The Freak: Book One

Car­ol Matas
  • Review
By – February 13, 2012

In Book One, after an acci­dent, Jade dis­cov­ers that she has psy­chic abil­i­ties. As a typ­i­cal teenag­er, being able to see the future presents all kinds of dif­fi­cul­ties. Although the author cap­tures the right tone and voice for this teen nov­el, the plot is pre­dictable. The Juda­ic con­tent is con­tained in one of the main plot points when Jade foils an anti- Semit­ic classmate’s attempt to bomb the syn­a­gogue on Yom Kip­pur. Jade is aid­ed by her Baba,” a stock Jew­ish grand­moth­er, who believes in her psy­chic pow­er. The love inter­est is sup­plied by a hand­some East Indi­an Hin­du who is a twelfth grader. 

In Book Two, Jade risks los­ing her best friend because of her strange behav­ior. She has dreams warn­ing her of attacks on women and of a dark cloud around her friend Susie. She decides to tell her friend the truth about her abil­i­ties, and she solves the mys­tery through her psy­chic pow­ers and a com­mu­ni­ca­tion with her dead grand­fa­ther. These books are like junk food: The fast pace and dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions will appeal to younger teens, and the expe­ri­ence doesn’t last long, but fans will grab the next install­ment the minute it comes out. Grades 6 – 8.

Addi­tion­al Book in Review

Susan Dubin was the first librar­i­an hon­ored with a Milken Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Jew­ish Edu­ca­tor Award. She is the owner/​director of Off-the-Shelf Library Ser­vices and library instruc­tion­al con­sul­tant at Val­ley Beth Shalom Day School in Enci­no, CA.

Discussion Questions