Alyssa Calhoun's Reviews > Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis
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's review
Jun 20, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: childrens-choice-2011
Read from June 20 to 21, 2011

Emma-Jean Lazarus is a strange 7th grade girl. She doesn't understand any of her peers and finds them to have very messy lives. Typically, she stays out of their lives, and doesn't consider any of them as friends. However, one day she finds Colleen, the nicest girl in the school, crying in the bathroom. Emma-Jean, who only sees things in a logical manner, decides that she can solve Colleen's problem. So she does just that. She liked helping Colleen so much that she decides to help others, as well. But soon, Emma-Jean sees that helping people only intertwines her in their messy lives, and soon she has caused more problems than good. She isn't used to feeling so much regarding other people. After her dad passed away 2 years before, she stopped letting people into her life, and stopped being emotional. Everything was logical. But now she has a mess, and somehow, she has to make things right again.

Overall, the characters in this book are entirely unbelievable. They just don't make sense. No 7th grade girl would be like Emma-Jean, with the exception perhaps of an instance of Asperger's, which isn't mentioned. Also, the intended audience, middle grades, would be entirely bored and see through the fake characters. Perhaps this would be best in the hands of a 4th or 5th grader. There was a lot of potential here, but the story was forced. There is another Emma-Jean book, called Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love, which picks up at the end of this book. Maybe it explores the characters at a deeper level and ties up some of the loose endings this book doesn't.

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