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Julia Gillian (And the Art of Knowing)
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Julia Gillian (Julia Gillian Trilogy #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  558 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
A new middle-grade heroine is born! The first story in an extraordinary new series by a New York Times best-selling author.

Format: 3CDs, Unabridged

Ten-year-old Julia Gillian knows everything about her quirky neighbors, her Minneapolis neighborhood, even the inscrutable "claw machine" in the back of the corner hardware store. The one thing Julia Gillian doesn't know is how
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Scholastic Audio Books
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Rating details
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Apr 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yuliana Gallardo
I liked this book because it was how she had strong feeling about the ending of a book she read and I really like to read. It was about how Julia was really good at everything like to getting a toy from a claw machine and to finding out what is going to happen next. So she finally read the ending of a book and got support from her dog friends and family. I recommend this book to someone who like books and dogs because it talks how she feels about dogs and books,
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: midgrade, realistic
Julia Gillian is an only child in love with her huge dog. In fact she loves him so much that when she starts a book about a dog like hers, she’s afraid to finish it in case something bad happens to the dog. This and many other adventures happen to Julia Gillian over the course of one summer as she perfects her skill of knowing things.

I adore this book. Like I said before, it’s a quiet, understated kind of book. Big things don’t happen to Julia Gillian, and the world is not in danger. But in most
Nov 04, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Julia Gillian is a girl who everday of the summer walked her dog. She didn't get to do a lot of fun stuff cause her mom and dad went back to college and were so busy studying. She also wants to be a master at everything like using chopsticks, paper masks, and the claw machine.

I thought this book was really boring and dull I kept reading it cause i wanted to count it as a book I read.

I wouldn't recommend this book it was bad and very BORING!!!
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
I didn't like the reader on the audio book. It sounded a little better in my head. Mostly Julia Gillian is too cute, too self-absorbed and just too much. I wouldn't recommend this book, there are hundreds of better books to read.
Sam Bloom
I love Julia Gillian and I want to live in her neighborhood! I want to meet Bigfoot, her dog; I want to eat one of Zap's creations; and I want to go to Quang and have bubble tea! Without question one of the best kids' novels I've read in '08.
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I liked the theme of learning to cope with fear, but it was a little heavy-handed. I didn't buy most of the characters, and I felt parts of the book were a little too self-consciously charming. It was a nice read, but I wonder if it would appeal more to grown-ups than kids.
Ella Rogers
The book "Julia Gillian" by Alison McGhee, is a fictional book and is an easy book to read. There is not very much action in this book, and it a part of a series. Julia Gillian does not just go by Julia, but she has to be called by her last name as well. She is very good at the art of knowing and predicting how things are going to happen. There are a couple main characters in this book. They are Julia Gillian, Enzo, her parents, and her dog, Bigfoot. Enzo and Julia Gillian are next door neighbo ...more
Gillian Atkinson
May 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't that good it didn't have much hooks and not that interesting.
Sweet on Books
It’s summer in Minneapolis and nine-year old Julia Gillian is contemplating her talents. Like many kids that age, she’s keeping track of what she’s good at and so far, she feels pretty confident in her abilities. She's perfected the art of the papier mache mask and she seems to have a flair for the "art of knowing" or predicting what will happen. One thing she doesn’t feel so good about is reading so she’s trying to avoid that at all costs. Her parents are busy doing their own thing so Julia spe ...more
Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014reviews
Several years ago, I read the Julia Gillian series. The first book in the series is Julia Gillian And the Art of Knowing. The book introduces us to a lovely little heroine, Julia Gillian, who is something. She is not really like other children her age (she's about 10) and she's not really like other adults either. She is individual, unique, special. While I did not see myself in each and every bit of Julia Gillian, there was one thing in particular we share. (Or should I say shared.) Julia Gilli ...more
catherine james
Julia Gillian is quite accomplished for a nine year old. Thus far she's mastered the art of making papier-mâché masks, spreading her gum evenly across her teeth, and knowing exactly what her dog Bigfoot is saying even though he doesn't speak "human." Though she hasn't yet conquered the claw machine at Bryant Hardware by grabbing the stuffed meerkat, Julia keeps her skills sharp by every Friday and Sunday afternoons during her walks around the neighborhood with Bigfoot.

