Neill rated it really liked it
Shelves: youthlit
I will finish the middle school summer reading list. I will! This book was checked out quite a bit last year and I see why. It was a really enjoyable read, alternating between 2 middle school girls - Emma Jean who takes everything very literally and is analytical, and Colleen, a nice girl in the class who wants to please everyone. A quick read with a good story and interesting characters - a great summer read.
Jess
Sep 24, 2007 Jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: juv, middle-school
A quick, fun read. The tone of the prose changes completely depending on the point of view, the characters feel solid and real, even when we only have glimpses of them, and I ended up with a craving for curry. I certainly see a lot of myself in Emma-Jean...

The characters are 7th graders and it deals with the complexities of the middle-school landscape, but it's clean and appropriate for younger ages as well.
Jen
Apr 15, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing
This is a terrific middle-grade novel about a smart, logical girl who's always stayed separate from her peers. She tries to analyze their behavior almost like Jane Goodall studying chimps. When a nice girl is crying in the bathroom, Emma-Jean tries to solve her problem and is sucked into the politics of middle school. There are vivid supporting characters too - her favorite teacher, her late father, her bird, her mom and their Indian boarder. There's a lot of hope in this book even as it tackles ...more
Gretchen
Jul 18, 2012 Gretchen rated it liked it
Although this was a kids book, it was entertaining. It did not take me long to read, just picked it up at the library because it sounded fun and wanted to find something Char might like. It was a book that would keep her entertained, although not some great piece of literature.

Leora
Sep 28, 2010 Leora rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 7th-grade-shelf
This was a very heart felt book.I read this in the summer.
It is a bout a girl who tries to help people with problems,but kind of mess's up in the middle.But fixe's it in the end and she actually fell out of the tree.
Susan
Apr 30, 2009 Susan rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my new favorites! Emma-Jean is such a great character. I love how her personality evolves as she discovers that she can't solve all of the problems at her school with her logical view on life.
Amy
Jan 05, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-books
Emma-Jean Lazarus is a lovable oddball who thinks she can use logic to solve the messy everyday problems of her seventh-grade peers. It's easy: she just follows the example of her late father, a brilliant mathematician. Of course, the more Emma-Jean gets involved, the messier her own life gets. Suddenly she's no longer the person standing on the outside of all social interactions. But perhaps that's a good thing?

If you took The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and Ida B . . . and He
...more
Nowheregirl
Jun 02, 2013 Nowheregirl rated it it was amazing
you just cant help but love Emma Jean Lazarus therefore love the book it was just too awesome.
on another note, she reminded me of sheldon lol
Heather
Dec 19, 2007 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-books, cover-lust
I love Emma Jean Lazarus, she is one of the most endearing, wonderful characters I have ever met in a book!
Alexandria Hiam
Emma-Jean Lazarus is such an interesting character. She doesn't quite fit in with the other kids in her school, and she's totally okay with that, in fact she's completely fine with that. She knows she's different, much like her father, and she prefers not to get mixed up with the other kids in school. All this changes one day when she is asked for help by a generally happy and really nice girl, Colleen. This starts a series of events that lead to Emma-Jean falling out of a tree and finding out s ...more
A
Emma-Jean Lazarus is such an interesting character. She doesn't quite fit in with the other kids in her school, and she's totally okay with that, in fact she's completely fine with that. She knows she's different, much like her father, and she prefers not to get mixed up with the other kids in school. All this changes one day when she is asked for help by a generally happy and really nice girl, Colleen. This starts a series of events that lead to Emma-Jean falling out of a tree and finding out s ...more
Payton
Dec 19, 2011 Payton rated it it was amazing
Really funny book! My favorite part was when she fell out of a tree!
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Mar 06, 2012 IndyPL Kids Book Blog rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-life
The kids at school think Emma-Jean is weird. Emma Jean thinks the kids at school are weird. The other kids are overly emotional and unpredictable and a lot of the time, what they do just doesn’t make sense to Emma-Jean! Sometimes, the kids are mean to each other on purpose. Sometimes, the kids don’t tell the truth about what they think or what they feel. For a practical mind like Emma-Jean, Middle Schoolers are just plain crazy.

At school Emma-Jean studies the kids from afar. She doesn’t really h
...more
Richie Partington
30 July 2007 EMMA-JEAN LAZARUS FELL OUT OF A TREE by Lauren Tarshis, Dial, March 2007, ISBN: 978-0-8037-3164-6

"It had been nearly two and a half years since Emma-Jean had climbed, but the motions came right back to her, as if they had been programmed into her limbs. She shimmied up the skinny trunk like her father had taught her, keeping her knees tight together. She grabbed the lowest branch, hoisting herself up in the manner of a gymnast mounting the uneven parallel bars. At several junctures,
...more
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Lauren Tarshis often wonders how she came to spend most of her waking moments thinking about disasters, as the author of the children's historical fiction series "I Survived." Each book takes readers into the heart of history's most thrilling and terrifying events, including the sinking of the Titanic, the Shark Attacks of 1916, Hurricane Katrina, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the San Francisco ear ...more
More about Lauren Tarshis...

Other Books in the Series

Emma Jean Lazarus (2 books)
  • Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love

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“Sometimes we must all fall out of a tree.” 10 likes
“Colleen had this idea -- a faded, crumpled, smudged idea -- that being nice counted for something.” 0 likes
More quotes…