Short

Short

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. As Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Olive - one of the adults wi...

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Title:Short
Author:Holly Goldberg Sloan
Rating:
ISBN:0399186212
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:304 pages

Short Reviews

  • Michele Knott
    Oct 08, 2016

    This book has an amazing middle grade voice with the main character, Julia.

    Julia tells it like it is, usually blunt but true.

    A coming of age story that is funny, full of heart, and short on nothing.

  • Patrick
    Feb 11, 2017

    A girl who is short, doesn't want to he short, gets cast in play to be short, and learns that being short is a very tall order and she is ready to tackle it. Wizard of OZ meets realistic fiction. Loved it!

  • Laura
    Sep 12, 2016

    It's been a long time since I've read contemporary middle grade. I think kids will LOVE this -- it has the right mix of heart, relatability, humour, and seriousness that speaks to kids that age. Especially fun for kids who like theatre but I was never a theatre kid and I really enjoyed it. Just FYI, if you are an adult it may make you cry, IDK what to tell you.

  • Sarah
    Sep 14, 2016

    Endearing novel seen through the eyes of the oh so charming preteen Julia Marks. Discouraged about her lack of stature and grieving the loss of her beloved dog, Ramon, Julia isn't looking forward to her summer. Her life changes dramatically (no pun intended) when her mother signs her and younger brother, Randy up as Munchkins in a semi-professional production of The Wizard of Oz. During the course of the nearly daily rehearsals Julia is introduced to the world of theatre and a quirky cast of cha

    Endearing novel seen through the eyes of the oh so charming preteen Julia Marks. Discouraged about her lack of stature and grieving the loss of her beloved dog, Ramon, Julia isn't looking forward to her summer. Her life changes dramatically (no pun intended) when her mother signs her and younger brother, Randy up as Munchkins in a semi-professional production of The Wizard of Oz. During the course of the nearly daily rehearsals Julia is introduced to the world of theatre and a quirky cast of characters who leave a lasting impact on her young life. Had I read this as a child it would have undoubtedly been one of my favorites. I've long loved the theatre and would have enjoyed Julia's astute, raw observations about the world around her.

  • Pauline
    Feb 18, 2017

    Another charming and quirky read from this author. 11 and 12 year old girls will relate to Julia and her concerns.

  • Ms. Yingling
    Dec 06, 2016

    Copy received from the publisher

    Julia doesn't really want to do much over the summer but watch her younger brother, Randy, and mourn the death of her dog, Ramon. Her mother has other plans, and signs both her and Randay up to participate in a local production of The Wizard of Oz. Since both of her best friends are out of town, and the cast and crew of the production are fairly amusing, Julia resigns herself to spending her summer either practicing or performing as a Munchkin. Yes, Julia is on th

    Copy received from the publisher

    Julia doesn't really want to do much over the summer but watch her younger brother, Randy, and mourn the death of her dog, Ramon. Her mother has other plans, and signs both her and Randay up to participate in a local production of The Wizard of Oz. Since both of her best friends are out of town, and the cast and crew of the production are fairly amusing, Julia resigns herself to spending her summer either practicing or performing as a Munchkin. Yes, Julia is on the short side, but not as short as the adult actors who have been hired. One of the women, Olive, intrigues Julia, and the two get along very well. Julia also makes the acquaintance of Mrs. Chang, a neighbor who was a prima ballerina and worked in costuming for a bit. Mrs. Chang surprises Julia with the quality of her creations, and introduces her neighbor to the director, Shawn Barr, who hires her to make costumes and also be a flying monkey along with Olive and Julia. The play goes fairly well, despite some mishaps, and Julia does her best even though she lacks confidence in her own abilities and is still working through her reaction to Ramon's death.

    Strengths: This was an oddly appealing book, mainly because the dog's death (While horrible, I admit. Losing a dog is more like losing part of oneself, and very difficult for a child.) was about the worst thing that happened. Both parents were alive, siblings were not in trouble, and there were even a few grandparents kicking around. The supporting characters like Olive and Mrs. Chang were superb and realistically portrayed. The intricacies of the play were informative and yet interesting, and would definitely appeal to budding thespians. The best part was that this was much more upbeat than Counting by 7's, so I was pleasantly surprised.

