Thursday, November 22, 2012

NaNoWriMo Research: Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis:  Emma-Jean is in seventh grade, and she is very bright and thinks about the world very differently from her classmates.  She keeps her distance and observes their bizarre behaviors benevolently until the pain of a classmate draws her in, and she starts trying to help others with some interesting results.  This one is told in alternating POV between Emma-Jean and Colleen (the classmate she first tries to help).  POV: 3rd person, quasi-limited, alternating.

I adored Emma-Jean.  The author did a great job of making her point of view read completely differently from really anything I've read before.  I wasn't as big of a fan of Colleen.  I'm still not entirely sure she was needed as a POV character, but I think that may be because I loved Emma-Jean's familiar head so much.  Ah, nostalgia.  Colleen's POV did help set off the uniqueness of Emma-Jean's as well, and I'm sure to the average reader, she was needed as an accessible entry point and someone to relate to.  And there were some twists that would have been hard to show clearly if there were only one narrator.  Overall the characters are quirky and well-made, the twists are pretty unexpected, and the adults are a good mix of nice and nasty and mostly realistic, as are the kids.  Loved it.  Thanks to Joseph for this recommendation.

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