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Happy New Year, Julie 1974

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Julie knows the holidays will be difficult this year, but when her sister, Tracy, refuses to go to Dad s house for Christmas, Julie feels as if her family is falling apart. She finds comfort spending time with her best friend, Ivy Ling, whose family is getting ready for Chinese New Year. When Julie s whole family is invited to the Lings New Year banquet, Julie worries abou Julie knows the holidays will be difficult this year, but when her sister, Tracy, refuses to go to Dad s house for Christmas, Julie feels as if her family is falling apart. She finds comfort spending time with her best friend, Ivy Ling, whose family is getting ready for Chinese New Year. When Julie s whole family is invited to the Lings New Year banquet, Julie worries about how they will get along. That night, she discovers that they all have a chance at a new beginning. The "Looking Back" section explores Chinese New Year traditions. This book is the third in a series of six historical books filled with inspiring lessons of compassion, courage, and friendship. Julie s entire book set includes: Meet Julie; Julie Tells Her Story; Happy New Year, Julie; Julie and the Eagles; Julie s Journey; and Changes for Julie.


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Julie knows the holidays will be difficult this year, but when her sister, Tracy, refuses to go to Dad s house for Christmas, Julie feels as if her family is falling apart. She finds comfort spending time with her best friend, Ivy Ling, whose family is getting ready for Chinese New Year. When Julie s whole family is invited to the Lings New Year banquet, Julie worries abou Julie knows the holidays will be difficult this year, but when her sister, Tracy, refuses to go to Dad s house for Christmas, Julie feels as if her family is falling apart. She finds comfort spending time with her best friend, Ivy Ling, whose family is getting ready for Chinese New Year. When Julie s whole family is invited to the Lings New Year banquet, Julie worries about how they will get along. That night, she discovers that they all have a chance at a new beginning. The "Looking Back" section explores Chinese New Year traditions. This book is the third in a series of six historical books filled with inspiring lessons of compassion, courage, and friendship. Julie s entire book set includes: Meet Julie; Julie Tells Her Story; Happy New Year, Julie; Julie and the Eagles; Julie s Journey; and Changes for Julie.

30 review for Happy New Year, Julie 1974

  1. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    Hmm, I got this for New Year's and this is about Chinese New Year's. I did learn a whole lot about Chinese New Year I found interesting and the title is misleading as I was looking for New Year's. This book deals with some issues. Divorce and anger and a new culture. I think for a 7-9 year old, this could be a good book and for me it was ok. It is set in the '70s when divorce was not as normal. The time is Christmas break until the Chinese New Year at the end of January. I gave it an extra star f Hmm, I got this for New Year's and this is about Chinese New Year's. I did learn a whole lot about Chinese New Year I found interesting and the title is misleading as I was looking for New Year's. This book deals with some issues. Divorce and anger and a new culture. I think for a 7-9 year old, this could be a good book and for me it was ok. It is set in the '70s when divorce was not as normal. The time is Christmas break until the Chinese New Year at the end of January. I gave it an extra star for the good information it gives about the culture of Chinese New Year's. I won't be reading more of this series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ciara

