From the Publisher
"Tarshis proves she "gets" adolescent female friendships (not to mention seventh grade) in this funny and empathetic follow-up to Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree.ö Publishers Weekly, starred review
Tarshis proves she "gets" adolescent female friendships (not to mention seventh grade) in this funny and empathetic follow-up to Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree. For the first time, the intensely analytical Emma-Jean has friends among her peers (as she refers to them) and, like them, she is preoccupied with the girl-invite Spring Fling. Emma-Jean considers asking basketball star Will, though they have little in common-he's been kind to her and causes a "fluttering of her heart." But she ends up sorting out the dance-related woes of fragile Colleen (whose point of view is explored in certain chapters). Fans of the first book will be pleased that the deadpan narration ("as a single cell can reveal the DNA code of an entire organism, the look in Kaitlin's eyes told Emma-Jean everything she needed to know") and Emma-Jean's observations are as amusing as ever. ("Adolescent males engage in conspicuous displays to attract the attention of females," is her explanation of cafeteria boisterousness.) Her blossoming appreciation for emotions that logic can't explain, sympathetic supporting characters and an uplifting finale will warm hearts. Ages 10-14. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Hyper-rational and coolly observant Emma-Jean Lazarus (Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree) is back, and this time she is falling, not out of a tree, but into... well, what is this "unsettling, but not entirely unpleasant" sensation that she feels when she thinks about asking Will Keeler to the William Gladstone Middle School Spring Fling? The whole school is twitterpated as Emma-Jean's new friends break their collective vow not to attend the school dance and begin inviting boys right and left to escort them to the much-awaited event. Soon all the girls have dates, except for Colleen and Emma-Jean. Then, Colleen gets a mysterious note in her locker from an unidentified boy who thinks that Colleen "is the best girl in the whole grade." Surely Emma-Jean will be able to find Colleen's boy for her, and everything will be wonderful forever: La, la, la, LA! While a subplot involving Emma-Jean's scheming to foil her mother's boyfriend's research appointment to Stanford strains credulity, the middle-school social dynamics are brilliantly and lovingly observed. The transformation in Colleen is especially memorable, as imagined love makes her feel "like herself, only moretaller, braver, stronger . . . Colleen-er." Lines like "Colleen would never want to brag, but she and Kaitlin were really talented at arranging baked goods" make this as sweet and endearing a portrait imaginable of seventh-grade hopes, dreams, and love. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7–The Spring Fling is just around the corner and love is in the air at William Gladstone Middle School. Academically gifted Emma-Jean is back, still logical to a fault and just beginning to get a glimmer of the emotional side of life that has often been a mystery to her. This story takes place a few weeks after the conclusion of Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (Dial, 2007), and once again she tries to solve a problem for a classmate and also feels the need to compose another letter to ensure that her mother’s romance progresses satisfactorily. She also experiences her first crush, an odd feeling to be sure, but made more understandable by her loving and sympathetic mom. Emma-Jean’s recently acquired friends are all included, but Colleen is the character whom readers get to know better. While the events of the first book are summarized adequately, the best audience will be those who have already met Emma-Jean and company. This story lacks the originality of its predecessor, but Tarshis’s use of language and depiction of middle school society are good fun.–Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
The eccentric-but-affable Emma-Jean returns with another anthropological foray into the social habits of her fellow classmates. She is perplexed by the odd behavior the seventh graders are exhibiting as they ready themselves for William Gladstone Middle School's Spring Fling, and she also wonders about the odd, fluttery feeling she experiences every time Will Keeler appears. Could it be love? Tarshis deftly weaves in important details from the previous book (Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, 2007), providing those new to Emma-Jean some necessary back story. The third-person narration alternates between the quirky Emma Jean and her friend, Colleen Pomerantz. As the dance draws closer, good-hearted Colleen seeks Emma Jean's help in unmasking her own secret admirer. Emma Jean also writes a letter hoping to thwart Vikram, her mother's boarder-cum-love interest, from moving to the West coast. Fans will appreciate the continuity and relish the reappearance of familiar characters, especially Ms Wright, the lovable school janitor, and the rest of Emma Jean's true blue friends. The story ends on a happy note with the possibility of more adventures to come. (Fiction. 9-13)