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JULIA GILLIAN by Alison McGhee


(and the Art of Knowing)

by Alison McGhee & illustrated by Drazen Kozjan

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-545-03348-0
Publisher: Scholastic

Nine-year-old Julia Gillian goes out of her way to avoid unhappy endings. Fortunately there’s a lot for Julia Gillian to be happy about, including her growing list of such personal accomplishments as making papier-mâché masks, spreading her gum evenly across her top row of teeth and her skill at the “art of knowing.” Julia Gillian lives in a south Minneapolis apartment with her good-natured schoolteacher parents and her beloved St. Bernard, Bigfoot. Normally they spend summer vacations doing special things like visiting the water park and picnicking at Lake Harriet Rose Garden, but this summer her parents are busy studying, leaving Julia Gillian on her own. Even though she loves walking Bigfoot and visiting her neighbors, the resourceful Julia Gillian can’t help thinking about the book with the unhappy ending she’s afraid to finish. Decorated with Kozjan’s swiftly drawn vignettes, the straightforward text, packed with daily details, seems directly descended from Beverly Cleary’s works. A fresh, winsome heroine learns a lesson about facing her fears in this first of an anticipated series. (Fiction. 7-10)