Read Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis Online


From a debut author comes a heart-warming novel about a unique girl and her seventh grade experiences. Emma-Jean Lazarus is the smartest and strangest girl at William Gladstone Middle School. Her classmates don't understand her, but that's okay because Emma-Jean doesn't quite get them either. But one afternoon, all that changes when she sees Colleen Pomerantz crying in theFrom a debut author comes a heart-warming novel about a unique girl and her seventh grade experiences. Emma-Jean Lazarus is the smartest and strangest girl at William Gladstone Middle School. Her classmates don't understand her, but that's okay because Emma-Jean doesn't quite get them either. But one afternoon, all that changes when she sees Colleen Pomerantz crying in the girls' room. It is through Colleen that Emma-Jean gets a glimpse into what it is really like to be a seventh grader. And what she finds will send her tumbling out of a tree and questioning why she ever got involved in the first place....

Title : Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780545142502
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 575 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree Reviews

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-06 16:27

    5 Reasons whyEmma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Treeis a strange book (strange adj: extraordinary, remarkable, singular)5. Emma-Jean dressed like Albert Einstein for Halloween.4. Colleen's pastel pink bedroom makes her feel like she's trapped in an old dog's ear. 3. Poet Mary Oliver,To Kill a Mockingbirdand the Pittsburgh Steelers, all mentioned in the same book. Now how often doesthathappen? 2. The book never tries to label Emma-Jean. She just is who she is.1. The ending hints to the possibility of another Emma-Jean book. God, I hope so.

  • Kate
    2019-03-04 21:53

    This story begins Emma Jean Lazarus opens a door. Literally, it's the door to the girls' bathroom at school, where she finds Colleen Pomerantz (a kind, sensitive girl and not one of the usual 7th grade criers) sobbing over a problem with a friend. Figuratively, it's the door we all open when we make the sometimes scary decision to reach out to another human being. This is a big deal for all of us, but especially for Emma Jean, who's one of those brilliant, wise-beyond-her-years kids who seems to watch everything from the sidelines. She reminds me a lot of Lisa Yee's Millicent Min, Girl Genius. Because Emma Jean is brilliant at math and logic, just like her father who died two years ago, she uses logic to find solutions to her classmates' problems, with results that are hilarious and heartwarming.There's a lot to love about this book. If you're a writer, you should read it because it's a fantastic example of how to pull off changing points of view in third person narrative. If you spend any time in a middle school, you'll love it because the characters are so real. As a middle school English teacher, I recognized these kids. I've seen Emma Jean watching the other kids at lunch. I've comforted Colleen when one of her friends was mad at her. And I've seen them all in their specially picked outfits at that first middle school dance. Author Lauren Tarshis has nailed middle school to a tee; she even understands one of the great secrets of school hallways: that the custodians are the real heroes.Emma Jean Lazarus goes out on a limb in this middle grade novel (and yes, she really does fall out of a tree). Her journey is one that manages to be funny and sad and uplifting and true, all at once. You'll love this book.

  • Brandi
    2019-03-03 20:24

    I don't know exactly what it is about this book, but I really didn't get it. I thought that Tarshis owed us a bit more explanation as to why Emma Jean is the way she is. The fact that her father was a mathematician does not justify the way she speaks and the way she approaches other people. I understand that she is quirky and that's all good and everything, but what I don't understand why she doesn't understand common sense. When Emma Jean saw Colleen in the window, it never crossed her mind that Colleen was ignoring her. If she wasn't coming to the door, then, obviously, she must be dying. If Emma Jean was supposed to have autism, I would have preferred if Tarshis would have said it in the beginning. Instead, I spent the book trying to figure out what was exactly wrong with her.On a completely different note, I don't understand the bimbo attitudes of Colleen's friends. Colleen is supposedly the nicest girl in school but her friends don't seem to like Colleen because she's nice. It's almost as if they were her little "yes men" at the end of the book. And what is the deal with telling everyone they are gorgeous? Is that really the most important thing? Isn't it bad enough that girls are obsessed about their looks as it is? This book basically says telling someone they are gorgeous is the best compliment and a generally nice thing to do.I don't know what I missed reading this book, but I really didn't enjoy it. Perhaps it was just the audio version. Maybe I'll trying reading it again in a few months or something and see if my opinion has differed.

