As part of my job, I read a lot of children’s books. And every now and then I stumble across one that is really special. Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan is one of those books.
Julia Marks is very small for her age. But don’t ever call her ‘short’. She prefers ‘not tall’. Still grieving over the death of her beloved dog, Ramon, Julia’s plans for the long summer holidays include not worrying about her height and trying to get over Ramon’s death. They most definitely don’t include playing a part in a production of The Wizard of Oz.
But Julia goes along to auditions because her younger brother Randy is auditioning and is surprised when they are both cast as Munchkins. So begins the best summer of Julia’s life.
Julia makes friends with adults of all ages and proves herself to be an indispensable Munchkin and an invaluable part of the team in the production. Thanks to Julia, the Munchkins and winged monkeys have the most fabulous costumes. Throwing herself into the play, Julia even starts to ease up on grieving for Ramon.
Written entirely from Julia’s point of view, including her sometimes random thoughts, this is a fantastic book about growing up and finding yourself. It might be a cliche, but Julia eventually learns that, although she’s small on the outside, she’s big on the inside and that’s where it really matters.
I cannot sing the praises of Short enough. It is so warm, funny and likeable and I can’t wait to share it with my daughter once she’s finished reading a really boring Dork Diaries book! This is a great read for older tweens and younger teenagers.