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My nine year-old daughter recommended that I read Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing) by Alison McGhee.   So I did; I hope this is the first of many books she recommends.

The book begins:

Julia Gillian, her parents, and her dog, Bigfoot, all lived together in a third-floor apartment in South Minneapolis. There was much for the Gillian family to be happy about. Julia Gillian had finished fourth grade and she was looking forward to fifth grade at Lake Harriet Community School. Julia Gillian's parents, who were both teachers, liked their jobs and loved their daughter, who was their only child. Bigfoot, Julia Gillian's St. Bernard, was nine years old and a loyal, healthy dog.


Happy as she is, young Julia discovers there are some things she's afraid of, like what's in the news, and reading the green book which she's quite sure will end with the dog, that is just a year older than Bigfoot, dying.  This book is about a young girl taking on her fears, and reinforcing her sense of self, her identity.  I highly recommend it.  Many of us are no longer little girls, but we still get afraid — especially when we dream.  As young Julia Gillian takes on her fears, somehow we feel we can too.

Have you read Julia Gillian?

I would not have picked up Julia Gillian, but I wanted my daughter to know that her opinion matters to me. Are there other small ways in which we can validate the children around us?

What books have you read recently that encouraged you to take your life on?

Anything in the mix that your children recommended?

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