  • Lisa Vegan
    2019-03-18 00:26

    This book is utterly delightful, sweet, and very smart. Emma-Jean is an endearingly strange (strange = extraordinary, remarkable, singular) character. Colleen and the other middle school kids are also interesting, and I appreciate how the adult characters are more fleshed out than they are in some kids’ books. Emma-Jean's bird was yet another appealing character.It's an almost perfect little book. I do have a slight quibble with how neatly certain events got wrapped up at the end, but I just love this book, and I fell in love with Emma-Jean.I hope that there are more Emma-Jean books and this story would also make a wonderful movie if it was done right.I've already brought the book back to the library, but I wanted to add that in the author's bio in the back inside cover of the book, she writes something about how we're all trying to communicate with one another and some of us have a more difficult time than others, and that message was part of what she was trying to convey in this book. She did a stellar job!

  • Ani
    2019-02-21 19:54

    This book really celebrates the balance between individuality and finding your place among others, between solitude and letting other people into your life. The heroine is a bright young girl who doesn't fit in with her peers, yet doesn't lament this fact or even really let it bother her. She just watches and observes. Her approach to life (rational, logical), leads her to take on different solutions to her peers' problems. Emma-Jean is unique among children's books heroines- even those smart, independent girls like Anne Shirley. This story is no ugly duckling story that ends with Emma-Jean being prom queen, made over and the most popular girl in school. It has a much richer and more realistic storyline that is even more fulfilling.

  • Melissa
    2019-03-20 19:44

    A sweet little book about an ultra-logical girl (and let's have a shout-out here for the mathematically minded girls in the house, or a representation of girls on the autism spectrum, as Emma-Jean seems to be). Thanks for the recommendation, Becca (who described this to me as a "nice book about nice people" and she was, as always, spot-on).

  • Tamara
    2019-03-08 22:52

    As a juvie fiction novel, this one is a definite gem. It contains simple language and a simple story, but with wonderful details. The voices of the two main characters ring true. Although their later-life labels may be obsessive compulsive and worrywart, their 7th grade selves are simply endearing. Emma Jean, who is direct and logical, doesn't quite get her overly emotional classmates, but when Colleen asks for help, Emma Jean comes to the rescue. Though the same dilemmas of a reinvented family dynamic, making friends, dealing with bullies, and trying to fit in all exist here, they are much more subtle and pleasant to read about. Plus, this was an extremely fast read. On a 12-hour car ride, all three passengers were able to start and finish this one!Favorite quote: "Crying was not a logical way to express one's opposition to the seventh-grade science curriculum."

  • Rebecca
    2019-02-21 20:25

    I think the simple books are really the best, and the hardest to do well: Rules, Missing May, The First Part Last, The Hundred Dresses, Weetzie Bat. And Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree. 7th grader Emma Jean is a most unusual character who takes everything at face value, and her almost-friend Colleen is a wonderfully recognizable character who worries about everything. When Emma Jean is finally brought out of her shell by Colleen's plight with bully Laura, her desire to anonymously solve all the problems of the 7th grade takes on an Amelie-like quality. Five stars -- Newbery whispers?

  • Natalie
    2019-02-24 23:42

    I think I sat next to Emma-Jean at lunch.

  • Int'l librarian
    2019-02-20 20:26

    There’s something about the pace of this story, and Tarshis’ ability to reveal key moments of the plot, that make it absolutely charming. This story is also much more sophisticated than its simple concrete language and feel-good dynamic would make it seem at first. Concrete language fits the story line perfectly. Emma-Jean almost certainly has some degree of Asperger’s Syndrome. Some of her classmates make fun of her for it. Almost all the adults in the story see it as part of what makes her wonderful. And sure, she is wonderful. And almost too successful to be believed. But in a story like this, that’s what I want for her. Early on the story made me think of Encyclopedia Brown; the simple progression of problems and surprisingly logical if outlandish solutions. Tarshis recognizes as much, and weaves in references to Nancy Drew. The mystery and danger may not be the same, but the problem solving is impossible to ignore. I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad. I’m more certain that I don’t like how all-knowing the janitor seems to be. And Colleen is over-the-top as an insecure nice girl in need of affirmation. But none of that is overly bothersome. Like any good story about emotional disorders, there’s a strong undercurrent of emotional tension. How will Emma-Jean handle irrational expressions of sadness, passion, and hope? I’m not sure that all her responses make psychoanalytical sense, but they feel right to me. And even better, she and Tarshis make me feel good.

