The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry | Dedicated Review


Book Review of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry
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The Children’s Book Review

Written by Rebecca Laxton

Illustrated by Gracie Laxton

Ages 10+ | 252 Pages

Publisher: Warren Publishing, Inc | ISBN-13: 9781960146236

What to Expect: Friendship, environmental sustainability, celebrity, art

It can sometimes seem like getting involved in a “cause” involves a strange tension between the superficiality of social media and the seriousness of activism. What should the line be between fun and social justice? In this middle-grade novel, readers will see how these two worlds blend to create complex challenges and invite collaborative solutions.

Emma Murry is thrilled when she discovers that her Instagram crush and his celebrity father will visit her hometown. Unfortunately, Jeb and Chester are not as idyllic in real life as they are from a distance. Soon, Emma and her environmental club face a difficult choice: lose the monarch butterfly garden or lose the friendship of Jeb and Chester. Then, to make matters worse, Chester receives a death threat, and suddenly Emma finds herself embroiled in a mystery that threatens not only her friendships and the butterflies but much, much more. Can one thirteen-year-old girl really solve a problem this big?

Emma is a warm, relatable character who shares an intimate picture of small-town life and involvement in a cause bigger than herself. Emma’s artistic infatuation with color and light and the supernatural slant to her adventures add a touch of magical realism. At the same time, her developing relationship with Jeb offers a hint of romantic interest too.

The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry is a multi-layered, thought-provoking story that will keep readers captivated until the last page.

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About the Author

Rebecca Laxton has served school communities as an afterschool program director, reading specialist, and school psychologist. While working for Boone County Schools, she was named the Kentucky School Psychologist of the Year for collaborating with teachers and administrators to write and evaluate an emotional intelligence curriculum. 

Rebecca is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Charlotte Literary Arts, and the North Carolina Writers Association. Her short memoir, “Throw Like a Girl,” about playing on a mostly boys’ Little League team, can be found in The Love of Baseball (McFarland 2017). Currently, she is a dyslexia practitioner and enjoys reading, writing, and spending time in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband, four kids, and three dogs. 

Rebecca invites you to visit her online at

Rebecca Laxton: Author Headshot

About the Illustrator

Gracie Laxton is a freelance graphic designer and dance choreographer from North Carolina but is currently based in New York City. A 2021 graduate of Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Monroe, NC, she studied art as part of The Savannah College of Art and Design’s high school joint enrollment program. Currently, she attends Marymount Manhattan College, pursuing degrees in dance and art.

Gracie Laxton: Illustrator Headshot
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Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This is a sponsored, non-biased review of The Metamorphosis of Emma Murry. Learn more about getting a book review …

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