“I loved your book, I’ve already read it and was so happy that it was suggested by one of the girls. All the characters came alive for me and the quirkier ones were just delightful.  5th, 6th grade girls (and boys) are grappling with issues of identity and Emma’s voice is just perfect.” (Marina,  Head of Youth Services, Stevens Memorial Library)

“In a bizarre turn of events whilst googling myself I stumbled across this book and I’m glad I did. Although ‘a little’ older than a teenager I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of the fictional Emma Freke. A delightful read and one that restores the belief that no matter how you see yourself, others always see the best in you. Often the hardest critique we face in life is our own, Emma teaches you to be proud of who you are and flourish in the confidence we all find when we feel we fit in and belong. Being different makes us human, and as the saying goes, if everyone was the same we’d be boring.” (Emma Freke — Henley-on-Thames, England)

“Heart warming, self affirming, funny – a book for the freak in each one of us.” (Lavanya Karthik– Mumbai India)

“Emma Freke is an enchanting story of a girl who under-appreciates herself, and who goes on an adventure that changes her life as well as the lives of a lot of other Frekes. Finding happiness in self-acceptance, Emma returns home cheerier and self-assured. So many of us think, Am I weird because I…?; I, Emma Freke is for anyone who’s ever asked that question.” (“Bob-on-Books” Blog)

“It’s difficult to find books that are as realistic and age-appropriate as this. I envision this becoming a timeless realistic tale.” (Diane Chen: School Library Journal/Practically Paradise)

“This honest and funny novel is all about figuring out who you really are and learning to accept that everyone is different.” (Rights People: Representing Children’s Fiction Worldwide)

“I enjoyed this novel a lot. It was fast-moving and fun to read. I loved the characters. The lesson of not being afraid to be yourself is done well and I recommend this to all middle schoolers.” (

“I can’t wait to read your next book!! I loved how you got the mean girls so right! There is a girl in my grade who is exactly like Hailey [in ALICE TO ZEN]!! It was so funny. When ever I pictured Hailey I pictured the girl in my grade!” (Shannon – NYC – 6th grade)

(My VERY first FAN email after the release of ALICE TO ZEN)

“I found your book, ‘From ALICE TO ZEN,’ when I was at Barnes and Nobles searching for a book to read for my project. My mom and I were looking in the teen section for appropriate books for my age. But, my mom thought that all the books were too old for me or not appropriate. They were for high school readers. We were looking at the Gossip Girl series and other novels that were about “older” situations.

So my mom and I headed for the children section, but there were books that I might have read in 2nd grade. We searched in the back where the cover of your book caught my eye. Well, my mom went away to search again in the teen section, again. I stayed and read the back of your book. All the books that my mom was looking at (I thought) were the same old, same old. The ones where they go on adventure in the woods. Or the books tell the story of their present life about their friends and nothing is really different.

But, as I read the back of your book I was amazed of how different the story was. About a boy who acts more of a girl than the girl does. I thought that the part where Zen says, “I just got a new curling iron and it crimps too” really made me just want to read on. I showed my mom the book and she thought that it would be funny and a good read for my age. So I took it home and once I started reading I just couldn’t stop. I thought that the book was so realistic and tells a real story of what a middle school student really has to go through. Picking what you want to be, or picking to be cool and popular. I really loved your book!” (Mallorie – Michigan – 7th Grade)