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Up a Road Slowly

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,041 ratings  ·  520 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)
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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.

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  6,041 ratings  ·  520 reviews

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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 ...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,
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
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
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 ...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 ...more
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+
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
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.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rereads, favorites
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 times I have read it. Beautiful.

I just reread this. I love this book. Years after I initially read it and it still moves me. Love it.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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 ...more
Aug 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
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
2017 Re-Read: I guess it's true that we never read the same book twice. This time around, I thought this was just okay. Maybe it's because I am further from Julie's age that I find this harder to get into. Reading it this time actually just made me feel kind of sad and hollow.

2013 Review: I loved this. It takes a bit to get into, but once I did I didn't want it to end. The writing has a certain panache. Perhaps it’s just the narrator’s spirited reading (which also took me a bit to warm up to,
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: newbery
I started this book off determined that it was going to be boring and I would just blah my way through it only because it is a Newbery. (Have to read all Newbery books, you know, one of those life quest things.) I usually dislike books that are just random stories from some person's life, most likely some young girl from a tragic background who always ends up being a great writer.

However, I loved this book. I don't know why because it was everything I thought it was going to be. But I loved it.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Up a Road Slowly is a fictional story set during the mid-1900’s. Irene Hunt, the author of Up a Road Slowly, has written multiple novels including Across Five Aprils, The Lottery Rose, and No Promises in the Wind. Up a Road Slowly won the John Newbery Medal in 1967.
Up a Road Slowly follows the story of Julie Trelling from the age of seven to eighteen. After her mother dies, seven-year-old Julie goes to live with her spinster aunt Cordelia in the country. In the beginning of the book, Julie
4.5 stars. Lovely story about a feisty girl raised by her Aunt Cordelia, a schoolteacher maternal aunt in a rural school. We meet Julie at age 7 after losing her mother and watch her grow into a 17-year old Julie as she graduates from high school.

This book reminds me of the Anne of Green Gables series.

* Julie's academic family
* Laura, Julie's older sister
(view spoiler)
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a favorite of my mom's when she was young. I loved the story, and the vivid characters the author created. I feel like Julie and I could have been friends growing up.
This book is definitely in the vein of Little Women. A strong-willed main heroine, a loving but stern mother figure, and growing up are all key features in both books. The story is by no means an exact copy of Louisa May Alcott's novel, but it left me with the same good feeling that if you try hard, learn from mistakes, and
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 ...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 ...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.
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Children's Books: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Newbery Medal Winner of 1967 - Up a Road Slowly - D&A September 2020 1 5 Oct 21, 2018 12:04PM  
How many Rereads? 2 11 Jan 09, 2015 06:23PM  

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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
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