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I, Emma Freke

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,919 Ratings  ·  325 Reviews
I, Emma Freke is a charming search-for-identity story about Emma--the only "normal" member of her quirky family. While Emma desperately tries to find her niche, she discovers that perhaps it's better to be her own "freak" than someone else's Freke.
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Carolrhoda Books (first published 2010)
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Eugene Krabs (Amberlyn)
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a really good book for any middle schooler to read, and has very good word choice and exciting.
Mitchell Johnson
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book, along with its funny title, is a joyful experience for anyone of all ages. Its story is inspiring and the message of being who you want to be is very clear.
Eva Mitnick
Jul 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Middle school is a time when many kids feel freakish. Though I looked more or less normal, I felt freakish on the inside. Emma, however, wears her freakishness on the outside. At 12 years old, she is almost 6 feet tall with bright red hair. It's sort of hard to pretend to be invisible with those sorts of looks. And then of course there's that name, which her mother didn't bother to say aloud before writing it on the birth certificate.

Emma's father is long gone, but she has always been curious ab
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: caudill
I loved this book; it is amazing. I really thought it was interesting how the book pointed out how even people that are different can still be exclusive, like in groups and cliques. Emma faced so many challenges in the book. I really liked how she didn't care how no one liked one of the boys Fred, but instead after everyone saying don't talk to him she still did and the developed a great relationship, and became friends for life. If you like real life like stories read this book!
Grace F
Mar 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I, Emma Freke is about a 6th grade girl who desperately wants to fit in, however she has bright red hair, is really smart, and is almost six feet tall. Also, if her name is said slowly, it sounds like, ‘am a freak.’ Emma is very shy and has difficulty communicating with her peers. Her only friend, Penelope is a nine year old girl who lives down the street. Emma’s mother insists that her daughter call her Donatella and not mom. Her wacky and selfish mom owns a bead shop that Emma mostly runs. Emm ...more
Melissa (i swim for oceans)
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I, Emma Freke follows the story of tweenage Emma, who has never quite in with her peers. She's too tall to blend, she's more comfortable with customers than those her own age, and she's certain that meeting the rest of her distant family will solidify her status as a freak forever. Along the way though, Emma learns that being a Freke doesn't mean she is actually a freak, and being her own person might be better than fitting in after all.

Remember those horrible in-between years where you wore gla
Kate L
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely wonderful! There were so many things I enjoyed about this book, so I'll get started with my favorite: Emma. Feeling completely out of place in the world and not fitting in with anyone in her life, including herself, she feels lost and frustrated. Being abruptly thrust from her New Age free spirit mom's guidance into her Stepford-esque family reunion allows her to carve her own existence in between the two. She is a very strong girl who doesn't realize how brave she is unt ...more
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tween
Elizabeth Atkinson’s new book for middle readers, I, EMMA FREKE, is a charming story about smart, shy, nearly six-feet-tall, 12-year-old Emma, who feels like a misfit at school and at home.

It doesn’t help that her name said aloud sounds like Am a Freak.

Emma spends her time minding her mother’s bead store in a New England seaport, more comfortable with customers than with her peers. Her flighty single mom, Donatella, is too busy dating to make dinner and her grandpa is clueless. Her only friends
Out of all the books I've read recently, this was definitely one of my favorites.

Emma has lived most of her life as a social outcast. She has a New Age hippie mother who doesn't seem to believe in mothering. She's never met her father. She is "too" tall, "too" smart, and painfully awkward with bright red hair. She pretty much does everything possible to avoid talking with people her own age. She only has one friend, who's much younger than here. And to top it all off, her last name is Freke. Whe
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book made me laugh from the first mention of 'I, Emma Freke' up until its last pages. The childish way of storytelling and the way that the main character, Emma, claims to be an adult is endearing, funny, and hit very close to home. I mean, who has never experienced being out of place and thinking that being an adult is way cooler than remaining a kid/teenager? Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it from I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson.

Summary from NetGalley:

"What's in a name? I, Emma Fr
Megan Breon
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, I really like it because I could like relate back to my own family reunion and all the memories I have had there. I liked how it had a lot of detail and just made the reader interested.
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good!I totaly reccomed it for people who like drama books but not to much drama.By that i dont mean the gross lovey drama.
Melissa Roach
Apr 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What's in a name? I, Emma Freke is a charming search-for-identity story about Emma―the only "normal" member of her quirky family. Her flighty, New Age mom seems to barely have time for a daughter, especially one who annoyingly spoils her mom's youthful façade. Emma's well-meaning grandpa is clueless. And her only friends are the local librarian and a precocious 10-year-old adopted by the two old ladies next door.

