Saturday, October 2, 2010

Up a Road Slowly
by Irene Hunt

Up a Road Slowly
Irene Hunt
Grades 5-7

This is a coming-of-age novel that follows a girl named Julie. We first meet Julie when she is seven and recovering from the same sickness that took her mother’s life. It is decided she and her brother should go live with their aunt out in the country. The story follows her as she adjusts to a different lifestyle with her aunt. We read and watch as she grows from a young girl coping with changes in her life, to a bright adolescent and finally to a mature woman of seventeen. She learns to cope with feelings of betrayal when her older sister marries, a classmate dying, her father remarrying, a broken heart and finding what she believes is her true love.

I enjoyed reading this book. I thought the story progressed nicely and did not seem rushed or drawn out despite covering 10 years in the main character’s life in 183 pages. This would make a great discussion book or for a book report. They could discuss her different lifestyles when she is with her aunt and when she visits her father in town; the differences between the time period she grows up in versus what they are growing up in; the pressures she feels both from doing well in school, fitting in socially and standing up for what she knows is right and wrong.

This is a Newbery Award Winner from 1967.

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