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Kid Konnection – Emily the Strange: Stranger and Stranger

September 4, 2010

In some ways thirteen year old Emily Strange is a typical teenager, but in other ways she’s just a little bit . . . well, different.  She loves her cats, but she’s not so fond of other people.  She’s nocturnal and prefers to dress in black.  She loves art and music and skateboarding.  She also loves science and many of her experiments have caused so much trouble she and her mother have had to move to another town more than once.  Emily’s latest creation is a Duplicator and, with it, she has managed to duplicate herself.   As it becomes more and more difficult to tell the real Emily from the duplicated Emily, you can just imagine the trouble that ensues.

Emily the Strange: Stranger and Stranger by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner is illustrated by Rob Reger and Buzz Parker and I must say it is a gorgeous book!  The actual cover of the book has great drawings on it and the dust jacket is just beautiful – it’s embossed and parts are glossy.  The pages are heavyweight and glossy and include fabulous illustrations and doodles throughout.

A beautiful book doesn’t mean much if the story isn’t good, though, and I’m happy to say that I found Emily the Strange: Stranger and Stranger to be a lot of fun!  It’s told in a sort of diary format that includes some conversations as well as lots of lists.  The lists were really cute at first, but I did find them to be a little tedious after a while.  Having said that, I read one list to Vance and we both got a chuckle out of it.  Emily is a great character – she wants to be “bad,” but she can’t quite pull it off.  She’s smart and curious and is just a little bit odd – just the way I like my characters!

When Emily managed to duplicate herself she thought it was going to be the best thing ever, but of course, she quickly found out that wasn’t so.  It was fun watching the mess Emily and OtherMe found themselves in.  There were points in the story when it wasn’t clear who was narrating – Emily or OtherMe – and that just added to the excitement of it.  I did enjoy the book, even though I felt the middle dragged a little bit.  Of course, that could be because I’m way past the target audience.  This book is marketed as YA, but I think it will appeal to older middle grade and younger YA readers – I don’t think it’s creepy enough for the older YA audience. Here’s the trailer:

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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17 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2010 6:53 am

    I think the plot does sound more middle grade than YA, but I’m surprised a lot with marketing decisions in those two areas. Whenever I get to a B&N or Borders I like to stroll through the two and see what book is in what – often it’s not the same, depending on where you are!

  2. September 4, 2010 8:12 am

    This book wasn’t even on my radar but it does sound interesting! I agree that older YA probably won’t enjoy it and it might be better geared towards that 12/13 year old age range!

  3. stacybuckeye permalink
    September 4, 2010 9:06 am

    This looks like fun and I totally love the cover.

  4. September 4, 2010 9:49 am

    I’ve had Emily the Strange floating in my brain ever since the first time I saw a review. I may have to buy the first soon.

  5. September 4, 2010 10:36 am

    Mmmm… it is a unique premise for a story. My daughter might just like this. Thanks for the review!

  6. September 4, 2010 12:34 pm

    The part about her duplicating herself reminds me of some of the cartoons my kids have watched this summer.

  7. September 4, 2010 1:36 pm

    The books sounds different and fun, which should draw in the kids. The cover sounds wonderful! I may look for it in the store just to see the cover.

  8. September 4, 2010 2:36 pm

    Hmmm…I’m not even sure if my 12 year old would read this. But it is appealing to me. You have to love a kid with this much spunk.

  9. September 4, 2010 4:46 pm

    This book sounds delightful! And the idea is great too. I want to read it!

  10. September 4, 2010 7:44 pm

    Though Emily the Strange reminds me of a character in the Nate the Great children series, I think I might give this book a try. Great review!

  11. September 4, 2010 8:11 pm

    She does sound like a fun character.
    And I love embossing and glossiness in a cover … but you are right — it is what is inside that matters!

  12. September 4, 2010 10:22 pm

    Sounds like a neat book and I love the cover!

  13. September 5, 2010 3:27 am

    I like a diary format. You really wrote a good review. I would find it, for some reason, a little hard writing a review for this book. I would like to read it.

  14. September 6, 2010 8:58 am

    I think the Emily books would be great for my daughter and I am going to be looking out for them, including this installment. I am glad to hear that you liked the book, and I just know that my daughter will too! They sound like fun reads.

  15. September 6, 2010 6:24 pm

    Emily is a dark and strange kid that is for sure and I think that is what draws the teens to this book.

  16. September 7, 2010 12:22 am

    Wow, that is a fantastic book trailer and I’m not usually a big fan of them. This sounds like one I would like even though I am long past the target age too!

  17. September 8, 2010 11:41 am

    Oh, I love a beautifully designed book. Good to know the inside is worth it, too! It sounds fun and will definitely be going on my to read list!

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