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Julie Tells Her Story

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Julie is working on her school project, "The Story of My Life," and enjoying it, until she has to write about "The Worst Thing That Ever Happened." That would be her parents divorce, and she doesn t want to tell classmates about it. After her big basketball game ends badly, she decides that could be her "worst thing." But as her family rallies around her, Julie learns to b Julie is working on her school project, "The Story of My Life," and enjoying it, until she has to write about "The Worst Thing That Ever Happened." That would be her parents divorce, and she doesn t want to tell classmates about it. After her big basketball game ends badly, she decides that could be her "worst thing." But as her family rallies around her, Julie learns to be more hopeful for their future. The "Looking Back" section explores school life in the 1970s. Author: Megan McDonald. Paperback or Hardcover. 104 pages. This book is the second 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 is working on her school project, "The Story of My Life," and enjoying it, until she has to write about "The Worst Thing That Ever Happened." That would be her parents divorce, and she doesn t want to tell classmates about it. After her big basketball game ends badly, she decides that could be her "worst thing." But as her family rallies around her, Julie learns to b Julie is working on her school project, "The Story of My Life," and enjoying it, until she has to write about "The Worst Thing That Ever Happened." That would be her parents divorce, and she doesn t want to tell classmates about it. After her big basketball game ends badly, she decides that could be her "worst thing." But as her family rallies around her, Julie learns to be more hopeful for their future. The "Looking Back" section explores school life in the 1970s. Author: Megan McDonald. Paperback or Hardcover. 104 pages. This book is the second 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 Julie Tells Her Story

  1. 4 out of 5

    Danielle T

    3.5 stars. Julie's school assignment is to tell "The Story of Your Life", which in addition to interviewing parents/siblings to see what they were like at age 10, includes describing the best and worst things to happen in your life. For Julie, the worst is her parents' divorce- but can she talk about that to the entire class?? A minor anomaly: at one point, Julie eavesdrops on her sister's phone conversation where Tracy describes going to see Jaws in a theater. Later, Tracy tells her mom & Julie 3.5 stars. Julie's school assignment is to tell "The Story of Your Life", which in addition to interviewing parents/siblings to see what they were like at age 10, includes describing the best and worst things to happen in your life. For Julie, the worst is her parents' divorce- but can she talk about that to the entire class?? A minor anomaly: at one point, Julie eavesdrops on her sister's phone conversation where Tracy describes going to see Jaws in a theater. Later, Tracy tells her mom & Julie about the movie and Mom is surprised that it's still in theaters. I looked, and it debuted summer of 1975... but this book takes place in 1974? Either we're collapsing the '70s together, or somehow a year has passed but given the biggest basketball game of the year is happening, we've still got to be in fall '74. Overall though, not a bad book for middle grade looking for relatable historical fiction dealing in divorce.

  2. 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. I lo 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. I loved the part where Julie has to face her fears of talking about her family situation during a class assignment. She has an unusual family for the time, and she faces the truth in an admirable way. My daughters really like the story as well!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I didn't learn much in the story itself. They mention watergate but that's about it. For the most part it's about her parents divorce and the basketball game. Minus the tape recorder it felt like a modern day story. But I did like the looking back section. It was fun to imagine what school was like for my mom.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karol

    Oh, the memories Julie's story brought back to me. The telephone with the long twisty cord, the tape recorder, my friend arguing with her sister about whose turn it was to set the table or wash the dishes, divorced living arrangements and relationships. A well written story showing pieces of the 70's through family relations, education, school sports and merchandise from Julie's Mom's shop.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I liked the girls discussions of the changes a divorce brought, without any specifics, because it loses something when you get too specific. Helpful for families working out difficulties. Worst and best days can change with perspective too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Brown

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

  7. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    to come

  8. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice

    It was just really good. I liked how her family got a divorce and I liked how when she got hurt they all came together like how a broken bone breaks and comes back together stronger.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ciara

