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I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson

Published by Published by Carolrhoda Books (An Imprint of Lerner Publishing Group)

Pages: 234

Ages: Middle Grade

Publishers Summary: “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 Emma―the 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.

Emma is a typical teenager…with a few exceptions of course. Her mother happens to openly admit not having said her full name, Emma Freke (pronounced “Freak”), at birth and seems to be much more interested in her love life than in Emma’s upbringing. Add that to the fact that Emma’s best friend is a confident out-spoken 10 year old and she spends most of their time together managing her mother’s bead store. Oh, and her father is no where to be seen, leaving her to wonder who she really is. Could she possibly be adopted and her mother has just made everything up? What she discovers when suddenly invited to a “Freke Family Reunion” may end up changing her entire story as well as her future.

I absolutely adore Emma! Not only is her name quirky, but she is so much how I remember being at her age. No, I don’t have a funky name (unless you consider my nickname “The1stdaughter”) and I also grew up with both of my parents happily married to each other. But even with those differences I was still able to relate to Emma’s character. As a young teen you constantly question who you are, not to mention questioning if you really “belong” to your “parents.” I remember when anything odd or opposing would come up when I was growing up thinking to myself that they must have adopted me, we were just too different. Oh, to be young again! Obviously I wasn’t adopted, and I’ve grown up a bit since then, but it was so fun to look back on those experiences and be able to chuckle at Emma’s now in reflection.

Besides the character connection with Emma, what was truly delightful about this story was the opportunity you had to watch Emma grow into herself. As she meets with various members of her family for the first time she’s able to discover who she really is. It reminded me much of how it is when you go away from home for the first time after graduating high school. Which in Emma’s case is true, this is the first time she’s really away from her “home.” It’s when we’re separated from that safe place that we often take leaps into who we might become. Which is another reason I loved the cover for the book as well. It truly represents the story in it’s fullest.

Just an average young girl with a quirky past. I, Emma Freke is a story about discovering who you are without a safety net, about letting go and just enjoying being who you are. This is the perfect story for young girls especially, I have no doubt any one of them who reads it would instantly connect with Emma and find comfort in their shared insecurities. An enjoyable read from beginning to end. I for one, am definitely looking forward to future books by Elizabeth Atkinson and would encourage you to pick up I, Emma Freke as soon as you possibly can!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 8 and up. A character young girls will instantly connect with and older readers will adore. I, Emma Freke is a middle grade book not to miss!


Thanks to a funny series of happenings I have one hardback copy of I, Emma Freke to giveaway to There’s A Book readers. Thank you so much to the author, Elizabeth Atkinson, and her publicist for providing the copy!

Details: One winner will be chosen at random after the contest closes. You MUST fill out the form below, comments will not count as entries. Only one entry per household. Giveaway is open to US/Canada Residents only. The giveaway will run from January 27, 2011 until February 13, 2011 midnight EST.

This book was provided for review by the publisher, Lerner Publishing Group via Net Galley. Thank you!
The giveaway was provided in conjunction with the author & publicity group. Thank you!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with

13 Responses to Book Review and Giveaway: I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson

  1. Wow. She sounds quirky and delightful!

  2. NotNessie says:

    I love the sound of this book. Will definitely be seeking it out.

  3. Hilary says:

    I absolutely love the cover of this book! Looks like a lot of fun!

  4. Holly says:

    This sounds great. I’m not sure if my son would like it, but I think I’d enjoy reading it.

  5. Shelly Burns says:

    Sounds like such a good read! As an educator, I am constantly thinking about kids’ names and how they sound together. It’s funny how some parents don’t think about that when they are naming their children.

  6. Another great one! You are going to be bad for my wallet, girl! 🙂

  7. Jen says:

    This looks like it’s a good one! I just saw Melina at Reading Vacation review this one, too. Not sure I can read it and not be mad at her mom for not really being there for her…mom’s are important!

  8. Gina says:

    Enjoyed the review! Sounds like a character that readers of all ages can connect with in one way or another. Will have to look into it further…. ^_^

  9. linaramz says:

    This sounds really good. I would love to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Sherree says:

    Loved the review. This is one that I would enjoy reading to my granddaughter.

  11. ASHLEY says:


  12. Carly says:

    oh my gosh! i love this book already i got it at the library and I’m on chapter 20 it is so good! 🙂 definitely recommended!

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