Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree” as Want to Read:
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,934 ratings  ·  398 reviews
Emma-Jean is experiencing something new and unsettling, but not entirely unpleasant. It's a fluttering in her heart when she imagines herself asking Will to the seventh-grade dance. Her best friend Colleen is worried that Will might laugh if Emma-Jean invites him. After all, Emma-Jean is a different kind of girl?certainly different from queen-bee Laura, who has always made ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published May 15th 2008 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jennifer
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
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
Brandi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Vegan
May 09, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Melissa
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).
Natalie
I think I sat next to Emma-Jean at lunch.
katie
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deana
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
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
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
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.
Gretchen
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.

Tamara the Librarian
Emma-Jean observes middle school from the sidelines-- almost like a scientist or psychiatrist. She's an odd bird who doesn't mind being on her own. Her life collides with Colleen's when E-J finds Colleen crying in the school bathroom about a situation with C's friends that upsets her. E-J decides to help Colleen solve this problem without Colleen realizing it. E-J's life changes forever once she decides to be more involved with the students in her school.

I found it a bit tiring reading the think
...more
Leora
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
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
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
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
I love Emma Jean Lazarus, she is one of the most endearing, wonderful characters I have ever met in a book!
Payton
Really funny book! My favorite part was when she fell out of a tree!
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
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
Kristina Lareau
The alternating POV provides a balance that would otherwise not be present if only one or the other girls were the POV characters. Having the two, as many of you have pointed out offers a moderation of extremes. While it is clear that Emma-Jean is the subject and protagonist, with most of the narrative from her POV, I still wonder why add Colleen.

I wonder where/if Emma-Jean is on the Autistic Spectrum. Her behavior and thoughts indicate that she is not just "strange" but that there might be some
...more
Emily
Emma-Jean is very logical; she’s Data logical, Spock logical. Now, if Data had to be a middle-school-girl, his head would immediately explode from the sheer illogicality. Luckily for Emma-Jean, she’s a little bit too dense, too insulated from the viciousness of middle school, to really understand her own social status. (This feels realistic to me; at least, it mirrors my own middle school experiences). So Emma-Jean is odd and happy in her oddness until she comes upon Colleen Pomerantz crying in ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Naked Mole-Rat Letters
  • The Thing about Georgie
  • Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me
  • A Crooked Kind of Perfect
  • The Dunderheads
  • Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning
  • Faith, Hope, and Ivy June
  • The Year the Swallows Came Early
  • Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff
  • A Drowned Maiden's Hair
  • Kimchi & Calamari
  • Home of the Brave
  • Millicent Min, Girl Genius
  • Wild Things
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (Alvin Ho, #1)
  • Clementine's Letter (Clementine, #3)
  • If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period
  • Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little

Other Books in the Series

Emma Jean Lazarus (2 books)
  • Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love
The Shark Attacks of 1916 (I Survived, #2) The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 (I Survived, #1) Hurricane Katrina, 2005 (I Survived, #3) The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 (I Survived, #4) The Attacks of September 11th, 2001 (I Survived, #6)

Share This Book

“Sometimes we must all fall out of a tree.” 8 likes
“Colleen had this idea -- a faded, crumpled, smudged idea -- that being nice counted for something.” 0 likes
More quotes…