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Review: The Julian Chapter

September 19, 2014

The Julian Chapter

A couple years ago, I read, and loved, Wonder by R. J. Palacio.  It’s the story of Auggie, a young boy with facial abnormalities who decides to attend middle school after being homeschooled for years.  He makes friends and adjusts but not all the kids are kind to him.  The Julian Chapter is a novella that tells the story from the point of view of Julian, a classmate who was particularly mean to Auggie, and I just loved it.

Julian is one of three students the principal asks to help ease Auggie’s transition into school.  He’s not thrilled about it and when he tells his mother about it, she reacts in a very negative manner.  Feeding on her reaction, Julian resents Auggie and begins to bully him.  When the principal calls his parents in for a conference, his mother has excuses and justifications for all of Julian’s behavior, thereby reinforcing it.  When his behavior gets to out of hand, the private school he attends expels him.

Julian spends much of the summer with his French grandmother and he confides in her.  She tells him a story about a young man she knew during World War II that makes him realize how wrong he’s been.

I think both Wonder and The Julian Chapter should be read by everyone from middle schoolers on up.  Parents need to read these books with their children and then talk about them.  They tackle subjects like bullying and compassion for both children and adults.  Hopefully some parents will see how their actions enable their children’s behavior.  I highly recommend this book.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. sandynawrot permalink
    September 19, 2014 6:23 am

    I loved Wonder, it was such a special book and so uplifting. Really a different feel than most books for this age group. I’ll definitely have to get my hands on this.

  2. September 19, 2014 7:16 am

    Sounds like a worthwhile read Kathy.

  3. September 19, 2014 7:40 am

    I’m getting both of these books for my niece!

  4. September 19, 2014 8:04 am

    I still haven’t read Wonder! But it is in my stack….

  5. Patty permalink
    September 19, 2014 8:36 am

    Yes! This kind of reading should be required!

  6. September 19, 2014 9:47 am

    I loved Wonder and agree that everyone should read it 🙂 I’m so glad you posted about this one as I hadn’t heard about it before and will definitely be buying it ASAP. I’m really looking forward to it – thanks!

  7. September 19, 2014 10:20 am

    I loved Wonder too and have been meaning to read this. It sounds wonderful! (pun intended)

  8. September 19, 2014 11:04 am

    My son and I are still reading Wonder. I’m going to add this to our tbr list.

  9. September 19, 2014 11:21 am

    I loved Wonder and have tried to get as many kids in our school to read it. I will have to check this one out!

  10. September 19, 2014 12:33 pm

    I think it would be good for a class read

  11. September 19, 2014 2:59 pm

    I think my granddaughter would love both books!

  12. September 19, 2014 4:52 pm

    Sounds good

  13. September 19, 2014 7:20 pm

    I’ve heard good things about Wonder. I now want to read Wonder and The Julian Chapter. Thanks for your wonderful review, Kathy!

  14. September 19, 2014 9:34 pm

    thank you for your thoughts, I’ve requested Wonder from the library.

  15. September 20, 2014 7:23 am

    I see why this would be a great book for parents and children discussion. Or a class group read.

  16. September 20, 2014 7:15 pm

    I really need to read Wonder – I’ve heard such great things about it. This one sounds like a great follow-up.

  17. September 20, 2014 10:03 pm

    Both Wonder and The Julian Chapter sound like important reads for parents and children.

  18. September 21, 2014 10:26 am

    File this under “things I”m not looking forward to as mom to girls.” Girls can be so mean! I’ve always been curious about Wonder and now I’ll put both of these on my list.

  19. September 21, 2014 12:01 pm

    This sounds good and reminds me that I never finished Wonder! GAH! I need to do that.

  20. Beth F permalink
    September 22, 2014 7:39 am

    Must get to Wonder! And then this. Excellent review

  21. September 23, 2014 1:40 pm

    This sounds like a great book, Kathy. Adding it to my list of books for the future.

  22. September 25, 2014 9:42 pm

    I haven’t read Wonder yet, but I love that the author write the counter story. Especially because it’s such an important topic.

  23. bookingmama permalink
    September 26, 2014 7:51 am

    I really need to read this one. WONDER was a remarkable book!

  24. September 27, 2014 8:54 pm

    I have Wonder on my shelf. When working at B&N so man people raved about it I bought a copy. Looking forward to adding this one to read too. Thanks!

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