    the cover photo is an illustration of julie interviewing her mother using the tape recorder her father bought for her in japan. when i saw this illustration & realized that julie's mom is a ginormous hippie, i started to wonder if perhaps the albrights' marriage broke up because ma albright started having an affair with hank, the grizzled hippie veteran who is always baking zucchini bread & organizing petitions. julie's story continues to be a yawn. in this book, julie's class is given an assignm the cover photo is an illustration of julie interviewing her mother using the tape recorder her father bought for her in japan. when i saw this illustration & realized that julie's mom is a ginormous hippie, i started to wonder if perhaps the albrights' marriage broke up because ma albright started having an affair with hank, the grizzled hippie veteran who is always baking zucchini bread & organizing petitions. julie's story continues to be a yawn. in this book, julie's class is given an assignment. they have to write their autobiographies. they are encouraged to interview their parents about what they were like when they were children, & address the topics "the best thing that ever happened to me" & "the worst thing that ever happened to me". julie is intrigued by the assignment until she hears about the "worst thing" aspect. she feels that the worst thing that ever happened to her was her parents' divorce. hey, julie? get over it. i bet it was way worse for your parents than it was for you. when the teacher adds that the kids will be expected to do oral presentations of their autobiographies in front of their classmates, julie is even more dismayed. she doesn't want to admit to the entire class that her parents are divorced (even though it was established in meet julie that most of her classmates at least suspect that reality, even if it hasn't been totally confirmed--this series sucks when it comes to continuity). julie gets a little more excited about the assignment when her dad gives her a cool tape recorder. she interviews him & he talks about how he broke his leg or something when he was julie's age. he explains that the bone grew back even stronger at the fracture site than it had been before. hmmm, i wonder if julie will pick up on this thinly-veiled aphorism & apply it to her experience as a child of divorce? *rolls eyes* there is also a long, tedious scene in which julie goes to her friend ivy's house. ivy is basically a poster child for the chinese american experience. ivy & julie spend a lot of time painting chinese characters on pages ripped from the phone book. this is an activity that ivy supposedly loves. bear this in mind when i review good luck, ivy, in which ivy claims to hate painting chinese characters & claims to suck at it. wherefore art thou, consistent characterization? there is also a long scene that didn't make any sense to me in which julie's older sister, tracy, asks julie to plant-sit. apparently tracy is doing a science experiment involving a spider plant, but she wants to go to a party where she & her teenage friends are going to see how many people they can fit in a VW bug. after that, they're going to take off all their clothes, drop acid, & eat some california cheeseburgers before murdering sharon tate. or maybe not. but the VW bug part is real. julie agrees to take on the plant-sitting job, &...i'm not master gardener, but i think a spider plant is going to be A-okay just hanging out on a desk alone for twelve hours. it does not require supervision. especially supervision in the form of a nine-year-old girl who immediately manages to knock the plant out the window so its pot shatters on the sidewalk outside. julie then stuff the plant into her purse & hightails it to some shopping strip to pick up a new planter. the spider plant had been potted in a planter shaped like a purple hippo. julie selects a pink pig-shaped planter & hopes her sister won't notice the difference. um...really? i guess sometimes nine-year-olds are kind of dumb. let's move on. julie plays in a big basketball game & gets knocked down & somehow manages to break her finger. she has to miss the rest of the game & she decides this will be her "worst thing ever" for her paper. but, bonus: after she gets out of the ER, her entire family goes out to dinner--their first all-family time together since the divorce. somehow this inspires julie to change her paper & admit that her parents are divorced & that was her "worst thing ever," but she will come back stronger in the place where her family fractured. *puke* also, rather than delivering her paper in person, she sets up her tape recorder & just plays her interviews as is. i mean, supposedly she edited them together into something coherent, but i don't know how she managed to do that without a tape splicer & real-time playback apparatus, etc. unless that was a damn nice tape recorder. i feel that the "reading aloud" portion of the assignment was probably a test of public speaking & julie should be marked down for using a tape recorder. but whatever. i guess it's obvious that i don't really care for julie or her stories.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marya

