Rereading: THAT JULIA REDFERN by Eleanor Cameron

This is the second book about Julia and her family chronologically, I’m rereading them in that order, though they were published in a different order.

Julia Redfern always manages to get into trouble, though she never means to. The cover illustrates the first example of that from the book’s beginning, when she decides to try out her older brother Greg’s new bike, which is too big for her to reach the pedals. The family lives on a hill in Oakland, CA, (or is it Berkeley?) and immediately, Julia is rolling downhill out of control! This isn’t even the biggest accident she has in the story, another time she has a bad fall from playground equipment, and wakes up a prisoner in a strange house.

Julia’s father is a would-be writer, but he’s been called to serve in World War One as a pilot. While unconscious from her fall, Julia dreams and meets him in a strange place, where he has a message for her. It will become important later. Meanwhile, Julia has her own strange fears of imaginary things, like the creature she thinks lives in her garden, and the oversized doll her aunt and uncle gave her as a present. Julia’s best friend is her neighbor Maisie, but they often fight and tease each other. A trip to Yosemite for Julia and Greg with their uncle becomes a wonderful adventure, and a way to temporarily forget troubles at home.

Wonderful writing, this series is somewhat autobiographical, and the characters and events are engaging and historically accurate. Recommended.

That Julia Redfern by Eleanor Cameron

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