Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Meet Julia Marks. She's the student who is always positioned in the front for school class photos. She's selected last on the basketball team. She can crawl through the dog door when accidentally locked outside of her house.
That's right. Julia is vertically challenged.
And now her precious dog Ramon, the family pet for the past five years, is dead. Julia acutely feels this loss.
The school year has come to an end and her two best friends will away for most of the summer.
Summer vacation is not looking too promising for Julia.
Her mother comes up with a plan: Julia and her younger brother Randy are to perform in a local production of The Wizard of Oz.
Julia is not sure about this. Not sure at all. However her size makes her an ideal candidate to be a cast member: a munchkin, of course.
Julia faces her fears of singing and dancing in public and even dares to venture into the air, high above the stage.
She learns more about others, life, and herself; all in the course of one short summer. Her story is one of humor and heart.
The Wisdom of Julia:
Check out some of her astute observations
- Fame "One thing I've decided is that life is just one big, long struggle to find applause. Even when people die, they are hoping someone writes a list of accomplishments about them."
- Older Brothers "Tim doesn't do more than shrug, but that's because he's at what my parents say is 'the difficult age.' I'm not sure if it's difficult for him, or for us because we have to live with him. My mom says I'm getting valuable experience about men by having two brothers."
- True Friendship "I decide that Olive believes in me. I think showing up and eating the ice cream was her way to be heard. Maybe you don't have to speak to be heard. Because I don't remember silence being so loud before."
- Issues with Math "Numbers are fuzzy to me. They come and they go. Once you're lost in math, it's better to just give your mind a break from numbers, since they can pile up like paper cups in the recycling container in the lunchroom."
- It's All in How You Look at It "Maybe the key is that Big Ideas are Little Ideas but told in Big Ways?"
- Generosity "My dad once said that giving away something you don't want isn't generous. Giving away something you do want is."
- Falling in Love "I think the falling part is right. It's not climbing in love. Or even sitting or standing or stepping in love. No. Falling."
- Butterflies in the Stomach "How did this saying get started? Did it once really happen? Maybe a person swallowed a handful of very small butterflies that were alive."
- Gratitude "'Thanks, Mom. Thanks for making me try out for this play.' I think I might just have made being a mother totally worthwhile for her. I will try to never forget her face. It's too bad I don't have a cell phone, because I could have taken a picture and that would have been great for my scrapbook. 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."
- Things Not Seen "Shawn Barr says that there are always two things happening in any situation: What we see, and what we don't see. But what we don't see we can feel- if we are paying attention."
- Saying Goodbye "I try not to cry, because my nickname is Baby but I'm not a baby. I say in a very small voice. 'I don't want it to end. Why does it have to end?'"