EFFIE STARR ZOOK HAS ONE MORE QUESTION by Martha Freeman

EFFIE STARR ZOOK HAS ONE MORE QUESTION

Age Range: 8 - 13
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

What begins as a relaxing summer finds middle schooler Effie discovering proverbial skeletons in her family’s closet, er…shed.

While Effie’s parents are flying the first solar plane around the world, the white girl is spending her summer on the Zook family farm with her aunt and uncle. Effie’s great-grandfather was the original owner of this farm and (fictional) inventor of the barf bag, so now the family is “well fixed.” When she meets two neighbor kids, both also white, she gets an inkling that some folks in this rural area are not fans of her family. The kids’ father, Mr. Yoder, is leader of a growing movement called Beards for America based on Effie’s great-grandfather’s “Precepts” (No. 1: “A man’s beard is a signifier of his special place in the natural order of things”), and yet the two families aren’t on speaking terms. Despite her many queries—and Effie is excellent at asking questions—the grown-ups are close-lipped about the tension between the families. After befriending the town’s only black resident, Effie reconstructs the murky history of her relatives. On the surface this feels a light, sun-dappled read, but within the depths of this story lurk compelling truths about sexism and racism that give shadow, dimension, and heft to this perky yarn. Effie’s growing awareness of her privilege and its origins is an appropriately complicated one.

A light-feeling read that effectively delves dark depths. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-13)

Pub Date: March 7th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4814-7264-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2016




MORE BY MARTHA FREEMAN

ChildrenIF YOU'RE GOING TO A MARCH by Martha Freeman
by Martha Freeman
ChildrenZAP! by Martha Freeman
by Martha Freeman
ChildrenP.S. SEND MORE COOKIES by Martha Freeman
by Martha Freeman

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSOPHIE QUIRE AND THE LAST STORYGUARD by Jonathan Auxier
by Jonathan Auxier
ChildrenCHILDREN OF EXILE by Margaret Peterson Haddix
by Margaret Peterson Haddix