by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Dial Books (January 2017)
Realistic Fiction/Humor Fiction
What It's All About:
Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer run of The Wizard of Oz, she'll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. She hasn't ever thought of herself as a performer, but when the wonderful director of Oz casts her as a Munchkin, she begins to see herself in a new way. Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Olive--one of the adults with dwarfism who've joined the production's motley crew of Munchkins. With her deeply artistic neighbor, Mrs. Chang, Julia's own sense of self as an artist grows. Soon, she doesn't want to fade into the background--and it's a good thing, because her director has more big plans for Julia!
Why You'll Love It:
- Sloan again captures the authentic voice of a child dealing with weighty topics, including loss and identity, in a charming and often funny way.
- It’s refreshing that Julia doesn’t mind being short and believes she’s “little, but big inside.” Her self-acceptance is inspiring, and the joy she experiences in her foray into theater is irresistible.
- Julia's musings about the play also serve as a well-crafted introduction to theater terminology and convey drama’s ability to open participants up to new experiences.
Perfect for 5th-8th graders.
What Else You Should Read:
- Drama by Raina Telgemeier
- The original Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum
- Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle