Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Julia Gillian (And The Art of Knowing)

Julia Gillian (And the Art of Knowing) by Alison McGhee. 2008. Scholastic. 290 pages.

Julia Gillian, her parents, and her dog, Bigfoot, all lived together in a third-floor apartment in south Minneapolis.

Julia Gillian is a kindred spirit in many ways. She's a quirky nine year old. Sensitive too. She's good at many things, but not so good at others. One of Julia Gillian's weaknesses is fear and anxiety. What does Julia Gillian fear? Well, in this first book in the series, she fears a green book. You should probably know that Julia Gillian is not a big reader. So the fact that she picked out a book and asked her parents to buy it for her, well, it's a big deal. But there is a problem. About forty pages into it, Julia Gillian gets worried. The book is about a dog, you see, and she has a bad feeling, a very bad feeling about where the book is heading. So she doesn't want to finish the book. So what's the big deal? She can't stop thinking about the book. She wraps two ponytail holders around the book, but she still doesn't feel "safe." And that's just the first step. Her parents think she needs to finish the book. That finishing the book would be good for their daughter. Can Julia Gillian find the courage to read a sad book?

I mentioned that Julia Gillian is quirky. That is one of the reasons why I loved her so much.
Julia Gillian loved lamination. Someday she hoped to master the art of lamination. She pictured all the things that she could then laminate if she wanted to: birthday cards, abstract portraits, excellent spelling quizzes, and all manner of signs. Lamination was a wonderful thing. Sometimes, when Julia Gillian's parents were sighing over their newspaper, she wanted to remind them that there were many good things in the world, such as lamination. (75)
I enjoyed this one. I enjoyed getting to know Julia Gillian, her friends and family. I enjoyed the writing too. I thought Julia Gillian made a great narrator!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

No comments: