Monday, October 03, 2011

Minnesota Monday- Julia Gillian

The other day while riding my bike on the Greenway I saw a little group of preschoolers working in their community garden space and I was immediately reminded of the Julia Gillian series by Alison McGhee.

This is a great series for middle grade readers.  Julia is in fourth grade when the series starts and in sixth grade in the most recent book.

Julia is a wonderful character.  She keeps a list of things she is skilled at and she tries to add to that list.  She is a dog person.  She is independent.  Overall she is a believable character and her problems seem relatable.

The books are set in the Uptown area of Minneapolis.  In the book she visits places like Bryant Hardware (I pay more attention to the window display since reading these books). She goes to dinner with her family at Quang Restaurant.  She even sees preschoolers taking care of a community garden on her walks with her dog, Bigfoot.  She remembers a time when she was a preschooler taking care the community garden.  It is no surprise that seeing these kids working in their community garden made me think of the Julia Gillian books.  I would not have been surprised see Julia and Bigfoot at the dog park when I pedaled past.  

The drawings in this book are really fun also.  One of my favorites is of Julia in her Minnesota Twins jersey.

Check these books out.  You won't be disappointed.

Have you been reminded of a book because of a location?



Meredith said...

These books sound so cute! I love that she keeps a list of things she is good at and tries to add to it--what a great role model!

Andrea Mack said...

I think it's really neat when authors include details about real places, especially in contemporary stories which can often have generic settings.