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Romiette and Julio Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-10-A contemporary retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story with a happy, upbeat ending. Sixteen-year-old Julio Montague's parents have moved their family to Cincinnati, OH, in order to get their son out of his gang-ridden high school in Corpus Christi, TX. Romiette Cappelle, also 16, is the daughter of successful African-American parents and the granddaughter of college professors. When these two young people, both from proud heritages, begin a romance, they must deal not only with their parents' prejudices but also with the threats of a local gang called The Family. At times, Romiette and Julio effectively parallels and contemporizes the original story. The young couple meet, not at the Capulets' feast, but in an Internet chat room. Julio's friend, Ben Olsen (read Benvolio), who looks like a punk rocker, has an optimistic and irreverent attitude that balances Julio's passion and volatility. At other times, the allusions to the play are obvious and heavy-handed. Nonetheless, this novel is more than simply a carefully plotted teenage romance. Draper gives a realistic portrayal of the interactions among high school students as well as their relationships with their parents. The book also examines how gangs can gain power and take control. All of the characters have unique voices and the writing style shifts according to the action. Romiette and Julio would be a wonderful curriculum tie-in book, but it also stands alone as a first-rate novel about contemporary teens.
Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

When Romiette Capelle, aka Afroqueen, and Julio Montague, aka Spanishlover, meet in an Internet chat room, neither of them has any idea they both go to the same Cincinnati high school. Afroqueen is from a prominent African American family; Spanishlover is Hispanic and the new kid in town. When Romiette and Julio meet in person, they know they are fated to be together. In keeping with their Shakespearean counterparts, they are thwarted in love: a local gang, the Devildogs, is set on keeping Romiette away from the "foreigner." The dialogue (and there's lots of it) is jarring and stilted, and Romiette's father and some peripheral adult characters are overdone. But Draper has created Julio's parents and Romiette's mother with sensitivity and has given readers a pair of intriguing, unusual protagonists with the sort of real thoughts and feelings that will make this interracial story satisfying despite its stylistic problems. Holly Koelling --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689842090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689842092
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sharon Draper is a two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author, most recently for Copper Sun, and previously for Forged by Fire. She's also the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Author Award for New Talent for Tears of a Tiger and the Coretta Scott King Author Honor for The Battle of Jericho and November Blues. Her other books include Romiette and Julio, Darkness Before Dawn, and Double Dutch. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years. She's a popular conference speaker, addressing educational and literary groups both nationally and internationally.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For my ninth grade English class, we were assigned to read the play Romeo and Juliet. That's why, when at the library, I spotted this book and decided to read it. Compared to the original play, this book was wonderfully sweet and romantic. African-American Romiette Cappelle (called Romi) and Hispanic Julio Montague are the two heros this time. Both sixteen and juniors in high school, they meet over the internet and develop a strong relationship, that even objections from a local gang cannot deter. This book chronicles thier journey to an open relationship that overcomes racial boundaries. I recommend this book for approximately ages 9-14.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Break Fire on April 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book Review
Romiette and Julio
By: Sharon M. Draper
The story of Romiette And Julio is a modern version of Shakespeare's classic play "Romeo and Juliette." You might think you know what happened in the story, but you don't. The couple in the story will show you how love can over come any obstacle.
Romiette is an African-American sixteen year old girl who fall in love with Julio a Hispanic sixteen year old boy. The romance between them causes the Devil Dogs a gang who are also called the Family to separated them because of different races. Romiette and Julio love each other so much that they decided to confronted the Devil Dogs. That leads Romiette and Julio to a life and death situation.
In Shakespear's version, both character family are enemies from generation. Both families want Romeo and Juliette to separate from each other. That at the end both end up dead for love. Romiette and Julio have strong belief that their bond will keep them together. And help them over come people who are trying to force them apart. They know true love conquers all just as Romeo and Juliet did.
Romiette and Julio couldn't stand the violence that the gangs are threatening to use if they don't breakup. So to stop the Devil Dogs threat, Romiette and Julio decided to meets the gangs at London Park and solve their problems without telling the authority figures. The danger both character gone through reveal their true feeling for each other. They both will risk each other life to saved the other one.
Romiette and Julio's story is not very different from Shakespear's classic version, but it does have a different ending. Love is powerful, the decision that you choose will effect your future.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A. Luciano VINE VOICE on June 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Romiette is a high school student who has lived her entire life in Cincinnati. She is black and lives with her parents, who are both successful--her father as a news reporter on television and her mother as a store owner. Romiette has never had a real boyfriend, but then she meets Julio online one afternoon.

Julio has just moved to Cincinnati from Texas, and he hates it, especially the cold weather, which he never had back home in Texas. His parents wanted to leave to get away from the gangs that were running rampant in Julio's school. Unfortunately, the gangs in Cincinnati are just as bad, especially the Devildogs, a black gang at Romiette and Julio's school.

When Romi and Julio talk online enough to realize they are going to the same school, they decide to meet for lunch one day. The two of them really hit it off; there is a definite spark between them that makes them want to spend all of their free time together. The Devildog gang doesn't like it, though. They don't want one of the pretty black girls at their school associating with a Hispanic boy. They threaten Romi and Julio and try to make them stop seeing each other. Romi and Julio don't know what they can do, but then they come up with a plan to secretly videotape the threats and bring that tape to the news, to expose this gang. When they put the plot into action, though, things go terribly wrong and Romi and Julio's lives are in danger.

I liked seeing the two families who started off not liking each other come together in order to help their children. I also liked the characters of Ben and Destiny. Both were incredibly vivid and really good friends.

This book, however, was incredibly simplistic, almost to the point of being insulting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Romiette and Julio is a great book about love, friendship, and cultural diversity. Julio moved and was having a hard time adjusting to his new school. He went on the internet and started talking in a chat room. Julio met Romiette in the chat room and began talking to her everyday. One day in school they met and became friends. However, Julio is Mexican and Romiette is African American. Many people disagreed with their relationship, including their parents, but they did not let that bother them. A gang harrasses Julio and Romiette due to their interracial relationship. A tragedy, that pulls Romiette and Julio closer, gains approval and respect from their parents and friends.

I really enjoyed this book. It was exciting and hard to put down. There is a lot of foreshadowing in the book which makes it exciting and fun to read. The book relates to the real world. It is about cultural diversity, disapproval, friendship, and love. In the real world all these things occur.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Everyone can learn something from this book. It has the power to change the way you think of someone when you meet them. You will not be as judgmental or draw conclusions as fast. It was also teach the importance of love and friendship. This book is great and anyone who reads it will love it!
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