By far and away though, Jul
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cat for

Julia Gillian is quite accomplished for a nine-year-old. Thus far she's mastered the art of making papier-mâché masks, spreading her gum evenly across her teeth, and knowing exactly what her dog, Bigfoot, is saying even though he doesn't speak "human."

Though she hasn't yet conquered the claw machine at Bryant Hardware by grabbing the stuffed meerkat, Julia keeps her skills sharp every Friday and Sunday afternoon during her walks around the neighborhood with Bi
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20book-chalenge
Book review: Julia Gillian (And the quest for joy)

This book is my favourite book so far in my entire life, the book's title is Julia Gillian( and the Quest for joy), and the author is Alison McGhee. This book is the second book of the Julia Gillian series. The story has impressed me so much because I had a similar experience like Julia Gillian. The series has made me to always challenge and find my way by fixing all the problems one by one. This story is about a girl called Julia Gillian who kn
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few notes:
-The illustrations are darling black and white sketches that made me smile everytime a new one appeared.
-I don't know that Julia is that relatable for most kids. She's constantly worried about something while also using certain phrases and language in a way that a lot of my students would be confused by. Certain kids would find her charming, but I truly think that is a small minority of children. I just never loved her very much and couldn't stand how she was constantly anxious.
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia is a 9 year old girl, only child of her parents, and her dog, a Saint Bernard, is her best friend. She is allowed to go a 9 square block by herself as long as she takes her dog, Bigfoot. There are neighbors, Enzo and Zap, downstairs in her apartment building she is friends with, and who occasionally babysit Julia for her parents. When her parents can't watch her, because they are studying for their own classes, even though they are teachers themselves, Enzo and her brother Zap, watch her. ...more
I really wanted to like this book more than I did, though it grew on me in some ways as I read.  Julia Gillian is both precocious and young for her age, and while many of her tendencies are literary (for example, her desire to live in old-fashioned times where families eat cucumber sandwiches and call each other "father" and "daughter"), she doesn't like to read.  The only reason given for her aversion to reading is the possibly sad ending of the green book she started but won't finish.  Julia G ...more
Elissa Schaeffer
I wanted to love this book but I didn't--I liked it okay enough, but it wasn't as dazzling as I wanted it to be. I had a hard time liking Julia Gillian that much. Some points I did, and others she drove me bonkers. Although, I'm a grownup, as much as I hate to admit it sometimes, and I'm looking at this book with a different perspective than a middle grade reader would have. Most of this seemed to me to be about dealing and coping and how Julia Gillian learns to do that, so we don't see a whole ...more
Miz Lizzie
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 7-10 year olds
A perfect book for those young readers who have graduated from early readers but are still a little hesitant about embarking on chapter books, Julia Gillian is a little heftier than most books for those grade three readers, but the text is attractively arranged in a large font with double spaces between the lines and interspersed with lots of pen and ink illustrations. There is also quite a bit of repetition in the text, which is more likely to be reassuring to the young reader than irritating. ...more
Katie Boehmer
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia Gillian was a great book that was interesting and fun to read. The main character in this book is Julia Gillian and how she spends her summer. In the beginning of the book, Julia Gillian makes a list of all of the things that she has mastered and the things that she want to master this summer. One of these things is winning the meerkat in the claw machine. Another goal that she has is to finish reading the green book. Julia Gillian started the book a long time ago, but she had a feeling t ...more
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I often feel the same way that Julia does about entering into something that I'm afraid is not going to end well. I'm like this with books and movies and plays, too.