    i found this book really insufferable. julie's best friend ivy plays a huge role, & i feel that ivy could be a pretty cool character on her own, but in the julie books, she comes across as a trite chinese american token. ivy's family is preparing for the chinese new year, & they all function solely to educate blonde white girl ivy about their chinese traditions. they take julie shopping with them in san francisco's chinatown for new year supplies. at one point, julie & ivy get sick of waiting ar i found this book really insufferable. julie's best friend ivy plays a huge role, & i feel that ivy could be a pretty cool character on her own, but in the julie books, she comes across as a trite chinese american token. ivy's family is preparing for the chinese new year, & they all function solely to educate blonde white girl ivy about their chinese traditions. they take julie shopping with them in san francisco's chinatown for new year supplies. at one point, julie & ivy get sick of waiting around for ivy's mom to stop chit chatting with a shopkeeper, & they take off to try on cheong-sams (which are referred to in the book as "silky chinese dresses" or something equally as stupid). when they return, mrs. ling is gone & the girls decide they have to find their way to the chinese fortune cookie factory (even though children are usually taught to just stay put if they get lost & let the adult find them). they get all turned around because apparently chinatown is as complicated & confusing as knockturn alley in the harry potter books, & equally as terrifying & packed with creepy weird shit that only creepy weirdos would buy. seriously, i feel like this whole scene is so insulting to chinese & chinese american people. asian people as a whole, actually. eventually ivy gets the bright idea to ask for directions to the fortune cookie factory from her grandpa in the mahjongg parlor...*sigh*. i am seriously shocked the grandpa ling is not illustrated sporting a fu manchu & a pigtail, perhaps with a sack of railroad ties slung over his shoulder. a little later in the book, ivy & julie are walking down haight street or somewhere when they encounter a chinese american woman screaming & flipping out in a chinese dialect. she is surrounded by dumbfounded white people gawking at her. ivy swiftly translates that the woman has lost her toddler son. she relays this info to the gawkers & the child is located & returned to the mother. remember this for when i review good luck, ivy, in which ivy hates learning chinese & totally sucks at it even when it is spoken very slowly in a classroom setting. the big finale to the book comes when julie tags along with the lings for the chinese new year celebrations. there is much talk of eating dinner at the ling grandparents' restaurant, the happy panda (*sigh* again), & admiring the chinese dragons. the lings buy ivy a special cheong-sam to wear for the occasion...& they buy one for julie too. isn't that so special? teaching little white girls that cultural appropriation is A-okay, that someone else's culture is only there to be consumed & perhaps for a white girl educational experience, complete with wardrobe acquisitions. i hated this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I was disappointed in this book. I didn't really learn anything about the 70s at all. They barely mentioned anything unique to the time. I learned about Chinese New Year but the book honestly could've taken place in our modern era and I wouldn't have known the difference. Just not the best American girl book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice

    I liked it a lot. I liked how at Christmas her friend Ivy gave her a doll and she had one too so now they both have one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danielle T

