From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6–With an older sister who appears to be perfect and a younger brother who is highly asthmatic and spoiled, 11-year-old Julep feels invisible. She is absorbed in the ordinary trials of life, wishing to be popular, agonizing over what to wear for her school picture, hating her red hair and freckles, and resentful at having to look out for her brother. The low point of her existence is when she suddenly throws up in gym class with all eyes on her. Her priorities and her sense of self-worth, however, take a dramatic turn when her parents are away and she must take charge when her brother has a severe asthma attack. Julep comes across as imaginative, real, and often funny. Her concern over being a middle child, however, borders on obsession; the text mentions it repeatedly throughout. Still, readers who also feel unappreciated, or who can overlook this element, will enjoy the realistic school and family dynamics and will identify with her everychild concerns. Lightweight, with a rather standard plot, this is still fun and will serve a purpose in collections needing to balance the many novels filled with loss and grief.–Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
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Gr. 4-6. Eleven-year-old Julep feels invisible. At home, sandwiched between perfect older sister, Harmony, and obnoxious younger brother, Cooper, she is only noticed when her parents want something from her--such as when they want her to trade her nice, uncarpeted bedroom for asthmatic Cooper's disgusting one (aka the Chicken Coop), with its dirty carpet and "snot green" walls. At school, Julep gets attention, but not the kind she wants: her journal is read over the loudspeaker and she barfs in gym. Just when things finally begin to look up, Cooper suffers a severe asthma attack. Julep's sporadically incorporated, acronym-peppered journal entries occasionally seem superfluous to the story, but the third-person narrative, filled with details that readers will relate to, sympathetically portrays Julep's progression from passive and wishful to proactive and appreciative. The heavy-handed message notwithstanding, this is still an entertaining read. Shelle RosenfeldCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved