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Short    by Holly Goldberg Sloan order for
by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Order:  USA  Can
Dial, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's another charming tale from Counting by 7s author Holly Goldberg Sloan. Short stars young Julia, who grieves over the death of her beloved rescue dog Ramon seven weeks before the story starts. Her goals for the summer are to not worry about being short and to find new ways to be happy. She starts a summer scrapbook with hairs pulled from Ramon's dog collar.

Attempting to distract her daughter, her mother encourages Julia and her younger brother Randy to audition for roles as Munchkins in the local university's production of The Wizard of Oz, which will also include professional actors and a famous director, Shawn Barr. Though Julia's reluctant at first, her enthusiasm for the project quickly grows as a new world opens up for her. She decides 'this is going to be the summer when the little people call the shots.'

The Munchkins include three very small adults. Julia befriends one of them, Olive, and they partner in rehearsals. She also gets to know a multi-talented neighbor, Mrs. Chang, who turns out to have quite a background in show business, and volunteers her services. Barr is impressed by Julia's initiative in finding her. Julia becomes lead dancer and is assigned an additional role as a winged monkey! She watches and learns from everyone around her, and makes many new friends.

Short is a very sweet story and young Julia has an authentic voice that varies from vulnerable and wondering to very funny in her summations on life, the universe and The Wizard of Oz.

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