  • Vonnie
    2019-02-27 16:53

    audiobook I needed a fun, light, and quick audio to listen to during my hectic schedule. I came across this middle school book and became interested in its title. This book was very enjoy and quite cute.Emma-Jean was an interesting character. She was very intelligent and her manner of speaking showed that she was well educated for a seventh grader. Emma-Jean was also a social outcast because of her "weirdness." Though it does not explain what Emma-Jean has, it lead me to believe that the was autistic. Her obsession in doing things that are right, taking things very literal, not wanting to socialize, and how she reacted when one of the characters sobbed lead me to believe this. I really enjoyed listening to the things she said. She was observant and very wise. She was a very fun character.Thoughts on performance: Mamie Gummer did a pretty good job in reading this book. She knew how to portray the characters very well. She was able to capture Emma-Jean's awkwardness and smartness, while at the same time she was able to portray the friend Colleen's dramatic character. Mamie Gummer kept me hooked to the story. This was a great audio. Though the story was very simple, I loved it. I enjoyed the main character so much that I want to share this book with my students.

  • katie
    2019-02-27 22:51

    Emma-Jean is not like most middle school students- she prefers study trees and other flora. She uses logic and rationale to solve problems. When she finds Claudia crying in the girls room- her life slowly begins to change. Emma-Jean believes she can solve Claudia's problem with her best friend Kaitlyn. When she proves to be successful, Emma-Jean believes she can solve other's problems, like finding a wife for her mothers border Vikram or solving Will's science grade issue. Then Claudia's solution backfires and Claudia gets mad at Emma-Jean. Emma-Jean decides she does not need to solve everyone's problems and she slowly tries to relate to her follow students. Tarshis creates amazing character! All the likable characters in the book are lovable! Emma-Jean is an unique character with a wonderful soul. Claudia is a relatable character whom any middle school girl with a heart can relate to. The unlikable character's you hate- Laura you just want to punch in the face- the way she picks on poor Claudia and puts down Laura. You want to push for Vikram to get together with Ms. Williams. I basically wanted to live in this book. I cannot wait to put the book on my Library shelves for students to check out!

  • Heidi
    2019-03-11 18:45

    Grades 6-9Rebecca Caudill Nominee 2010Audiobook read by Mamie GummerEmma-Jean Lazarus, an unusual seventh grader grieving the loss of her brilliant father, learns about the subtleties of friendship, love, and solving problems. Tarshis accurately captures the various voices and conflicts of middle school. Readers will be able to feel the turmoil of the characters trying gain acceptance with their peers while trying to discover their identity. Because its exploration of bullying and acceptance, this novel would make an excellent read aloud or shared reading for middle school students. The audio book is engaging, even though the reader uses different voices for the characters, including that of an Indian doctoral student who becomes Emma-Jean's love interest. According to a review on, "Gummer has obviously inherited a facility for accents from her mother, Meryl Streep. She gives each character a subtly distinct voice while sustaining the detachment that is quintessential Emma-Jean."

  • Lisa
    2019-02-24 19:43

    Emma-Jean, is an intriguing character. She is intriguing the way Spock or Data--both of Star Trek incarnations--are. But that's the problem. As interesting and amusing as she is, this isn't a science fiction story. She isn't an alien or an android. She isn't even a highly functioning autistic child. No mention of Asperger's. Since she is none of the above, the entire story cannot support the initial premise. That she should be so peacefully excluded, and so content, during her entire school career doesn’t work. The book is also schizophrenic in nature. I am not saying that dual narrative is a poor technique. It can be done well. But there seems no choice about the dual narrative, just a kind of literary happenstance. Who is the protagonist here? Emma-Jean or Colleen? First-time novelist Lauren Tarshis shows potential here she can pull at the heartstrings she can create mostly believable conflict, but she still has some work to do.

