I, Emma Freke

Author: Elizabeth Atkinson
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Genre: Children’s fiction
ISBN: 978-0-7613-5604-2
Pages: 234
Price: $16.95

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It isn’t easy having a name like Emma Freke – which when said out loud sounds like am a freak. But it’s even worse that Emma is too tall, has too red hair, and suddenly finds herself a social misfit in sixth grade. She has no idea who her father is, and her mom is too New-Agey and insists on being called by her first name.

So when Emma is invited to the Freke family reunion, she’s finally given the chance to find out more about the other side of her family – the one she knows nothing about. And for the first time, she realizes that she’s not as freaky as she thought.

Now that Emma has been accepted by her new family, she embraces her mother’s wisdom in raising her, and returns home with a new sense of self-confidence. After being judged herself, she learns an important lesson about what it means to judge others, and that sometimes it’s better to keep an open mind.

I, Emma Freke is an enjoyable read for all middle-schoolers, but especially those who just don’t seem to fit in, no matter how hard they try. Elizabeth Atkinson has a great understanding of the trials and tribulations facing pre-teen kids, and it comes through in Emma’s thoughts and actions. I highly recommend this fun and well-written story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger