Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Julia Gillian (And the Quest for Joy) (MG)

Julia Gillian (And the Quest for Joy). Alison McGhee. 2009. Scholastic. 320 pages.

It was the end of September, and Julia Gillian, along with the other Lake Harriet Elementary School students, had been in school for nearly a month.

I loved Julia Gillian (And the Art of Knowing). I thought Julia Gillian was a great quirky heroine. I found it easy to relate to her and her problems. (In the first book, she struggled with anxiety and fear.) Changes. This second book deals with changes.

Julia and her friends are in the fifth grade. And at times Julia feels her friends are growing up faster than she is. Julia doesn't want to be a baby. But. She likes her parents to pack her lunches. She loves the notes her parents write her in her lunches. She has saved each and every one. And some of these notes, well, she pastes them into her papier-mache masks because they give her courage, they make her feel better. When her best friend, Bonwit, announces that he packs his own lunches, Julia does the unthinkable. She lies. She says she packs her own lunches too. And that one little lie is just the start of the uncomfortableness that becomes Julia's life. There are so many things bothering Julia these days. Worries about her trumpet--she's the only one in her class that can't make the trumpet make a sound. Worries about her friendship with Bonwit--he hasn't invited her over to his house in months, and every time she invites him over, well, he says no. Worries about the lunchroom--her favorite lunch monitor is out, and there's a substitute who is trouble, trouble, trouble for anyone who believes in life, liberty, and the pursuit of Oreos. But though Julia very worried, she can't find the courage to speak up. She thinks she should be able to solve her problems on her own without asking her parents for help, for advice. Can Julia learn to be honest with everyone in her life?

I loved Julia Gillian and the Quest for Joy. I did. I would definitely recommend these books!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Jessica Leader 9:49 AM  

I love the Julia Gillian books, and I wish more people knew about them! So glad you're spreading the word! I think a 3rd one is coming out soon. Yay!

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