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Julia Gillian (and the Dream of the Dog) Paperback – May 1 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; Reprint edition (May 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545033535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545033534
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #538,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As the new school year begins, Julia feels that it isn't starting off very well.

Learning to play the trumpet is harder than she expected. Her best friend, Bonwit Keller, seems to be avoiding her and never wants to spend time together. An eccentric lunch monitor seems to love to terrorize her.

When Julia starts telling lies to cover for her shortfalls, she ends up getting tangled up. With everything happening and her world falling down around her, Julia wonders where she can find joy. Will she ever find a happy medium in her life? Will Julia figure out what's eating at her best friend, or will she lose him forever?

JULIA GILLIAN (AND THE QUEST FOR JOY) is a great book. The characters are well-developed, memorable, and humorous. The plot moves along at a good pace and holds the reader's interest. The illustrations interspersed throughout the book complement the text well and add a unique element to the story.

Readers who like realistic fiction and friendship stories will all enjoy this book.

Reviewed by: Kira M
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Julia Gillian is quite accomplished for a nine-year-old. Thus far she's mastered the art of making papier-mâché masks, spreading her gum evenly across her teeth, and knowing exactly what her dog, Bigfoot, is saying even though he doesn't speak "human."

Though she hasn't yet conquered the claw machine at Bryant Hardware by grabbing the stuffed meerkat, Julia keeps her skills sharp every Friday and Sunday afternoon during her walks around the neighborhood with Bigfoot.

By far and away though, Julia Gillian's greatest skill is the art of knowing. For instance: she knows what her mother's making for breakfast before entering the kitchen, she knows the newspaper is full of nothing but bad news, and thirty-six pages into her new green book from Quinn Booksellers, she *knows* the story isn't going to end well.

Set in Minneapolis, JULIA GILLIAN (AND THE ART OF KNOWING) is a down-to-earth story featuring a precocious young girl's struggle figuring out how to deal with the unsettling realities life (sometimes) presents.

A few people might object to Julia's lack of summertime playmates, especially living in a large city; having grown up an only child, though, I can attest to the challenges of ferreting out peers.

Alison McGhee gives children an intelligent and determined central character dealing with relatable problems in an honest, straightforward narrative. I'm definitely setting this one aside to pass on to my nieces.

Reviewed by: Cat
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Curiosity and Worry June 9 2008
By Little Willow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
All summer, almost-fifth-grader Julia Gillian tries her hardest to avoid reading a book about a boy and his dog because she assumes it will have a unhappy ending. After all, it seems as though dogs don't often survive those stories - Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc. She doesn't want to think about such things, especially because she has a pet dog, Bigfoot, who is her constant companion. Though she's good at doing things, she really doesn't want to read that particular book, but procrastination and avoidance just stress her out!

Julia is a fun character. I love her curious nature. She has a great sense of loyalty. She's surrounded by artsy-cool folks, like her parents and her neighbors, two of which are siblings: her former baby-sitter, now a hip young woman she looks up to, and her brother the baker, who makes tasty and interesting treats. As she walks around Minneapolis, you can tell that she is totally comfortable in her city and in her home. She's totally a city girl, but she acts her age - not overly precocious, not at all naive, definitely and firmly her age, and always curious and questioning.

This is the first in a trilogy. I'll definitely be reading the next two books to see what else happens to Julia, and I'll continue to read Alison McGhee's other books as well. I have enjoyed her previous novels, like Shadow Baby, Snap, and Falling Boy, and there seems yet to be an audience for which she can't write successfully!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A good read Feb. 1 2009
By K. McManus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
While I can understand the "senseless" part of another review posted here, I actually sort of liked this book. My 4th grader selected this book for a book report so I thought I'd give it a quick read. It's a fast read (thanks to the double spacing of the text on each page) and the illustrations add to the charm of the story. But the story is slight so if you're looking for action and adventure, look elsewhere. However, I thought there were a lot of great themes throughout the book. I could relate to Julia Gillian and her fears and worries. I think a lot of kids worry about the things she does, especially in these uncertain times. But the ending is hopeful... and I for one am looking forward to reading more about Julia Gillian in the future.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Daughter loves it Feb. 24 2012
By io - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a 9 year old daughter and she just loved this book.

She read both books and wanted to know if there was another one.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice Story; Great Illustrations.. what else could I ask for? Feb. 28 2010
By Phoenix66 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was a gift that I got for my niece, who's 11.
She read it cover to cover while staying with me.
She liked it enough that a)she read it instead of watching tv, talking on the phone b) she gave it a big thumbs up when i asked for her reaction.
I read some of it in the store before I got it and loved the way the story reminded me much of my own childhood and the things that go with it. very good choice; glad i got it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Courtesy of Teens Read Too Dec 4 2009
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Julia Gillian is quite accomplished for a nine-year-old. Thus far she's mastered the art of making papier-mâché masks, spreading her gum evenly across her teeth, and knowing exactly what her dog, Bigfoot, is saying even though he doesn't speak "human."

Though she hasn't yet conquered the claw machine at Bryant Hardware by grabbing the stuffed meerkat, Julia keeps her skills sharp every Friday and Sunday afternoon during her walks around the neighborhood with Bigfoot.

By far and away though, Julia Gillian's greatest skill is the art of knowing. For instance: she knows what her mother's making for breakfast before entering the kitchen, she knows the newspaper is full of nothing but bad news, and thirty-six pages into her new green book from Quinn Booksellers, she *knows* the story isn't going to end well.

Set in Minneapolis, JULIA GILLIAN (AND THE ART OF KNOWING) is a down-to-earth story featuring a precocious young girl's struggle figuring out how to deal with the unsettling realities life (sometimes) presents.

A few people might object to Julia's lack of summertime playmates, especially living in a large city; having grown up an only child, though, I can attest to the challenges of ferreting out peers.

Alison McGhee gives children an intelligent and determined central character dealing with relatable problems in an honest, straightforward narrative. I'm definitely setting this one aside to pass on to my nieces.

Reviewed by: Cat

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