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Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  31 reviews
“An excellent addition to middle grade collections.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

After being shipped off to stay with her aunt and uncle in Nowheresville, Pennsylvania, city girl Effie Starr Zook stumbles upon a mystery that leads her to an old family feud in this “accessible and exciting” (School Library Journal, starred review).

A rich girl from New York City
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
As our students begin to refine research skills, we direct them to create their own set of questions about a topic before starting their research. Effie Starr Zook does just that when her parents drop their NYC sophisticated daughter off in the country with her aunt and uncle. Sensing very quickly that there is a feud going on between the neighbors, and secrets abound, Effie wants to discover the answers to the secrets, in this rural Pennsylvania town. This is a high energy mysterious romp Effie ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
What will happen when Effie Starr Zook's parents take their solar-powered plane for a ride? Why do the Zooks and the Yoders have bad blood? Who is Mr. Odbody? And who was his grandmother? What are Effie's aunt and uncle worried about?

These (and many, many more) are the questions Effie Starr Zook asks.
Ms. Yingling
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Because Effie's parents are trying to fly a solar airplane around the world, she has to spend the summer in a small town in Pennsylvania with her Aunt Clare and Uncle Ted. Life is pretty slow and boring, but she does get out to investigate a bit and meet the quirky people in town. A kid her age, Moriah Yoder, wants to befriend her, but his father is set against it, claiming there is bad blood between their families. No one wants to explain any of this to Ef
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Effie Starr Zooks likes asking questions, and when she is sent to stay with her relatives in a PA small town, she has to figure out a mystery where none of the grownups will answer her questions. Are grownups always right? I love that at the end she finds inspiration in an adult who gets paid to ask questions (a journalist), and I like that part of the solution to the mystery involves discovering mixed-race cousins (because different races are just a social construct)
Maddie Schimonitz
Summary: Effie spent the summer on the Zook family farm with her aunt and uncle while her parents were flying the first solar plane. She meets two neighbor kids and learns that people around the area did not like her family. The father of the neighbor kids, Mr. Yoder, is a leader of a movement called Beards for America bases on Effie's great-grandfather, who was the original owner of the Zook farm. The two families do not speak to each other and Effie becomes curious. Effie asks questions but th ...more
Katherine M Pickering
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
While Effie’s parents are flying the first solar plane around the world, she is spending her summer on the Zook family farm with her aunt and uncle. Effie’s great-grandfather was the original owner of this farm.
When she meets two neighbor kids she learns that some people in this rural area are not fans of her family. The kids’ father, Mr. Yoder, is leader of a movement called Beards for America based on Effie’s great-grandfather’s “Precepts” and yet the two families aren’t on speaking
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Nothing really special. Some topics come up that are new to juvenile fiction: men getting credit for women's ideas and non traditional families. But it wasn't really discussed in fact the book could have gone a lot deeper and presented a much deeper read. Mildly entertaining but really lacked follow through. ...more
Goshen PL Childrens
I enjoyed this quick read. Effie reminds me of so many kids I know...the constant wondering. This to me is not a bad thing but shows an inquisitive mind! A promise of mystery and friendship keeps the reader engaged throughout the book.

Perfect as a read aloud!

For readers 2nd grade & up. Effie is a little older but the story can be for younger readers too.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Freeman has done an excellent job of delicately tackling the question of children not acknowledged by their father, without saying why. That central issue leads to families not speaking, a lawsuit over an inheritance, and mild retaliation taken. An outstanding discussion starter for intermediate and middle grades in populations where some children have distinctive family dynamics.
Cindy Dobrez
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2017-reads
Effie Starr Zook is a fun character in a quirky book that might appeal best to fans of Kate DiCamillo or Polly Horvath. I wouldn't mind reading another story with Effie asking the questions. Maybe Moriah can visit Effie in NYC? ...more
Melinda Bender
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn’t like a story about a family feud and mysterious clues about Effie’s famous inventor grandfather. Effie is going to figure out what’s going and she is going to need to ask a lot of questions if she wants any answers. Fun story that keeps you reading.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Boring. We ditched it 3/4 through
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great story for girls, but I'm going to try to lure in boys as well. ...more
Joy Lane
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j, race-religion
good book to recommend to young patrons
AR 4.7 and 5.0 pts
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2018
3.5 Stars
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-2021-mhl
Fast read - loved Effie's questions! ...more
Jenni Heins
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked this title. At time I felt Martha Freeman's storytelling was similar to the style of Kate DiCamillo. However, the content got a bit overwhelming and somewhat farfetched. ...more
Kaitlyn Ballenger
This was a good book, I have read better though. But it was a good mystery with a surprise ending, it kept me on my toes.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reviewed from ARC provided by Simon and Schuster.
I really enjoyed this book! Effie's voice came through loud and clear, and the wry humor kept me hooked all the way through. My one issue with this book is that the themes of racism and sexism felt underdeveloped. I understand where Freeman was trying to go, but it felt almost like an afterthought, or like she was trying to accomplish too much at once. However, that didn't prevent me from enjoying the book, and won't prevent me from recommending
Rorie Cox-steib
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would say it is closer to a 2 1/2. A fun read but unfortunately the voices of the children did not feel authentic. This had a tendency to pull me out of the story. Still very fun and light.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it liked it
I liked this book. I did not expect what happened at the end. That was a big surprise!
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review copy provided by NetGalley

Effie is plopped in the middle of rural Pennsylvania for the summer while her parents fly around the world in a solar-powered plane. At first, the summer looks bleak, but Effie is a master at uncovering the most interesting parts of a dull situation. She spends much of her time questioning those around her, trying to get to the bottom of whatever mystery there is to solve. She uncovers family secrets and examines the oddities all around her. It's hard not to like
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question was a delightful, quick read. It has everything a good children’s book should: adventure, potential peril, mystery and friendship. As an adult, I figured out most of the mystery before the end of the book, but I think children would be completely surprised. Most of all, I loved the bookstore and the friends the main character made. It’s amazing how big of an effect one young person can have on a town in one short summer!
T.J. Burns
I received a copy of this book from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
The first 2/3 of this book was delightful. Effie Zook is one of those noticing sorts of kids with a million questions. Her character and most of the others were fresh and interesting and the mysterious "grown up' secret was a nice plot device - until it was revealed. Then it felt like a different book to me with the secret being something that adults might care about far more than kids. I don't want to say more and spoil the ending but it felt mismatched to me and at least one element not very i ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good story. The mystery in the story kept me engaged. I loved Effie and her curiosity and independence. I also found the message refreshing (that children are capable people) and that having different ideas than someone else doesn't mean you can't like each other. Other important topics include race and women's equality. That's a lot to tackle in 200 pages but I think the author pulls it off!! I will recommend this book to 4th grade and up. ...more
Sarah Sammis
Per the afterword, the actual inventor of the barf bag was Gilmore Schjeldahl.
Oct 04, 2016 marked it as to-read
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this book for elementary school readers very entertaining. The main character stumbles upon a family mystery that I found to be a real page-turner. An adult reader likely will make the connections before a child, and the ending was decidedly simple and unrealistic in anything other than a children's book. Despite this, I still like how it all turned out and the message of the resolution. My 10yo also enjoyed it, although she found descriptions of the main character's genealogy a bit hard ...more
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