Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Up a Road Slowly” as Want to Read:
Up a Road Slowly
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Up a Road Slowly

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  6,392 ratings  ·  591 reviews

The Newbery Award-winning novel

From the author of Across Five Aprils and No Promises in the Wind comes her most beloved story of a girl's coming of age.

After her mother's death, Julie goes to live with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen.

Paperback, 197 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by Berkley (first published 1966)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Up a Road Slowly, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
effazin Reading difficulty is grade 5 or up; interest level I'd say is early high school, or junior high, more appealing to females than males.…moreReading difficulty is grade 5 or up; interest level I'd say is early high school, or junior high, more appealing to females than males.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Hannah Joel Yes i think they did But then again they went separate ways they had to finish growing up. Maybe they fell in love with someone new.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,392 ratings  ·  591 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Up a Road Slowly
Katie Tatton
May 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Without a doubt, beyond compare, my favorite book ever. Up a Road Slowly is the book sent to me by my closest aunt the fall after my father died. It came with a note telling me how much she treasured the book and hoped that it would find a place in my heart too. Whether it was because the book came from such an influence in my life or because I was still emotionally raw when I read it, (or maybe because it's a Newberry Award winning novel,) Up a Road Slowly struck a chord within me that has neve ...more
Coral Rose
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood, favorites, 2009
I first read this book in high school, when I found it while shelving books at the public library (I have that job to thank for so many favorite reads!) and I'm sure I read it 5 times between then and graduating from college. I just reread this book for the first time since college this past week, and was not disappointed.

This book is sweet, sincere and touching. Julie's innocent, earnest journey from confused seven-year-old to confident seventeen-year-old. In short, manageable chunks we observe
Miz Lizzie
The book is written in the style of a memoir, which gives it feel (at least to me) of really being a book about childhood and growing up for adults.

I was very frustrated by the lack of placement in time or place in the text, which was not assisted at all by the cover of the paperback copy that I read which features a pretty modern looking (if on the sentimental, traditional side) teenager. For a book published in the middle of the 1960s, it seemed to me to extraordinarily nostalgic of a simpler,
So I am of course well aware that Irene Hunt’s 1966 novel Up A Road Slowly won the 1967 Newbery Award. But from a personal reading pleasure point of departure, I have indeed and nevertheless found main protagonist Julie’s coming of age journey and story totally and utterly disappointing in almost every way and have indeed also found so many (at least to and for me) problematic issues with Irene Hunt’s presented text that in my opinion (and the novel’s Newbery Award notwithstanding), Up a Road Sl ...more
Well .... unfortunately I wasn't overly impressed with this book. For one thing, it bothered me that I couldn't quite ascertain the era in which the story takes place. The characters seemed to hold values of a bygone era (the importance for a woman to keep her house clean, the idea that it's a man's world [I think Uncle Haskell said that] & the notion that the aspiration of all young girls is to get married and become a good wife) and seemed old-fashioned even within the context of the story. I ...more
Carol Bakker
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After I posted a story of a telephone interchange I had as a girl shortly after my mom's sudden death, a friend remarked that my story reminded her of this book.

Last night I needed some escapist literature. I always say, Better an excellent children's book than some shoddy pulp fiction. I was in the perfect melancholy mood to appreciate Irene Hunt's novel in a minor key. I read it in one sitting and my responses have been brewing ever since.

