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Julian's Glorious Summer by Ann Cameron
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Julian's Glorious Summer

by Ann Cameron

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ISBN 0394891171 - Any book that wins the Library of Congress Children's Book of the Year gets my attention and Julian's Glorious Summer took that prize in 1988. The lesson of Julian's story is one that all parents can appreciate.

Julian's summer takes a nosedive from the beginning, when his best friend Gloria rides up on her bicycle. She thinks it's great - he thinks it's scary. Not that he's about to say that! Instead, when Gloria invites him over to her house, Julian claims that his father will be forcing him to work day and night for the entire summer. His lie snowballs and, perhaps worse, his father seems to think this is a good idea and puts Julian to work immediately. One day, however, the work runs out - it's payday and Julian is in for yet another surprise this summer.

The back cover says Reading Level 2.8. This book is a nice way for a kid to learn how lying can backfire, but at the same time Julian ends up with quite a payoff for his lies, so the lesson can be a little vague and might merit further discussion. Julian's fear of riding a bike is not uncommon and might help your child face his or her own fear - of bikes or anything else. The illustrations, by Dora Leder, are black and white pencil sketches and the lack of the vibrant colors usually found in books for very young readers is a positive here, because they don't distract from the text but enhance it. Race is most certainly not an issue in this story, but it might be worth knowing for some that the characters are black (it's never said, just in the images). This might make the book even more appealing to black families who have, in my reading experience so far, been under-represented in childrens' books. Julian's summer is glorious, the book is all right and the messages in it are worthwhile.

- AnnaLovesBooks ( )
  AnnaLovesBooks | Sep 4, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394891171, Paperback)

Bicycles–shiny, whizzing, wobbly bicycles–scare Julian more than lions or tigers. But how can he tell that to his best friend, Gloria? She can already ride with no hands. So instead of telling the truth, Julian makes up a little fib. And he almost gets away with it–until his fib backfires and Julian finds himself in the biggest, most confounding fix ever.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When his best friend, Gloria, receives a new bike, seven-year-old Julian spends the summer avoiding her because of his fear of bikes.

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