  • ashley
    2019-03-10 16:40

    I really liked this book because it helped me realize that just because someone is an oddball like Emma-Jean doesnt mean that they cant be a good friend to have. I have more friends now than I had before the book and they are awesome it is a really good book and i would recomend it to anyone that wants a book that they can feel like theyre standing right there. I am currently reading the second book in the series Emma-Jean Lazarus fell in love. I love how the author really pulls you in and that there is two different views.

  • Deana
    2019-02-24 21:53

    Emma-Jean is a funny and realistic narrator. This book has been touted as a "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" for the reader set and I can certainly see the parallels. However Emma-Jean is never painted as autistic although it's quite possible that she's somewhere on the spectrum of diagnosis. Emma-Jean is an avid observer of her classmates, her mother and while she doesn't participate in the relationships around her she tries her best to make things work out the way that she feels they should. I loved seeing the world through her eyes.

  • Brandon O'Neill
    2019-02-26 20:49

    I will finish the middle school summer reading list. I will! This book was checked out quite a bit last year and I see why. It was a really enjoyable read, alternating between 2 middle school girls - Emma Jean who takes everything very literally and is analytical, and Colleen, a nice girl in the class who wants to please everyone. A quick read with a good story and interesting characters - a great summer read.

  • Jess
    2019-03-14 17:45

    A quick, fun read. The tone of the prose changes completely depending on the point of view, the characters feel solid and real, even when we only have glimpses of them, and I ended up with a craving for curry. I certainly see a lot of myself in Emma-Jean...The characters are 7th graders and it deals with the complexities of the middle-school landscape, but it's clean and appropriate for younger ages as well.

  • Wendy Garland
    2019-03-08 21:46

    I really wanted to like this book. It started out very convincingly, but by the time I got about 2/3 of the way through, the characters went over the top and I felt that it became very didactic. I feel like the beginning and the end were written by 2 separate authors. I am disappointed.

  • Leora
    2019-03-03 23:33

    This was a very heart felt book.I read this in the summer.It is a bout a girl who tries to help people with problems,but kind of mess's up in the middle.But fixe's it in the end and she actually fell out of the tree.

  • Gretchen
    2019-03-02 17:51

    Although this was a kids book, it was entertaining. It did not take me long to read, just picked it up at the library because it sounded fun and wanted to find something Char might like. It was a book that would keep her entertained, although not some great piece of literature.

  • Susan
    2019-03-08 21:35

    This book is one of my new favorites! Emma-Jean is such a great character. I love how her personality evolves as she discovers that she can't solve all of the problems at her school with her logical view on life.

  • Payton
    2019-03-05 22:49

    Really funny book! My favorite part was when she fell out of a tree!

  • Nowheregirl
    2019-02-28 23:48

    you just cant help but love Emma Jean Lazarus therefore love the book it was just too awesome.on another note, she reminded me of sheldon lol

  • Heather
    2019-03-13 23:31

    I love Emma Jean Lazarus, she is one of the most endearing, wonderful characters I have ever met in a book!

