Reviews for Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love

Booklist Reviews 2009 May #2
"This sequel to Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (2007), featuring the analytical and extremely literal seventh-grader, has even more charm than the original. As in the previous book, the narrative shifts between Emma-Jean and her new friend, Colleen, both of whom are feeling the first flutters of love. As Emma-Jean tries to help Colleen solve the mystery of which boy placed a note in her locker, she must also make sure that her mother's romantic relationship doesn't falter because of an out-of-town job offer. Although some of the twists can be anticipated, several will surprise readers. But the best part of this is the care with which Tarshis draws her characters. Odd Emma-Jean could degenerate into comic foil, but there's such integrity to her character that even typically ridiculing classmates give in to appreciation. With so much going on with Emma-Jean, Tarshis might have taken the easy way out and written Colleen as the "normal" one, but her fears and hopes have the same weight as Emma-Jean's idiosyncrasies. This compact book packs in a lot." Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 April #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 April #2

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)

[Page 50]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 July

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

[Page 94]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.