From the Bookshelf of Mock Newbery 2018

Find A Copy At

Group Discussions About This Book

No group discussions for this book yet.

What Members Thought

Nora Baskin beautifully handles that tender time in a girl's life when she is still playing with dolls but begins to be attracted to boys. Julia and Eliza's close relationship is realistically drawn. The subplot involving Julia and Peter's parents serving in Iraq sets this novel in time and provides a view of the stress that this creates in their families. I was disappointed to see a grammatical mistake on p. 54 where the word lay is mistakenly used rather than lie. It's a common mistake but I h ...more
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Realistic fiction set in 2004. Fast read, short chapters and the reader spends a lot of time in Julia's (the main character) head. Julia has an interesting family dynamic: she calls her sister her Aunt and her niece (and best friend) her cousin, and her mother is in Iraq for most of the story. The story is pretty simple Julia is spending summer with her sister, brother-in-law and niece at the old-fashioned resort they live at while Julia's father puts in a lot of overtime at work throughout the ...more
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chapter-books
The inevitability of putting away childhood fantasies is poignantly told through 12-year-old Julia as she shares one coming-of-age summer. When her mother is deployed to Iraq, Julie resides for a summer with her same-age niece Eliza with whom she has shared her childhood. Julie fears for her mother’s safety are as real and immediate as her sudden interest in boys as she straddles the fragile line between childhood (pioneer-girl) fantasies and her new grown up feelings. This book could have more ...more
May 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Julia is spending the summer before seventh grade living at her (much) older sister's house because her mother, a nurse in the National Guard, has been sent to serve in Iraq. Lucky for Julia, her sister has a daughter, Eliza, who is just her age and also her very best friend. Julia is walking the line between being a girl and playing pretend while dipping a tentative toe into the waters of boys and first kisses. Baskin perfectly captures the tween dilemma of wanting to growing up yet still wanti ...more
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tweens
It is rare to find a book that is so solidly representative of the shift from child to tween. In this story, you can almost sense the hormonal change that shifts one girl away from her best friend and into the myopic realm of worrying only about what boys may think of her. There are elements that are not as strong, such as the subplot about her mother on military duty in Iraq. Yet, this book does such of good job of putting the reader in the bewildering shift away from childhood, that those othe ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this middle grade, coming of age novel. It is a great choice for upper elementary/early middle school girls as it considers the transition from childhood to your more adult life. The story at times was a bit confusing to me as she seamlessly alternates from her real life and the imaginary world the characters create but it is a small criticism. I also liked the added dimension of dealing with an absent parent.
Cute book addressing what it is like for a girl to leave behind being a little girl with her make believe worlds and entering "teenagedom." (though honestly I don't think that jump means you have to kiss a boy) Also, what it is like to have a mother sent to the middle east.
Recommended Ages: grades 5-7

"Julia and Eliza are best friends, spending the summer together. Julia's mother is serving in the National Guard and Julia spends all of her time trying not to think about what could happen. So the girls lose themselves in their summer, hanging out at the resort where Eliza's father works. But when they meet a new boy, neither one of them is prepared for what it does to their friendship." - product description

Sweet story about transitioning from childhood to teenager.
Sharon Lawler
Eliza and Julia are family, and since they have spent a lot of time together, an imaginary game of identities anchored in the past has become a favorite. However, this summer marks their entry interest in boys, and everyone is not equally onboard. This is a coming of age story for girls, and women of all ages will enjoy revisiting that time in their life.
Kris Springer
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great characters--the sense of childhood & imagination, and trying to hold onto that--that's all very strong & poignant here. Some of it felt a little melodramatic, but that's how it must have felt to the characters...good writing and realistic characters/feelings/setting.
A McCavitt
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this book. Liked the innocence of a young girls first kiss contrasted with her love of her best friend and learning that friends will always be there and boys will cone and go but not to give up on your friend for a boy. ;)
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dropped
Nov 24, 2015 marked it as to-read
May 05, 2011 marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2012 marked it as to-read
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2011 marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Dec 16, 2014 marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2013 rated it liked it
May 10, 2011 marked it as to-read
Mrs. Evelyn Oros
Jun 08, 2012 marked it as to-read
Oct 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Beth G.
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Beth by: Cybils Nomination
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it