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I, Emma Freke

Lerner Publishing Group
August 2010
  • Fiction & Literature
  • Fiction - Family Life

I, Emma Freke Synopsis

I, Emma Freke, am not a freak. Or maybe I am. I just don't know. What's in a name I, Emma Freke is a charming search-for-identity story about Emmathe 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 school, so she jumps at the opportunity to "home school" until that too turns into another of mom's half-baked ideas. The real crisis comes when she gets an invitation to The Freke Family Reunion, and her fellow Frekes aren't at all what she expects. 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.Publishers WeeklyHaving 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.)

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