    In the first book in the series, we are introduced to Julie, whose parents recently divorced. This book happily continues on that subject, fully exploring Julie's feelings about the divorce. The divorce is a huge part of her life and it is fitting that the books use the entire series to digest the event. A secondary theme of the books is feminism -- emerging feminism from the early 70s that force Julie to have to get a petition to get onto the boys' basketball team (there is no girls team). She In the first book in the series, we are introduced to Julie, whose parents recently divorced. This book happily continues on that subject, fully exploring Julie's feelings about the divorce. The divorce is a huge part of her life and it is fitting that the books use the entire series to digest the event. A secondary theme of the books is feminism -- emerging feminism from the early 70s that force Julie to have to get a petition to get onto the boys' basketball team (there is no girls team). She struggled with that goal in the first book, but struggles with it less in this book. As realistic as the divorce is portrayed, the feminist subplot feels less true to life. One of the characters tells Julie that it's not easy to change people's minds, but you wouldn't know it from her coach and classmates on the team.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    The theme of the divorce is still predominant throughout this story. Julie has to do a class project about her life and the lives of her relatives near her, and she doesn't want to discuss the divorce as part of the Worse Thing Ever to happen. She plays a major basketball game and is fouled often by a boy on the other team, but the refs don't call most of the fouls. In the end he hits her so hard she is knocked to the floor and breaks her finger. Julie also has to care for her sister's plant, and The theme of the divorce is still predominant throughout this story. Julie has to do a class project about her life and the lives of her relatives near her, and she doesn't want to discuss the divorce as part of the Worse Thing Ever to happen. She plays a major basketball game and is fouled often by a boy on the other team, but the refs don't call most of the fouls. In the end he hits her so hard she is knocked to the floor and breaks her finger. Julie also has to care for her sister's plant, and things go wrong there, too. In the end, though, things generally work out fairly well for her. The historical section concerns schools in the 1970's, and how they are different from schools today, the main difference being in the technology available to the students. It's a fairly good second book in the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Basically this is a school story that's set in the 70s. Julie has to do a project about her family and is thrilled when her dad brings her an actual tape recorder with microphone so she can tape her interviews. Unfortunately the project includes talking about the worst thing that has ever happened in her life and Julie doesn't want to talk about her parents getting divorced. Nothing special here, but it is a solid school story that mid and upper grade school girls will be able to relate to easil Basically this is a school story that's set in the 70s. Julie has to do a project about her family and is thrilled when her dad brings her an actual tape recorder with microphone so she can tape her interviews. Unfortunately the project includes talking about the worst thing that has ever happened in her life and Julie doesn't want to talk about her parents getting divorced. Nothing special here, but it is a solid school story that mid and upper grade school girls will be able to relate to easily.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    Julie is working on her school project "the story of my life", until she comes to the part where it asks you to tell about "the worst thing that has ever happen". That would be her parents divorce. But she didn't want to mention that to her whole class because she knew they would make fun of her. maybe she could tell about one of her worst basketball games, but who knows what she can do. Are you interested to know what happens THEN READ THE BOOK :). this book was really interesting because you w Julie is working on her school project "the story of my life", until she comes to the part where it asks you to tell about "the worst thing that has ever happen". That would be her parents divorce. But she didn't want to mention that to her whole class because she knew they would make fun of her. maybe she could tell about one of her worst basketball games, but who knows what she can do. Are you interested to know what happens THEN READ THE BOOK :). this book was really interesting because you want to know what Julie is going to do next!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Julie works on a school project about herself and her family; it's hard for her because she doesn't want to talk about her parents' recent divorce. Nice book with age-appropriate emotions and problems. I thought it was a little boring, but Isobel and her cousins loved reading it in the car. They all laughed aloud at appropriate moments and felt distress when Julie did, so I guess it's a success!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Parts of this book seemed a little juvenile, but that might only be because I am not in the assumed reading bracket. Still, this story wasn't boring and had a decent pace, I might recommend. *Taken from my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2009... Parts of this book seemed a little juvenile, but that might only be because I am not in the assumed reading bracket. Still, this story wasn't boring and had a decent pace, I might recommend. *Taken from my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2009...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Queen Susan the Gentle

    "The story of my life" is a report Julie has to do for school. Evey part of it is easy to answer, except for the the part, "the worst thing that ever happened to me". And that would be the seperation of Julie's parents. But she doesn't want to share that with the WHOLE class. But when she breaks her finger and the whole family gathers around her, she learns an important lesson...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn H

    Julie's story was how she was to tell a story about her life at school. Her story went well, but she broke her finger during a basketball game so she couldn't write her story so she recorded it and played it to the class. The story went well until she had to talk about her parent's divorce, which made her sad.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tricia

    I'm a huge fan of American girl books, and this is the first one I have read in a long time. Overall, I though this was a good book that does well in illustrating divorce, and how it affects members of the family. I would use this book in third grade and beyond, and keep it around for students whose families are going through divorce.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Julie had to write a report about her life. She interviews her mom and her dad. In the middle, she plant sits for her sister and hits i t out the window on accident with a basketball and breaks the pot and almost kills the plant. SHe also records her sisters phone call and gets in trouble.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I had to explain to Abby what a tape-recorder was, but other than that, she loved the message about Julie's family--that even though her parents are divorced, her family is still a family and will be there for each other.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Hansen

    There are aspects of this series which brings to mind my own youth. This is the era that I grew up in. Things I'd forgotten come back to me, and I remember using a tape recorder like this. I like Julie and like how she put her feelings into words at the end of this story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    The whole broken bones heal stronger analogy doesn't work out. Broken bones heal weaker. She should have known not to throw her basketball indoors, so I couldn't really sympathize with her. Also, the part when she's in the ER wasn't very accurate.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Reading with Cats

    Julie>Rebecca on the annoying scale. That tape recorder scene with Julie and Ivy was horridly obnoxious. And, Tracy? I think your stupid plant will survive just fine on its own for a few hours. Really. Julie>Rebecca on the annoying scale. That tape recorder scene with Julie and Ivy was horridly obnoxious. And, Tracy? I think your stupid plant will survive just fine on its own for a few hours. Really.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    The 70s are only ok. My friend has divorced parents, so she liked how Julie's parents are divorced.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    i liked two partes of this book. 1. when she wanted to BABY SIT her sister made her PLANT SIT insted. 2. after she broke her arm her WHOLE family went out to dinner.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book is set in the 70's. It has a great story line and is very intresting. I loved and could read it a MILLION TIMES!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Part of a great series of books. A recommended reading for girls of all ages.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    I like how Julie always gets over her problems in a good way. It's sad that her parents got divorced, but she still found a way to be a happy kid!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I learned that Julie had on her school protect she has to inerview her family and she doesn't want to tell her class about the divorced and Julie and her mother and sister had moved with out dad.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    that when Juile was playing basket ball she fell and hurt her hand

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