Smart, shy, and nearly six feet tall, Emma struggles to fit in at schoo
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Emma is a typical teenager…with a few exceptions of course. Her mother happens to openly admit not having said her full name, Emma Freke (pronounced “Freak”), at birth and seems to be much more interested in her love life than in Emma’s upbringing. Add that to the fact that Emma’s best friend is a confident out-spoken 10 year old and she spends most of their time together managing her mother’s bead store. Oh, and her father is no where to be seen, leaving her to wonder who she really is. Could s ...more
Read Between the Pages
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Anyone who feels lost
'I, Emma Freke' by Elizabeth Atkinson is about a twelve year old girl named Emma. She doesn't think she can fit in anywhere at home, at school, or in her town. Her only friend is Penelope who is two years younger, and a lot of inches shorter than her. Emma is labeled a freak because she's almost 6 feet tall at her age. As she discoveries who she is, she goes on a short family reunion to her father's side of the family. There she learns who she's meant to be, and finds where she really belongs.
Reading Vacation
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it

Emma’s life is a bit freaky. Her mother refuses to be called “mom” and she is rarely around. In fact, Emma usually has to run her mother’s bead shop after school because her mother is nowhere to be found. Her best friend is an extremely outgoing neighbor girl who is the total opposite of shy and sensitive Emma. Oh, and don’t forget that Emma is nearly six feet tall even though she is only twelve. It is no wonder that Emma is insecure and feels as though she does not belong. She feels like
Gabby B.
May 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Emma Freke
pages: 233
Realistic Fiction

The book I, Emma Freke is about 12 years old girl who is almost 6 feet tall with bright red hair. She thinks it's sort of hard to pretend to be invisible with those sorts of looks. Of course, there's her name, which her mother didn't bother to say aloud before writing it on the birth certificate. Also, Emma's father is gone, but she has always been curious about him. So, she goes to a surprise invitation to attend the annual Freke Family gathering in W
Apr 05, 2011 rated it liked it
12yr old Emma is the tallest girl in her school 5 ft 10 in, and her full name Emma Freke sounds like Am a freak. This was one of those books with funny characters and funnier moments that I love.

Emma lives with her mother Donatella, her grandfather Nonno and his old dog, eggplant. Donatella owns a bead shop but Emma does most of the work. Donatella believes in a lassisez - faire approach to parenting. Emma and Donatella are nothing alike and there isn't more of a resemblance. So when Emma's best
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
A cute little MG read that I absolutely enjoyed. From reading about her very unusual home life to taking a trip to meet the entire extended family, this book was a great little read.

Often, I don't read MG just because I don't think of myself as a great audience for it. But more often than not, I realize that I can still appreciate and remember the clicks in high school and the outsiders. Although, my family life was on the opposite spectrum of how Emma Freke grew up, it was great to read how one
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Although a bit OTT at times, I, Emma Freke was an overall sweet read. It is a journey of self-realization in twelve-year-old Emma, who lives with her eccentric mother and nonno and hates her name because it sounds like "Am a Freak". When she meets up with her father's side of the family, the Frekes, Emma begins to feel like she belongs -- but begins to understand the importance of being true to yourself.

Although I really enjoyed the book and the message it was trying to convey, I couldn't connec
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grades 5-7
12-year-old Emma doesn’t feel like she fits in anywhere—even her name is strange (‘Emma Freke’ sounds just like ‘I’m a freak’). She stands out in her mother’s side of the family because they tend to be short with dark hair, while Emma herself is tall with red hair. She thinks this probably has something to do with her father, whom she’s never met.

When she receives an invitation to a reunion for her father’s side of the family, she’s shocked. Although Emma’s mother tells her that her father will
Dec 13, 2010 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed I, Emma Freke and wasn't bored at all. Mostly because of the wonderful characters Elizabeth Atkinson wrote. They were fun. Emma was a gem. I liked seeing her world through her voice. Emma grows a lot through the book, from being shy and insecure, to finding that she's great the way she is. She finds her voice and speaks up for what she believes to be right. And because of the change in herself, Emma's able to change the people around her.