    I 100% still think Ivy could've been the main character, or at least it would've also been okay to make Julie Chinese-American. I sort of get it, as it wouldn't be #ownvoices (and as Megan McDonald grew up in the '70s she's writing what she knows otherwise, I think), but so many times throughout this I really questioned why we were following Julie, not Ivy as the Lings prepare for Chinese New Year. It's briefly Christmas time at the beginning of the book, and the first one as a split family. Tra I 100% still think Ivy could've been the main character, or at least it would've also been okay to make Julie Chinese-American. I sort of get it, as it wouldn't be #ownvoices (and as Megan McDonald grew up in the '70s she's writing what she knows otherwise, I think), but so many times throughout this I really questioned why we were following Julie, not Ivy as the Lings prepare for Chinese New Year. It's briefly Christmas time at the beginning of the book, and the first one as a split family. Tracy is still cool towards Dad and Julie wonders if they can ever recapture feeling like a family again. The Lings' Chinese New Year celebration is a test for that. Julie helps her friend get ready for the holiday, and I figure out that this series actually spans 1975-1976 (but also finally noticing that all the American Girl years end in 4) because Ivy tells her that the new year is the year of the dragon... which in this decade, started on January 31, 1976. I very much worried that Chinatown/Chinese New Year would be portrayed as some kind of weird Other, but it's handled pretty okay though the girls getting lost could be spooky. Pleasantly surprised to learn that Ivy is a fourth generation American like me (albeit 15 years before I was born, so like one of my second cousins I suppose at the same generational level), and like many who live in the San Francisco Chinatown, Cantonese (not sure if Toisanese because I didn't see any specific words or references, and Julie's definitely not going to ask gung-gung if his father hailed from the Sze Yup region). Not a ton of 1970s specific things here- maybe the getting crafty for decorating the tree at Mom's apartment?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    Happy New Year, Julie This story continues to deal with the issue of the divorce of Julie's parents, and how the two sisters relate, or don't relate, to their father. A lot of the story revolves around Julie's friend Ivy, and their family, which is Chinese. There's a lot of very interesting information about the traditions that the Chinese and Chinese-Americans follow in celebrating the Chinese New Year. The information on the Chinese celebrations is really the high point of the story. The informa Happy New Year, Julie This story continues to deal with the issue of the divorce of Julie's parents, and how the two sisters relate, or don't relate, to their father. A lot of the story revolves around Julie's friend Ivy, and their family, which is Chinese. There's a lot of very interesting information about the traditions that the Chinese and Chinese-Americans follow in celebrating the Chinese New Year. The information on the Chinese celebrations is really the high point of the story. The information section at the end contains material on holiday celebrations during the 1970's, and information on the celebrations and parades for Chinese New Year. Probably the most interesting of the first three books in this new series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    Julie knows that the holidays will be difficult this year for her, but when her sister Tracy refuses to go to their dad's house for Christmas, Julie feels as if her family is falling apart. Over the holiday, Julie spends most of her time finding comfort with her best friend Ivy Ling. The Lings are getting ready for a huge celebration Chinese New Year. And when Julie helps with the preparations it helps her not think about the sadness she is going through. Then when Ivy's family invites Julie's w Julie knows that the holidays will be difficult this year for her, but when her sister Tracy refuses to go to their dad's house for Christmas, Julie feels as if her family is falling apart. Over the holiday, Julie spends most of her time finding comfort with her best friend Ivy Ling. The Lings are getting ready for a huge celebration Chinese New Year. And when Julie helps with the preparations it helps her not think about the sadness she is going through. Then when Ivy's family invites Julie's whole family to the Chinese New Year celebration, Julie is excited, but does not know if her sister dad and mom will get along. Great book, I LOVE CHINESE NEW YEAR!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I think it is interesting how these stories usually focus around one central event that could really be told in a short period of time. The author stretches this one episode into a short novel and does it fairly well. I wasn't terribly interested in this book, but I might still recommend it. *Taken from my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2009... I think it is interesting how these stories usually focus around one central event that could really be told in a short period of time. The author stretches this one episode into a short novel and does it fairly well. I wasn't terribly interested in this book, but I might still recommend it. *Taken from my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2009...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book is about how Julie and her friend Ivy go to a Chinese New Year parade in China Town. A few days before the holiday Julie, Ivy and, Ivy's mom go to China Town to buy food. While they are shopping Julie and Ivy wander into another shop. Ivy's mother gets very worried and goes searching for them. After the girls are found they all go back home. I liked this book but, other ones from the series are better.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    As I get further into this series I like it more; I think it would benefit from being read as a whole rather than as seperate books. In this installment, Julie is dealing with her first Christmas as part of a divorced family and things do not go well. Luckily, her best friend Ivy is there with her family for support and distraction as they prepare for Chinese New Year.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kaela

    I learned that even though a family is split apart, doesn't mean that you can't spend time with each other and still be part of each other's lives. I really liked this book and I'm glad I chose it to read! thank you!Megan McDonald I learned that even though a family is split apart, doesn't mean that you can't spend time with each other and still be part of each other's lives. I really liked this book and I'm glad I chose it to read! thank you!Megan McDonald

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Ho-hum. It's the Albrights' first Christmas since The Divorce, and it's just as depressing as you'd expect. The only drama is created by teenage sister Tracy who throws a mild adolescent tantrum in a restaurant. Then at the end there's some stuff about Chinese new year to try and make things seem happy again. The boringest AG book yet.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Miri

