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3.80  ·  Rating details ·  5,180 ratings  ·  851 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Dial Books
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,180 ratings  ·  851 reviews

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Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Nuts. I loved Sloan's COUNTING BY 7'S, and I thought this book would be amazing based on the description...but I just thought it was okay. There was something about the voice of the young protagonist. I could tell she was supposed to be quirky and funny, but it didn't always play that way for me... Still an enjoyable read, just not as good as I wanted it to be. ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, middle-grade
2.5 stars, rounding down.

I liked this book better when I started reading it than when it ended. After the middle, this book started to drag a lot for me, and I found myself forcing myself to see it through.

The big issue is that Julia has a great voice, but after a while it got tiresome--mostly because Julia spends most of the book in her head. Also, I realize this isn't the story Sloan set out to tell, but I would have probably liked this a lot better if Julia had actually interacted with some k
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Linda Bargas
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A bit off topic for a book review is why libraries and librarians are so important. Sure buying e-books and online can be cheap and delivered straight to your hands, but a library is a special place. You can flip through books in a brick and mortar store, but sometimes the thought of shelling out hard-earned money for what's in your hands just changes your mind for you. But libraries? Browse the shelves. Any of them. ALL of them. You can widen your genre or stick to your comfort zone -- all at n ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2017
I think Sloan is a super writer so (in addition to the good reviews I'd read) I fully expected to enjoy this. I thought this was super. I loved the frank age-appropriate voice of Julia as she observed the world around her and did not get everything. It's tricky to write a child character who's not too preciously precocious and savvy, but can talk about feelings, and I think Sloan did an amazing job of it. I loved seeing things through Julia's eyes, including how a play gets produced, what it fee ...more
Brenda Kahn
I enjoyed this. I think I would've enjoyed this more had I read it with my eyes. I don't generally enjoy Sands' "young" voices. They tend to come off too quirky for my taste. I loved Julia's meandering self-centeredness. ...more
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book! It was a sweet story of Julia and the summer she spends playing a Munchkin in her town's production of The Wizard of Oz. There were some very funny moments and observations made by Julia and overall, it was a good story. Great for those middle grade kids who like realistic fiction without any edgy parts whatsoever. ...more
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I’m considering this the first must read middle grade novel of 2017. More accessible and just as good as Counting by 7’s, which I also loved. Maybe I just have an instant fondness for books with short people being part of musicals. Fans of Tim Federle’s Nate books will enjoy this.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been looking for read alouds with unrepresented characters and this one qualifies. I've loved Holly Goldberg Sloan's writing since I discovered her in Counting by 7's. This one was right up there. So many great lines. ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for kids. There are so many life lessons explained in a kid-friendly way.
Tiffany S
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was quite an enjoyable realistic fiction book. I normally don't read realistic fiction, but i found this book surprisingly good. Julia finds the benefits of being short, and it's also because she's short, that she is accepted into the play The Wizard of Oz, which changes her life. She gets new experiences, learns how to interact with adults and people older than her, and makes new friends. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a good realistic fiction book. It doesn't capture your atte ...more
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I feel like the voice of this character would be hard for many ofy students to enjoy. Julia is a very sweet girl who goes through a fun, life-changing summer, but I'm not sure how relatable her voice/character is... I can only think of maybe three students from my *short* teaching career that would relate to Julia. Still a very sweet book. I would recommend it to students, but only a select few. There are also some references and events that I think would go over the heads of many stu ...more
Millie Taylor
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. It sounded interesting and I had hoped I could relate to Julia a bit, being someone "not tall" myself. That's about where it ends for me, though. Julia was "forced to try out" for a local production of The Wizard of Oz by her mother and she is cast (along with her little brother) as a Munchkin. That's pretty much the entire book right there.

