Great Illustrated Books

Super Emma (Emma series)

By Sally Warner, Illustrated by Jamie Harper

Puffin, 2008
Pages : 112
Suggested Ages: 6-9
ISBN: 9780670061402

Even though Emma has never thought of herself as especially brave, when Jared Matthews takes her friend EllRay's plastic action figure and threatens to break the wings off, Emma jumps into the fray, grabbing the toy and yelling, "Quit it, you big bully." Instead of thanking Emma, now EllRay's mad at her, and the kids in her class are calling her Super Emma, but not in a nice way, because they say she did a "boy-thing." Then Jared threatens to get even with her when everyone on the playground will be watching—he's planning to dump her in a garbage can. Emma doesn't know if she's brave enough to handle Jared, but she doesn't want her mom to get involved, either. Emma's present tense narrative will be compelling to kids who have coped with similar problems. Readers will probably understand why EllRay is mad at Emma—it's a bit of a testosterone thing—but they'll also be relieved when he helps her in the end. What does it mean to be brave? Children will recall times they've been brave or not so brave and what the consequences were. Speaking of garbage cans, see how another resourceful girl deals with bullies and garbage in Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Roxie and the Hooligans.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Greene, Stephanie. Owen Foote, Frontiersman. Clarion, 1999. ISBN-13: 978-0395615782

Howe, James. Pinky and Rex and the Bully. Atheneum, 1996. ISBN-13: 978-0689808340

Kennemore, Tim. Circle of Doom. Farrar, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0374411985

Krensky, Stephen. Louise Takes Charge. Dial, 1998. ISBN-13: 978-0803723061

Larson, Kirby. Cody and Quinn, Sitting in a Tree. Holiday House, 1996. ISBN-13: 978-0823412273

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Roxie and the Hooligans. Atheneum, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-1416902447

O'Neill, Alexis. The Recess Queen. Scholastic, 2002. ISBN-13: 978-0439206372

Sorel, Edward, and Cheryl Carlesimo. The Saturday Kid. McElderry, 2000. ISBN-13: 978-0689823992

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Shredderman: Secret Identity. Knopf, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0440419129

Warner, Sally. Not-So-Weird Emma. Viking, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0142408070

Warner, Sally. Only Emma. Viking, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0142407110

Weigel, Jeff. Atomic Ace (He's Just My Dad). Albert Whitman, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0807532171

Critics have said

This third adventure in the series once again portrays the plucky young heroine struggling with conflict resolution and the social issues that many children face. A smattering of whimsical black-and-white illustrations helps to move the story along.
Debbie Lewis O
This is an honest portrayal of everyday life for many elementary school children and it is told with a sense of humor that will have the reader rooting for Emma. With the recent emphasis given to the bullying problem in numerous schools across the country, this book offers a simple and sensible solution.
Emma is a character complicated enough to question herself, make mistakes and triumph in the end.
Kirkus Reviews