Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing)
"Ten-year-old Julia Gillian is in for a different summer vacation. As her parents tackle teaching summer school courses with gusto, Julia has more time on her own to contemplate both her own world and the wider world. While her list of what she is good at is growing in a satisfying way, in the wider world headlines of war, budget cuts, global warming, and tensions in the Middle East cause her consternation. Emily Bauer is an unobtrusive narrator who lets the characters shine. Effervescent Julia is full of kid-centered ideas. Her parents are either distracted or genuinely sympathetic. Brother Zap swings from a young-adult anomie to wild enthusiasm. The personalities Bauer gives these characters are distinct, believable, and just plain fun. A.R. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"