I had to keep reminding myself that Julia wasn't six or seven years old because she acted so much younger than the preteen
Christina Hanson
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
"I grew this summer. Not on the outside, but on the inside. And that's the only place where growing really matters." Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan features Julia Marks, a matter-of-fact girl who does not like people referring to her as short. In fact, she has banned the word from her vocabulary. To make matters worse, her mother is forcing her to try out for the theater production of The Wizard of Oz, and what does she get casted as? That's right, a munchkin. Plus, her two best friends are gone ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I wasn't fully engaged in this story of an amateur summer production of The Wizard of Oz or Julia, the shorter than average protagonist cast as a munchkin. I liked the supporting cast of characters, but Julia herself was a bit too annoying for my taste. ...more
Kari Yergin
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
The semi-professional production of The Wizard of Oz that Julia’s mother signs her up for the summer that Julia seems like she’d like to just stay in bed is, of course, life changing. As happens with theater. “Come out, come out, wherever you are...” says Glinda to welcome the Munchkins to the stage and to welcome Julia to her new thoughts and feelings about how to be in the world as she moves from being a grieving girl with a very rich inner life to a confident young lady figuring things out by ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: musicals
Rating: 3.5

I mostly read this because I love Sloan's other book, Counting by 7s, and also because my sister read it and said that it was about theatre.

I did love the theatre aspect of this book, and Julia's voice was hilarious and made me laugh out loud several times. It was just hard for me to believe that Julia was ten or eleven because she had the filter of a younger kid. For instance, there was an older character who wanted to be a flying monkey, which entails getting a harness and flying. J
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read as part of the 2017 Washington Post KidsPost Summer Book Club.

This is the book I have been waiting for all summer (at least in terms of the KidsPost Book Club). For me, it was the right combination of funny and sweetly insightful. Take, for example, this quote from p. 198: "...Correcting people isn't very fun and just ends up being extra work." Words to live by, especially if you have a personality like mine.

I could also relate to Julia's desire to be appreciated and taken seriously by adul
Riley Donovan
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it
In this book, the main character, Julia, shows the character strength of perseverance. She shows this because after the death of her beloved dog, Ramon, she is feeling like she has no talent at all. Along with her small size, she feels like she has no talent to showcase. However, by the end of the summer, Julia grows and pushes through all of her challenges to join her local theatre's show of the Wizard of Oz. This will help Julia overcome all of her self-doubts and realize her importance and im ...more
Erin Mash
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The theme of this book would be to not be sad about your physical appearance because your personality is what makes you who you are. This is because Julia, who is very short for her age, lacks self confidence and doesn't realize her full potential. But an adult with dwarfism makes her realize that she is more than what she gives herself credit for. ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book - Julia's voice was adorable and hilarious. I often found myself reading lines out loud to my husband because he kept asking what I was laughing at. Definitely a great middle grade/middle school read! ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
My favorite quote from this novel, “I grew this summer. Not on the outside, but on the inside. And that’s the only place where growing really matters.”
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty good. It took me so much longer to read than normal and didn't really have any moments that made me want to keep reading. Over I probably won't reread or recommend this book. ...more
Julia Munn
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The main character, Julia, shows perseverance because she is always willing to try new things to protect her little brother.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My friend Julie recommended this book. She gave it a five-star review and anytime she gives five stars to a book I put the book in my queue. A beautifully funny and touching tale of a girl growing up while reminding me of my love of the movie "The Wizard of OZ." ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: c-mid-grade, 2017
This was wonderful! Julia has a great voice, able to make me laugh out loud and even cry. Very touching, highly recommend.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this middle grade realistic fiction novel about putting together a summer stock production of The Wizard of Oz. As a theatre and music major, I have spent many summers putting together plays and this story brought back memories of the backstage romances, quirky actors and directors, navigating complicated technical aspects including special effects like fire and flying, the excitement of opening night, the small town reviews by local newspaper journalists, the curtain calls, and the se ...more
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Julia is very short for her age (twelve). She's planning to spend her summer being short and missing her recently departed dog, but her mother makes her audition for a semi-professional production of The Wizard of Oz instead. To her own surprise, Julia is cast as a munchkin. The rest of the book is your typical coming of age plot with a lot of theater flavor thrown in. By the end, you will be unsurprised to learn, Julia has truly "grown."

(Ok, first of all, why would you call your book Short? Hav
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Holly Goldberg Sloan was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and spent her childhood living in California, the Netherlands, Istanbul, Washington, DC, and Oregon (where she graduated from high school). She wrote the screenplay for Angels in the Outfield and directed The Big Green, as well as a number of other successful family feature films.

The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband (the writer

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“Thanks, Mom. Thanks for making me try out for this play.'

I think I might have just made being a mother totally worthwhile for her.

I will try to never forget her face...Mom's got tears in her eyes and she's smiling. It's an amazing look.

I have to remember how powerful it can be to say thank you.

Especially to the people you live with.”
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