Emma's best friend, Penelope, is quite a
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: caudill-2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joanne Zienty
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
Here's another book where I liked the idea of the story (theme, plot, etc.), but the execution left me disappointed. The gist: Emma Freke (pronounced like "freak")feels like one. Besides being incredibly tall and gangly, she has no friends besides her ten year old neighbor, Penelope, feels totally out of place in her middle school, and has nothing in common with her flighty, bar-hopping, 47-going-on-16 mother (who often treats her like the help). Is it possible she's adopted? She discovers the t ...more
Jul 19, 2011 added it
Shelves: netgalley
When Emma discovers that her mom (who seems to be more of a kid than Emma is) tells her she's going to be home schooled, she figures this will help her escape from the misery of being teased for being so tall, skinny, red-haired twelve-year-old with a name that describes her when spoken aloud (am-a-freak). Being so different from her mother, Emma wonders if she's adopted. When she's invited to attend a family reunion by the Freke side of the family, she thinks everything will be explained once s ...more
Jill Young
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Emma, who is just turning twelve, just doesn't fit in with kids her age. She is very tall and has bright red hair. To add to her humiliation is her last name, Freke, which is pronounced like freak. Her mother, Donatella, is a free spirit, and treats Emma as an equal rather than her daughter. Emma wishes for a family with structure and love. In fact, she desires the life of her neighbor and best friend Penelope, who is a couple years younger, adopted from Africa by two gray haired lesbian moms. W ...more
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I, Emma Freke is a wonderful, descriptive, very realistic book. This realistic fiction book is about Emma, an 11 year old girl, who feels like she has the weirdest name in history. Because, if you say her name slowly, I, Emma Freke turns into I, Am a Freak.
Emma lives in a small waterside town, and her mother owns “Freke Beads and More” Emma only has one friend, Penelope, and she figures that it’s also because of her height. Because she’s tall. Really tall. Emma can’t figure out what’s wrong wi
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: homeschool
If the average book makes me say "eh, it was OK" then this one is below average, because I definitely wouldn't want you to waste your time on it. It had a few interesting details, but all the characters, including Emma herself, felt hollow and ended up being stereotypes.
Nothing "bad", though - Emma's mother has had several husbands and its implied that she doesn't know who Emma's father is because she's been with so many men, but not in such a way that I would say would cause questi
What kid hasn't felt like a freak who doesn't fit in, even without being a super-smart, six-foot sixth-grader with bright red hair? And that's just in school--Emma doesn't fit in any better at home, with her well-meaning Italian grandfather and her flighty, borderline-neglectful mom. But finally, Emma gets some answers about her father, whom she's never met--and finds herself invited to an annual family reunion for her dad's side, where she learns that fitting in isn't always for the best.

Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is absolutely wonderful.

A fast read about identity and freedom and self-respect, it's everything I hoped it would be and more.

Emma is mature and brace and delightful. I fell in love instantly with her Independence and honesty for her situation with her mother.

Penelope and Fred are minor stars of the novel, becoming some of the MOST interesting, dynamic and supportive friends that I've seen portrayed in middle grade literature.

The foreshadowing was obvious at first, but then the ending d
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Free Books, .99 &...: Book Giveaway 4 32 Apr 08, 2012 04:25AM  
Book Giveaways: Middle Grade Book Giveaway - I, Emma Freke 1 5 Apr 06, 2012 05:51PM  
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I'm the award-winning Middle Grade author of FROM ALICE TO ZEN & EVERYONE IN BETWEEN and I, EMMA FREKE, THE SUGAR MOUNTAIN SNOW BALL and THE ISLAND OF BEYOND... and I've written some non-fiction books as well.

My favorite part of writing for tweens is connecting with young readers and aspiring writers. I've visited with thousands of students (schools, libraries, book clubs, Skype) across the US
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“Just remember this, Emma -- not every Jell-O salad turns out perfect. But it can still taste real good.” 13 likes
“How to Find Your Joylah

1. Try new things
2. Be open to new friends
3. Visit new places
4. Listen to new ideas
5. Remember each day is a new day
6. And it's really no big deal if beads get mixed up every once in a while”
More quotes…