JULIA'S HOUSE by Maria Gripe


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Julia and Peter, her Night Daddy (1970), again alternate chapters in this story set a few years' later when Julia has a male teacher of whom Peter is just a bit jealous. The rented house Julia shares with her mother (and sometimes with Peter and Smuggler the owl) is being painted by an artist who specializes in endangered structures, haunted by a strange silent little boy named Elvis whose presence seems to fascinate Peter, and visited by all manner of officials and human vultures determined respectively to tear the place down and make off with its store of antiques. Peter promises Julia he will save the house but despite his letters to the city a bulldozer arrives on the appointed day; Julia and Peter greet the wreckers with a huge party--people, cakes and juice, balloons--designed to demonstrate the house's potential as a community center, and in the end the fate of Julia's house is still uncertain. As you'd expect there are nice touches throughout but there's something a bit coy in the two narrators' early explanations and disclaimers as to why they are again putting pen to paper, something a bit odd in Peter's total immersion in the affairs of children, and something wistfully '60's-ish in the flower power ending.

Pub Date: May 28th, 1975
Page count: 182pp
Publisher: Delacorte