Emily the Strange: Dark Times

Authors: Rob Reger & Jessica Gruner

Illustrator: Rob Reger

Another new town, another year of school to get herself excused from. All in a day’s work for Emily Strange. Well, maybe this year she’ll actually give school a chance–and homeschool herself! Courses will include: fingerpainting, particle physics, Krav Maga martial arts, and History of the Strange Family 101 (among others). As Emily studies her family history, it becomes apparent that she will have to travel back to 1790 to save one of her ancestors. Back in 1790, things become a bit touch-and-go, especially as Emily has run out of fuel for her Time-Out Machine. Still, being a competent Dark Girl, Emily’s bound to think up a plan . . . and earn loads of extra credit while she’s at it.

I love it! The entire story is told as a journal, complete with pictures, photographs, lists, and notes to self. The tone is very conversational, and the characterization is amazing. Emily is brilliantly revealed through her journal, and she is quite the . . . well, strange character. She is nocturnal, scarily intelligent, sassy, cat-loving, shy, and mostly prepared–and she’s only been to school 13 days in her thirteen years of life! The illustrations capture the tone wonderfully, being presented as drawings (and fingerpaintings) Emily makes or photographs she pasted into the journal. Good stuff . . . but mostly recommended for those with a more hipster sort of taste.


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