Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Julian is not like his friends.  At least that's what everyone keeps telling him, but the way he sees it is different.  His best friend Lonnie is the leader, the one with all the ideas, and the rest of the gang just kind of follows along because his ideas are usually good and because Lonnie's just so persuasive.

No one meant for Danley to get hurt.  They were just kids playing around, but now the suspension is over, and Julian and his friends are back in class.  But Julian's English teacher isn't satisfied.  Mr. Selkirk wants something written, and it has to be long.

This is beginning of Julian's musings on his life, his friends, and their adventures.  Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes Julian writes the truth whether he can see it or not.

This is the story of the year when Julian finally starts to see things for how they really are, to see the truth about his friendships and about his choices.  To finally see what it means to stand up and be yourself.

I really enjoyed Mark Goldblatt's coming of age story.  Julian is not a character you always like, but I think most of us can identify with those moments when you just go with the flow because that's what's easiest.  Highly recommended!

Students reading this book should be aware that the historical context is important to the details of the story.  You will hear characters using words, phrases, or attitudes to describe people of other races that may surprise your modern mind. Keep the historical context in mind as you read.  How would the characters and story be different if it took place in 2014 instead of 1969?

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