Julia Gillian’s in the sixth grade now and her life has begun to change in many ways that she never expected.

Julia Gillian and her friends were Sixlets, and their classrooms were on the second floor of Lake Harriet School with the Sevvies, the seventh graders. They’d gone from the oldest elementary kids to the youngest middle school kids. The Sevvies were a little scary, but nothing like the Crazy Eights. The eighth graders were tall, and loud. They played dodge ball at recess. They ran up and down the stairs in packs, breaking the “stay to the right rule.” They ruled the school. The Sixlets dreaded having to go to the bathroom, because all the middle school bathrooms were on the third floor. They’d all heard stories about getting trapped in the bathroom with a bunch of Crazy Eights.

And if Julia Gillian’s life was different at school, it was nothing to the changes that were happening at home. Bigfoot, her beloved Saint Bernard, was getting older and slower. He liked to take naps on his own pillow, or watch from the shade as Julia Gillian practiced her free throws. She didn’t like to think about what her life would be like without him. Her parents seemed different too. Neither of them seemed to understand that Julia Gillian just wanted to practice her free shots—alone!

How could so many things change in just one summer, three short months? But they had, and Julia Gillian was going to have to figure out how to deal with them.



This booktalk was written by Joni Richards Bodart, university professor, author, librarian, consultant, and booktalking expert.