post written by Esther Filbrun
Author: Rachael McIntire
Major Themes: Christian Fiction, Christian Living
Synopsis: From a very early age, Julie Greene has been a brat. Is there any hope that she can change and become someone people will want to be around?
Several years ago, I read The Reunion—and loved the story! When I heard Julie was coming out, I knew I wanted to read it too, since Julie was a minor character in the previous story. However, due to one thing and another, I wasn’t able to get the story for free and eventually I shelled out $3 or $4 for the book. Even then, it sat in my Kindle waiting to be read for a year or so, until it finally came up on the “must be read to review” list. Turns out to be a great story! Perhaps not as interesting as some I’ve read, but I did appreciate many of the themes through the book that make it a worthwhile read especially for younger readers.
Julie Greene has not had a happy start to life. With her father gone on extended work-related trips and her mother exerting little discipline or oversight in her life, the young girl learns to be the neighborhood bully at a young age in order to get a little attention. She has only one friend, a younger neighbor girl who shows kindness to her, but soon she and her family move on—leaving Julie with no real friendships at all. As Julie gets older and enters school, she continues being nasty toward her fellow students—that is, until in fourth grade she meets a boy named Ted who shows genuine kindness toward her despite her ugly temper. They soon become good friends, but will that one good friendship be broken by a move, this time by Julie’s family to a new town? And when the Greene family meet Christians and then find the Lord themselves, will that disrupt her friendship? Is there any hope that Julie can learn to be kind, and be able to have friends?
Julie follows the story of Julie Greene’s life, from when she was a three- or four-year-old through to her sixties, when she was a “grandma” to many different children in the neighborhood. Through the story, we witness her coming to know the Lord and see the change He made in her life, and how she lived out her Christian life in school and at home. I enjoyed the story, even though it was definitely written for younger children. I probably won’t be reading the story again soon—simply because it struck me as not having much depth to it—but it would be a great book to hand to an early reader or someone who can’t find enough good books to satisfy their current read-a-thon.
WARNING: Mentions two Christian young men going off to Vietnam as part of the US Navy, presented in a light that promotes people doing that. According to the Bible (Matthew 5:21-22, for example), Christians should not kill others, so joining the navy would be going against what Jesus teaches.
Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Links to buy Julie:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Book Depository: Paperback