Books by Julie Johnston

LITTLE RED LIES by Julie Johnston
Released: Sept. 10, 2013

"Filled with bumbling characters who achingly love each other, this coming-of-age tale rises above a crowded field to take readers on a moving journey of discovery. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
Rachel, after donning an inappropriately bright lipstick called "Little Red Lies," welcomes her beloved elder brother, James, back from World War II. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1994

With a wry eye, keen pacing, and a wonderfully nimble narrative, the author of Hero of Lesser Causes (1993) stirs up something saucy and fresh from the seasoned material that also animated The Great Gilly Hopkins and Missing May. Sara Moone, in foster care since birth, has grown a stiff, prickly exterior over her first 15 years. Tongue-tied with people, she confides in a computer, the only thing of value she has from her last family. Now Sara lands at the Huddleston's, where Ma never stops talking, Hud rarely starts, and foster brothers Nick and Josh separately beat away at Sara's emotional barricade. Sara, who has learned that ``if you don't want your heart broken, don't let on you have one,'' is subtly seduced into caring for this compelling cast while, on the periphery, her birth mother hopes to ``rectify a mistake'' by seeking the baby she gave up. Josh's sassy innocence reflects what Sara once was, treacherous Nick and the dead-eyed ``Woman'' presage what she might become, but the extraordinary Sara Moone is destined to be none other than herself. (Fiction. 12+) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1993

Keely, 12, and her brother Patrick, 13, are rivals given to challenging, often dangerous, dares but also ``Siamese twins, joined at the mind.'' When polio strikes (it's 1946) and the active boy is left not only without movement but deeply despondent, Keely also finds her world profoundly altered. Her sympathy for Patrick is believably tempered with impatience with his negativism and her own discomfort with the disruption of their household. Warmhearted nurse Peggy's good sense is a first step on the way to partial recovery, and Keely first sparks Patrick's interest with a far-fetched plan to find Peggy's fiancÇ, missing and presumed dead in WW II. But it's Keely's imagination, guile, and persistence—in the face of Patrick's continuing opposition—that lead to finding new, understanding friends and getting him into a wheelchair and out of the house. Still, Patrick's real healing begins only after he attempts suicide, realizes how glad he is that he failed, and begins to make the physical and emotional efforts needed for a productive life. It's not easy, nor simplistically presented: Patrick's bitter despair is as graphically evoked as feisty Keely's more humorous pratfalls and adolescent angst. Winner of Canada's Governor General's Award: a fine first novel with an intense, beautifully developed sibling relationship. (Fiction. 10-14) Read full book review >