Welcome to Martha's website

Thanks for stopping by the website of Martha Freeman, author of books for kids of all ages. Click on the Books icon above to learn about all her books, including The Orphan and the Mouse, the First Kids and Chickadee Court mysteries, Strudel's Forever Home, and Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question. To buy any book, click on the image.

Who turned out the lights?

Luis Cardenal is toasting a Pop-Tart when a power outage strikes Hampton, New Jersey. Elevators and gas pumps fail right away; soon cell phones die and grocery shelves empty. Cold and in the dark, people begin to get desperate. 

Luis likes to know how things work, and the blackout gets him wondering: Where does the city’s electricity come from? What would cause it to shut down?

No one seems to have answers, and rumors are flying. Then a slip of the tongue gives Luis and his ex best friend Maura a clue. Brushed off by the busy police, the two sixth graders determine they are on their own. To get to the bottom of the mystery, they know they will have to brave the abandoned houses of Luis’s poor neighborhood and find the homeless teen legend known as Computer Genius. What they don’t realize is that someone suspects they know too much, someone who wants to keep Hampton in the dark.

In this electrifying mystery, two can-do sleuths embark on a high-tech urban adventure to answer an age-old question: Who turned out the lights?

"The story has all of the heroic elements. . . The rich STEM themes make this novel noteworthy. The author has done a solid job weaving in science topics as well as current political and social themes, to create a significant story about infrastructure, science, and class relations. Mystery lovers will be satisfied by the plot and adults will love the curriculum and social awareness tie-in.” 
- School Library Journal


How do you make a book, anyway?

With a little help from her friends, Martha made a two-minute slide show to answer the age-old question. Click on the link here to see it and to learn more about Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question.