cover image Julie's Tree

Julie's Tree

Mary Calhoun. HarperCollins Publishers, $11.95 (135pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020995-7

From the author of the Katie John books comes a story about Julie, who discovers a gigantic mulberry tree and centers her imagination and time on it as she adjusts both to her mother's death and her new life in Sutterville. She has difficulty making friends until she meets Ned, a fourth grader who also loves to climb Julie's tree and embraces her fantasy world, and Miss Fogarty, an elderly retiree whose property abuts the tree. This slow and not very involving story rallies around a proposed tree-razing, which Julie and her new coterie (Sandy and Becca come into the picture, as well as a tentative girlfriend for Julie's father) protest with signs and a sit-in. The ending is too pat and unbelievable, and the characters simply are not true-to-life. Ages 7-10. (August)