Being on the small side herself, Julia does not like the s-word. Grieving for her dog, she is facing the summer without her two best friends: Piper is going to summer camp and Kaylee on a family trip to look at baseball fields. When her mother signs her and her little brother up for auditions in a play, Julia's plans for doing nothing come to an end.
Cast as a Munchkin, Julia ends up finding the play a rewarding experience as she meets and makes great friends. Her view of herself changes and she takes inspiration from those around her, leading her to say...
'I grew this summer. Not on the outside, but on the inside. And that's the only place where growing really matters.'
'Short' is a wonderful story about how experiences can change us and challenge us to try new things. It's a story about coming to understand the importance of developing as a person and valuing others for who they really are. Her friendships with Mrs Chang (boring neighbour who turns out to be an amazing costume designer) and Olive ( a wise and insightful lady who has also been cast as a Munchkin) are brilliantly portrayed.
Julia has a strong, quirky voice and there is plenty of humour in her story. Her descriptions of the world of the theatre and all it involves are seamlessly woven into the story. There are words of wisdom offered throughout the story, making the reader think...
'Shawn Barr says that there are always two things happening in any situation: What we see, and what we don't see.
But what we don't see we can feel- if we are paying attention.'
'Short' is an excellent read, perfect for those looking for something a little different which will make you think, laugh- and perhaps grow a little on the inside!
Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Scholastic ISBN: 978-1407177472