  • Richie Partington
    2019-02-28 21:43

    30 July 2007 EMMA-JEAN LAZARUS FELL OUT OF A TREE by Lauren Tarshis, Dial, March 2007, ISBN: 978-0-8037-3164-6"It had been nearly two and a half years since Emma-Jean had climbed, but the motions came right back to her, as if they had been programmed into her limbs. She shimmied up the skinny trunk like her father had taught her, keeping her knees tight together. She grabbed the lowest branch, hoisting herself up in the manner of a gymnast mounting the uneven parallel bars. At several junctures, the branches formed sturdy V-shaped joints, providing footholds for Emma-Jean's white Keds. She was mindful not to disturb the tiny buds that were forming, and kept her feet clear of the most delicate branches.""Hey, ho, makes you feel so fineLooking out across the orchard in the bright sunshine.Hey, ho, you feel so freeStanding in the top of an apple tree."--Larry Hanks, "Apple Picker's Reel"When I finish writing this piece, I will get to dive into a very special dessert. Shari spent the afternoon baking a pair of Gravenstein apple pies from our very first crop of apples, grown in a corner of our little Sebastopol, California farm.It really tickled me when, twenty years ago, I was paging through RISE UP SINGING, searching out new songs to share at circletime, and found the Apple Picker's Reel which was accompanied by Larry Hanks' commentary about having written it while he was, himself, picking apples in Sebastopol.Back in those days, I'd recently moved from the East Coast to California (with my goats) and had discovered my farm which was, then, bordered on the north and west by neighboring Gravenstein apple trees standing shoulder to shoulder for as far as the eye could see.This was of no small importance to me. My relationship with apple trees goes back to my early childhood in the late Fifties when I learned to climb "my" apple tree in the backyard of our family's small suburban house in Plainview, Long Island, and gaze down over my kingdom which included the swing set and the little round swimming pool."No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low"-- Lennon and McCartney, "Strawberry Fields"Tragically, those neighboring apple trees in Sebastopol were all torn out a number of years ago to make room for wine grapes. You'd better believe that it wasn't merely all the dust being stirred up by the giant tractors that was causing me to cry when the corpses of those old trees were being stacked up in pyres around the perimeter.And, of course, being ever the contrarian, I was out there planting baby Gravensteins (with a rich dressing of aged goat manure) while everybody else in the hills was tearing them out.Having nurtured our tiny orchard of apple trees from when they were the length of my forearm to the harvesting of this first crop, I now recognize that the apple tree that I'd climbed all those decades ago in Plainview must have been planted sometime back during the Roaring Twenties or the years of The Great Depression for its having been so exceptionally wide and tall with its maze of sturdy limbs to traverse and its bountiful crop of tart, green apples. It will surely be decades before my adolescent trees in Sebastopol will be sufficiently strong to permit my teaching a child to climb them in the fashion that Emma-Jean Lazarus's father had taught her to climb trees.Sadly,the love of her mother's (and her) life -- her father, the mathematician -- died in a car crash two-and-a-half years ago, and that is why Emma-Jean has not climbed a tree (either literally or figuratively) since then.But, in a move that is uncharacteristic for this cautious observer, this foe of disorder that she has since become, seventh grader Emma-Jean Lazarus decides to go out on a limb to assist a schoolmate in distress."All Emma-Jean knew was this: Some irrational, emotional force had compelled her to enter the chaotic world of her peers, where the rules of logic did not apply."The focus of Emma-Jean's assistance is her fellow seventh-grader, Colleen, a very believable character who struggles to walk the narrow line between being popular and doing the right thing."You're right, Emma-Jean,' Colleen whispered. 'The truth is I'm not doing well at all. I'm having some trouble, bad trouble, with some of my friends...' Colleen shook her head. 'Some people...aren't nice.'"Emma-Jean knew this was true. People sometimes behaved unkindly toward one another, even at William Gladstone Middle School. Hurt feelings, bruised egos, broken promises, betrayed confidences -- the list of emotional injuries her fellow seventh-graders inflicted on one another was dismayingly long."Of course, Emma-Jean was fond of her peers. In fact, she believed that one was unlikely to find a finer group of young people than the 103 boys and 98 girls with whom she spent her school days. But their behavior was often irrational. And as a result, their lives were messy. Emma-Jean disliked disorder of any kind, and had thus made it her habit to keep herself separate, to observe from afar."When Emma-Jean decides to risk going out on that limb, to forgo that separateness and face that which cannot be ordered logically, there will be consequences for the adolescents and adults who are affected by her climb back into the oft-messy and irrational world.EMMA-JEAN LAZARUS FELL OUT OF A TREE is a sophisticated and captivating tale that I will be recommending most enthusiastically for use by our sixth grade English teachers in Sebastopol.Richie Partington, MLISRichie's Picks http://[email protected]

  • Orla
    2019-03-19 17:34

    Very great.

  • Chi Chi
    2019-02-24 18:32

    Great book about a different observer, Emma- Jean Lazarus. Experience her story in this amazing book

  • Mary Beth
    2019-03-03 17:32

    Emma-Jean Lazarus is a lovable oddball who thinks she can use logic to solve the messy everyday problems of her seventh-grade peers.

  • Susan Reyna
    2019-02-18 22:51

    Really enjoyed this story of a girl likely somewhere on the autism spectrum who tries to help the people around her in her own way and learned something in the process. I really enjoyed many of the other characters in this book: a sweet, yet insecure classmate; a school janitor who is looking out for the students; and parents with great insight, despite being flawed humans just like the rest of us. We are are all different, which means we all have that in how I would sum up the major lesson I learned from this book.