Will it be a five star book for you? I don't know. The
Up a Road Slowly is a love story. Not a boy meets girl kind of story, but a girl meets maiden aunt kind of story. Julie is seven when her mother dies and she and her older brother are whisked of to live in the country with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster school teacher with a ram rod posture and a ram rod distinction between correct and not. Julie and Cordelia are instantly at odds. They rub against each other for the next ten years where they find that they have rubbed off on each other to the better ...more
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was first published in 1966, and it shows. Like, you can definitely tell from the get go that not only does the story take place a while ago, but it’s definitely written in that young-adult style of the past. Do you know what I mean? To me, the stories and characters in most YAs from 20+ years ago feel more removed—like, the emotions feel more sugarcoated and distant or something. Anyway, while there’s nothing wrong with that style, it did take me a while to get into the book because o ...more
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
(Spoilers ahead!) This Newbery Medal book came out in 1967 -- but I never read it until now. When seven-year-old Julie loses her mother, she also loses her home and her sense of security. She goes to live with her mother's sister at the family homestead. Aunt Cordelia has never married, but her brother (a narcissistic, essentially harmless alcoholic) lives in a separate house on the property. Aunt Cordelia teaches in a one-room schoolhouse, where as a young woman she coached her beau into higher ...more
I love this book. I have loved it since I first read it back in third grade, and continued to love it this week. What I don't quite understand is WHY I love it. A lot of reviews here liken it to Anne of Green Gables, but outside of the very basic plot (girl goes to live with stern older woman), it's not at all similar, in plot or style. It's incredibly old-fashioned, in thoughts and terms and story. The language and how it flows is very 1960s, and reminds me a bit of Madeleine L'Engle's precocio ...more
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I bought the audiobook, and I’m so happy I did. I love this book so much. I have read the book so many times that as I listened to the narrator I’d think, “I would have said that differently.” The narrator was fine. I’m so glad I have another way to enjoy my favorite book.

I just finished this beautiful book again. And this time, I felt such a strong longing to know these characters personally. I love this book so much.

This is such a beautiful coming of age stories. I've lost count of how many
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is kind of like"little women" meets "little house on the prairie." The kind of story where you journey through several years of someone's life , and the people around them. It's interesting to watch Julie grow up in this Newberry medal winning book. B+ ...more
Mar 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I found it boring and figured the whole book is gonna be about ordinary events in an ordinary girl's life. So, no thank you.
Very much a coming of age story, sweet but angsty. It is a nice combination of not too intense but still full of underlying drama.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a cute sweet book! It was a very easy read but I was very impressed the way the characters were developed over such a short book. They all had very realistic personalities which made them very easy to relate too. I would definitely recommend this book!
Thomas Bell
Slowly is right, though suddenly at times. The book is about a girl who, at 7 years old, is transferred to her aunt's house because her dad is single and thus (in the author's opinion) unable to care for her properly. The girl grows up and discovers who she is and what different kinds of relationships mean to her. The sentences flow smoothly and are well written - give the author an A for completing a marvelous writing assignment. However, the story moves very slowly but jumps from one setting t ...more
Aug 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Read for 5420 class

I am so thankful that jFics have come a long way since Up a Road Slowly was published in 1966 because this book was just awful.

Firstly, the emotions Julie experiences are much too mature and nuanced for a seven-year-old, which doesn't lend verisimilitude to the narration, even though it is told from adult Julie's perspective. This adult point-of-view also lends a didactic tone to the overall story, which adds to the impatience and frustration I felt as I read Up a Road Slowly
Lisa Elis
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
A good book. I used to hear about this author in English textbooks, I think, so I thought to give her a go. Set in the past, so that was interesting. It's about a girl who is sent to live with her aunt after her mom dies + she has to learn tough life lessons + grow up. It's a coming of age story and not terribly exciting, but still good.

What I liked -

. Uncle Haskell. I know that's weird considering his questionable character but still. I really liked him.

. The life difficulties Julie faced. Like
Phil Jensen
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book is so plainly zoned for 12 year old girls that I felt like I was trespassing while I read it, but here goes...

