I, Emma Freke

Elizabeth Atkinson, Carolrhoda, $16.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7613-5604-2
Having a weird name isn't the only reason 12-year-old Emma Freke ("Like, if you say it slowly, Am a Freak") feels like an outcast. She's taller and more intellectually advanced than her peers; she knows little of her father except his name; and she's nothing like her flighty single mother. When Emma has the opportunity to meet the "Freke" side of her family at a reunion, she jumps at the chance, thinking she will finally meet people to whom she can relate. But fitting in with the Frekes—a motley crew of Midwesterners dedicated to keeping the memory of a frontier ancestor alive—has its drawbacks. Atkinson (From Alice to Zen and Everyone in Between) has written a lively novel with an empathetic, well-drawn heroine, but other aspects of the story—like Emma being allowed to travel from Massachusetts to Wisconsin on her own to meet a group of people she doesn't know—strain belief. Characterizations of Emma's eccentric relatives (on both sides of her family) feel as forced as her "just be yourself" realization does preordained. Ages 9–13. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/18/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 234 pages - 978-0-7613-8500-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4618-0667-7
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 240 pages - 978-0-7613-6219-7
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4677-3221-5
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4677-3220-8
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