Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question

Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question

For Ages: 8 - 12
“An excellent addition to middle grade collections.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

After being shipped off to stay with her aunt and uncle in Nowheresville, Pennsylvania, city girl Effie Starr Zook stumbles upon a mystery that leads her to an old family feud in this “accessible and exciting” (School Library Journal, starred review).

A rich girl from New York City, Effie Starr Zook isn’t afraid of much. When her parents go on a dangerous round-the-world adventure in a solar airplane, she’s packed off to her aunt and uncle’s farm for the summer. Expecting boredom, she runs smack dab into a family secret. Why does the neighbor kid want to avoid her? What are her aunt and uncle so worried about? And what does “bad blood” mean, anyway?

Effie’s got a brand-new bicycle, time on her hands, and an unlimited capacity for asking questions. With these, she sets out to uncover whatever it is the grownups are hiding. Along the way, she’ll contend with crackpot politics, serve coffee in a bookstore café, and learn more than she bargained for about her famous great-grandfather, the inventor of the barf bag. Fast-paced and funny, this is a story about having the courage to find out who you really are. Look out, world—when Effie Starr Zook has questions, she won’t take no for an answer!
  • Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481472654 | 
  • March 2018 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
List Price $7.99 (price may vary by retailer)
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day

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A Reading Group Guide to

Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question

By Martha Freeman

About the Book

Sent by her loving but self-absorbed parents to stay with her aunt and uncle on their farm in a small Pennsylvania town, eleven-year old Effie, a wealthy, self-reliant New York City girl, adapts to her new surroundings with a growing purpose and resourcefulness.

The farm is the family homestead, where her great-grandfather invented the barf bag and made the fortune that allows Effie’s parents to follow their dream of flying a solar airplane around the world. While her parents are gallivanting around the world, Effie is busy exploring the town on her new bike—making unexpected friendships, asking questions, unearthing untold stories, and learning the answers to a mystery within her own family.

She knows the grown-ups are withholding something from her. Why does Moriah, the girl from the neighboring farm, avoid her? What is the “bad blood” between their families? What do the hushed conversations about legal matters mean? Why does the first Effie (the great-grandmother that Effie is named after) look sad in the photo taken of her?

What Effie had feared would be a boring summer turns out to be anything but as she follows clues in search of the truth—about her family, her colorful new friends, and even about herself. And yes, Effie always has one more question!

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About the Author

Martha Freeman
Helen Richardson

Martha Freeman

Martha Freeman wrote her first story when she was four years old. The illustration shows a house, because a house was the one thing she knew how to draw, and two nose-less girls. Over one girl is a speech bubble that says: “A home.” Over the other is another speech bubble: “Our home.” After that, Martha Freeman grew up, traveled around the world, worked as a reporter and a teacher, and wrote twenty-seven books for young readers, including The Year My Parents Ruined My LifeFourth-Grade Weirdo, The Secret Cookie Club books, Who Stole Halloween?, and Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question. Home remains a theme in many of Martha’s books, but none is as pithy as that early effort. “Home” for Martha is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.