    This is Julie's first Christmas since her parents divorce and everything is different, nothing is cheerful and festive like it used to be. There is one thing to look forward to though. Ivy has invited Julie's family to celebrate Chinese New Year with them. It should be a fun new experience, if her family can get along.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Read this with my seven year old (actually listened to the audio version) and really enjoyed it! She chose this doll to get for her birthday, so we were excited to read her story. Being a 70s girls myself, I am loving the trip down memory lane! I also am enjoying the story -- family wrestling with divorce, learning about the Chinese cultures through her friend Ivy, life in California back in the day, and a young girl standing up for herself and fighting to play on the boys' basketball team. In t Read this with my seven year old (actually listened to the audio version) and really enjoyed it! She chose this doll to get for her birthday, so we were excited to read her story. Being a 70s girls myself, I am loving the trip down memory lane! I also am enjoying the story -- family wrestling with divorce, learning about the Chinese cultures through her friend Ivy, life in California back in the day, and a young girl standing up for herself and fighting to play on the boys' basketball team. In this book a lot of time is spent on learning about the Chinese New Year; I found it quite interesting. My daughters really like the story as well!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stasia

    I have always wanted to hang a "psychedelic wreath'" for Christmas because of this book. One of these days, my husband WILL humor me. Julie's books are another great set that deal with change and different holidays, particularly in the fact that her parents are divorced, and holidays are now split. Reading Julie's books have helped me to understand the world from a child with divorced parents better, which is helpful in working with the teens ministry. It's wonderful that books meet us when we n I have always wanted to hang a "psychedelic wreath'" for Christmas because of this book. One of these days, my husband WILL humor me. Julie's books are another great set that deal with change and different holidays, particularly in the fact that her parents are divorced, and holidays are now split. Reading Julie's books have helped me to understand the world from a child with divorced parents better, which is helpful in working with the teens ministry. It's wonderful that books meet us when we need them!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marissa Donchess

    This book was interesting and different. Its main focus was how Chinese New Year happens. The one girls family had seperated and she had to learn a new culture with her friend. She was nervous but in the end it all turned out okay. I did not find this as interesting as the rest of the ELL books. This does express ways that ELL can relate to and it shows how different cultures can be brought up or taught other cultures if they have too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karol

    Happy New Year, Julie focused on the first Christmas Julie's family experienced following her parents devorce showing the physical, emotional, material and relationship toll. Celebrating the Chinese New Year helped Julie's family find a new beginning to move forward in finding a way to connect in their separation. Hints of the 70's appear in the Christmas gifts otherwise this story could be like any other year.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Brown

    One of my favorite series of the AG series. Earth Day, Chinese New Year, endangered animals, bicentennial, and more.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)

    this one was fun, but I liked the previous two Julie stories more

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Irwin

    I read this for the info on Chinese New Year. I loved the parts about Chinese New Year, but would have loved some more details!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Julia and Ivy enjoy a Chinese New Year!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    To come

  23. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I thought it was really cool because Ivy is SUCH. A. TRUE. FRIEND! She let Julie come to Chinese New Year, which lasts for 15 days. And Ivy was just such a true friend, I thought it was so cool. I learned that it's important to be a true friend because then you don't split up. What makes a true friend: being really nice, NOT BOSSY like some of my OTHER friends, listening, not being mean.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lori Qian

    I loved reading this with Annabelle. We especially loved the parts about Chinese culture and the scenes in San Francisco's Chinatown. We've been there so many times! It was also a great reminder that Chinese New Year is about putting aside disagreements and focusing on the new year, our blessings, and wishing others good things. A truly enjoyable book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn H

    This book is about the Chinese New Year and Julie's friend Ivy. Her friend Ivy is a Chinese American. Ivy invites Julie and her divorced parents to a New Year's party. Julie is nervous that her parents will not get along and argue. In the end the parents do get along and the party was great.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kristine Hansen

    Christmas and New Year's for Julie are quite strange and different now that her parents are divorced. Here she shows her generous nature, and good nature as she adapts to these changes - and helps her sister to adapt as well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    Nobody really overcomes much of anything in this book. It's just Christmas and then it's not. What happened to joining the basketball team? I guess there's no basketball during Christmas break, but Chinese New Year isn't until February, right?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chai T

    this is a gre8t book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    in this book julie, her family,and her best friend, selibrate chinese new year.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ciera

    I loved the whole chinese part thrown in to give it depth!

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