JULEP O’TOOLE by Trudi Trueit


Confessions of a Middle Child
Age Range: 10 - 13
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Julep’s endearing whiny voice reveals preteen angst as she humorously mourns her plight as an invisible 11-year-old in a successful introspection spoiled by a heavy-handed disembodied narrator. She feels unnoticed at school and unappreciated at home: Her parents appear to do more for her perfect sister and prankster brother, and the popular people at school ignore her. Julep understands her brother’s asthma and has sacrificed her wants to his needs, albeit reluctantly, giving up her bedroom, because he needs the hardwood flooring. She shows a strength and sweetness in her tender care when his asthma attacks, ultimately jolting her to refocus and rethink self-pity. But the narrator’s voice continues to throw an adult pall of sappy summarizations over poignant realizations. Julep “had made one critical mistake in her thinking. She had believed that no one could see her, but actually, she was the one who couldn’t see the truth. All along, she had been visible to those who loved her. All along Julep had been visible to everyone except herself.” There’s just no need for the let-me-tell-you-the-point-in-case-no-one-gets-it style. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-525-47619-9
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2005


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