    Weaknesses: Books about theater productions are a hard sell for my library, but apparently not for others. I was a bit disappointed by one bit. (Spoiler alert at bottom) The mourning for the dog went on a bit too long, and I didn't find Julia to be overly likable or amusing, as many reviewers did.

    What I Really Think: Will probably purchase, since this was humorous and generally upbeat.

    Julia is just slow in growing and not actually destined to be exceptionally short; an x-ray at the orthodontist helps predict that she will grow up to be 5'4". I'm 5'2". This ruins the whole title for me!

  • Jill
    Feb 25, 2017

    The reader will fall in love with Julia and how she grows one summer playing a Munchin for a local production of the Wizard of Oz. Great middle school read!

  • Margie
    Feb 08, 2017

    A short girl gets to play a munchkin in a Wizard of Oz play, only because her mother insists she try out for a part. Changes her outlook on many things, makes friends with others her age and adults and she has many new experiences. Quick interesting read for teens but others will enjoy reading this story and other books by Holly Goldberg Sloan.

  • Eva
    Feb 10, 2017

    Not as compelling character wise as Counting By 7s, but definitely an excellent look at how a theatre experience can change you as a person and how you look at life and art. The background characters were not perhaps as fleshed out as they could have been, but with first person POV that can be hard to do. Especially when the MC is a child and therefore self-centered.

  • Erica
    Feb 12, 2017

    I laughed out loud reading this book and am so pleased that Holly Goldberg Sloane has created another diverse, unique, quirky cast of characters for us to read about - this time in a much more light-hearted way than in

    .

    When Julia is forced to audition for the community summer theater production of Wizard of Oz (to accompany her younger brother, who has a great musical voice), she and her brother are chosen to be Munchkins, giving her the perfect opportunity to meet and befriend o

    I laughed out loud reading this book and am so pleased that Holly Goldberg Sloane has created another diverse, unique, quirky cast of characters for us to read about - this time in a much more light-hearted way than in

    .

    When Julia is forced to audition for the community summer theater production of Wizard of Oz (to accompany her younger brother, who has a great musical voice), she and her brother are chosen to be Munchkins, giving her the perfect opportunity to meet and befriend other people of short stature. Julia is short for her age - which is pointedly *not* spelled out precisely, but is probably about age 10-12 - and has overheard that her parents are concerned about her height, which has inspired her to defiantly assert her capabilities. She is further inspired by her acute observations of the adult cast members who are of short stature, especially Olive, who becomes a casual mentor to her.

    She is also inspired by her teachers, the play's director, her eccentric neighbor Mrs. Yan Chang, her recently-deceased dog Ramon, and really practically everything she encounters - she is a sponge for life-advice from every source.

    Julia's interior monologue is fascinating, humorous, perspicacious, and compassionate even while she is surprisingly self-centered, assertive, and sometimes sneaky in managing to accomplish her quirky goals - speaking up or remaining silent in order to manipulate a situation to her advantage.

    In her contemplations, she provides an outlook that is not 100% reliable -- for example, it takes her some time to translate things she hears to actual information, like hearing "El Frank Bomb" to the author L. Frank Baum, and she jumps to conclusions sometimes -- but is inclusive, respectful, and conscious.

    The great thing about this open sharing of Julia's inner monologue is that young readers may absorb her attitude of inclusivity & respect, and her habits of observation & civility. As the play's director says, "Young people need models, not critics." (p. 283) - and just as Julia uses the director, Olive, and Mrs. Chang as role-models, a reader might do the same with all of them and Julia as well.

    However, the bad thing about this is that Julia's voice is the only narration - there is no second voice to give her thoughts another perspective point. Unfortunately, the author Sloane doesn't establish in her bio, her acknowledgments, nor her curriculum vitae online that her outlook about people of short stature and her descriptions/presentations of those characters would authentically & accurately reflect the real community of people. While overall

    sounds respectful and authentic, I have such limited personal experience with people of short stature that I need to hear the opinions of people with more of an insider's perspective.