I will keep a Netflix movie for months because I've heard that it is sad or "difficult."

The thing is, I hardly ever regret the experience once I take a deep breath and dive in.

Alison McGhee has captured that sense of hesitation, and also the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it perfectly in her Julia. It's appropriate, too,
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 3rd-5th grade girls, especially girls who tend to be worriers
Shelves: kids-fiction
10-year-old Julia Gillian's summer is not going as well as summers past. Her teacher parents are absorbed in studying for the college courses they're taking, so picnics and family outings are few and far between. To make matters worse, she has a sinking feeling that the green book she has started is going to end badly. Along with her Saint Bernard, Bigfoot, Julia Gillian (no one calls her just "Julia") visits neighbor Enzo for advice, plays the claw machine at the hardware store, and tries to av ...more
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever since 5th grade, I loved reading the Julia Gillian series by Alison McGhee. Not reading it for about 2 years, during the summer I decided to give it a try in reading this easy book. I thought it would be interesting since I have a different way of thinking. Nevertheless, the book did not disappoint me; I always have so much fun reading it. I recommend this to young girls who like to read about the teenager life. It is not dramatic but is a typical story of a girl living in the United States ...more
Justine Sof2014
This book is called "Julia Gillian" by Alison McGhee. This book is about a girl who tells her father to buy her a book and she doesn't like the book because the book has a sad ending. Than she sees a machine. You have to move the button to get to the stuff animal you want and the claw will try to get it. Julia didn't win the cat stuff animal she wanted.

A text-to-self connection that I had was that one time I tried to get a stuff animal and I didn't win. The claw is weak, like it doesn't have a
Jean Haberman
A cute story about Julia Gillian, a precocious 9-year-old. She lives in an apartment in Minneapolis, MN with her teacher parents and Saint Bernard dog, Bigfoot. Julia keeps a list of accomplishments she has completed like making papier-mache masks, reading Bigfoot's mind, and making predictions about what her parents were doing. She still had to master the claw machine at the hardware store and she still had to finish reading the green book even though she was afraid of the ending. Her 18-year-o ...more
Bobby Simic
Julia Gillian is awfully perceptive (or skilled at the Art of Knowing) for a ten-year-old, loves her dog, her family, and her neighborhood. But she feels like her life is beginning to shift and she doesn't like it. Her parents don't spend as much time with her because they've been studying; she's been reading a book that she refuses to finish because she fears an unhappy ending; and there's just too much bad news in the "wider world." All of these things cloud Julia Gillian's normal act
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grades
It's an interesting premise about a young girl struggling with growing up but the pace was painfully slow.
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book it is summer and Julia’s parents are taking classes and studying a lot to become the best teachers in the world. Her parents are talented teachers and she can…
Make a paper mâché mask
Smooth gum across her teeth so it looks like she has one long tooth
Understand her dog Bigfoot
Drink strawberry bubble tea
Everyday she takes a nine block walk with her dog Bigfoot. Each day she has to recite her parameters to her babysitter Enzo. On Wednesdays and Fridays she tries to win a meerkat in the
Aug 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun character! A real girl (fourth grade, I think?) trying to figure out her life. She has a list of things she is good at, and they include knowing things as well as making paper mache masks. Julia does NOT enjoy reading, which is also an important plot point.

Her parents and neighbors are all interesting supporting characters. Even her dog plays a necessary role.

Super cute. Looking forward to more.

My favorite scene involves advice Julia dispenses to a little neighbor girl worried about
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Alison McGhee writes novels, picture books, poems, and essays for all ages, including the forthcoming novel Never Coming Back (out in October 2017) and the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller SOMEDAY, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. She lives in Minneapolis, California and Vermont.
More about Alison McGhee...

Other Books in the Series

Julia Gillian Trilogy (3 books)
  • Julia Gillian And the Quest for Joy
  • Julia Gillian And the Dream of the Dog