This novel details the awkward, hormonal, frequently unpleasant growth pangs of a girl slowly approaching womanhood. The main character was unappealing in a way that made the book hard to get through. In contrast, Jacob Have I Loved covers the same ground with an even more unappealing character who nevertheless held my interest. In Paterson's novel, I understood where the chara
Lauren Smith
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Up a Road Slowly is not an epic adventure. It is not a heartbreaking love saga. When I asked my mother why she loved this book and to remind me of the plot she simply replied: “Oh, it’s about a girl who goes to live with her aunt.” O….kay? But I came to find that it was so much more than that. It was a story about a girl not unlike myself who can be stubborn, makes mistakes, learns lessons, and finds love. As the story carries us from early childhood to the closing of high school we can relate a ...more
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It says they went up the road slowly, but it went too fast for me! It's only 107 pages, and I loved experiencing Julie's life with her and all the interweaving of the people around her. To see her come to grips with her situation from losing her mother at age 7 to accepting the goodness of the people around her was a great journey for me. It wasn't maudlin or preachy. I learned right along with her and didn't want her to leave me on my own. I can definitely see why this qualified for a Newbery a ...more
elena bomfim
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a love story but also about a young girl that comes to grow up in the story. It takes place in the mid 1900s. She goes through tragic events, such as her mother dying, school problems, dating, and family issues. I definitely recommend this book if someone is looking for a book that would touch them and make them think about what they are doing in their lives. It really touched me and I've acted different with people ever since. ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have half a mind to steal this book from the library. It seems almost necessary so Julie can take her rightful place on the shelf next to Laura and Anne. One of my favorite things is the unique ability a book has to make the tears burn behind my eyes and my heart ache just so. Irene Hunt's Up a Road Slowly does just that. Utterly lovely. ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
I had to read this for school but recently read it again. Loved it even more this time. A gentle book about growing up, with many life lessons along the way.
This books is a very interesting mix of early era Newbery winners (glorification of the past and rural "honest" living, clear moral of the story, and complete with a few cringeworthy moments, (view spoiler) ...more
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
In many ways, Up a Road Slowly reminds me of a modern Anne of Green Gables. We follow Julie's experiences growing up in an episodic nature in the order Julie experiences them as she grows up. Each story might seem innocent at the start, but all come with a moral lesson no matter how frivolous! In a similar way, Julie sees friends come and go, hates and loves boys, and wants to adventure in the world. She's not quite as dramatic as dear Anne Shirley, but she often comes close.

The biggest differen
Malissa Bishop
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rereads
Reading this is like visiting a fond memory from my past. I first read this book when I was 10, again at 14, and now at 30 have read it a third time. I have enjoyed it each and every time and since reading it and as an adult now appreciate it more. For me it was very easy to get lost in the writing and the story. A timeless coming of age story with the love of family and a little romance thrown in.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery
I enjoyed this coming-of-age story, whose setting and style reminded me of the Anne of Green Gables novels. After her mother dies, 9-year-old Julie goes to live with her stern single aunt who teaches the 1-room village school. But as time passes, she grows closer to her and learns to appreciate what she is learning from. The novel takes us through Julie's high school years till her graduation, when she is about to start college and a 4-year separation from her childhood boyfriend. ...more
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read for the Newbery Club in Children's Books, here:

Ah me. The more I write, the less I like the book.
And yet. I think that I will give it two stars because I did like the literary references, the odd bits of poetry quoted at appropriate times.
Benji Martin
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at Newbery Pie,

Two weeks ago, if you would have stopped me in the street and said, “Quick! Name an Irene Hunt novel!” I would have automatically responded with, “Across Five Aprils!” I’m not even sure I knew Up a Road Slowly existed until I saw that it was next on the Newbery list. First I want to say that I was very impressed with the writing in this novel. It’s only 186 pages in paperback, but there is a total, but subtle character t
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Children's Books: The Newbery Medal Winner of 1967 - Up a Road Slowly - D&A September 2020 28 23 Sep 15, 2020 01:32PM  
How many Rereads? 2 11 Jan 09, 2015 06:23PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • It's Like This, Cat
  • Shadow of a Bull
  • The Summer of the Swans
  • M.C. Higgins, the Great
  • I, Juan de Pareja
  • Miracles on Maple Hill
  • The Matchlock Gun
  • The Slave Dancer
  • Rabbit Hill
  • Thimble Summer
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man
  • The Story of Mankind
  • Onion John
  • Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
  • Roller Skates
  • Rifles for Watie
  • The White Stag
  • The Bronze Bow
See similar books…
Irene Hunt was an American children's writer known best for historical novels. She was a runner-up for the Newbery Medal for her first book, Across Five Aprils, and won the medal for her second, Up a Road Slowly. For her contribution as a children's writer she was U.S. nominee in 1974 for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international recognition available to ...more

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
51 likes · 13 comments
“It happens the world over - we love ourselves more than we do the one we say we love. We all want to be Number One, we've got to be Number One or nothing! We can't see that we could make ourselves loved and needed in the Number Two, or Three, or Four spot. No sir, we've got to be Number One, and if we can't make it, we'll rip and tear at the loved one till we've ruined every smidgin of love that was ever there.” 28 likes
“Beautiful hours move so quickly.” 26 likes
More quotes…