Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: The Julian Chapter

The Julian Chapter: A Wonder StoryThe Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

The Julian Chapter follows August Pullman's story found in Wonder by R. J. Palacio. I would call is a sequel novella and encourage readers to read Julian's book after Wonder.

Julian was one of the first students at Beecher Prep to meet Auggie. From the first appearance in Wonder, Julian's attitude was off. Readers didn't like Julian and I didn't care for him either. When Palacio came out with the Julian chapter, I was intrigued. What would Julian have to say for himself? He's a mean kid!

Julian's story begins with him saying that he's not a mean kid. He addresses the reader and begins to tell his side of the story. He shares his reasoning behind his attitude. He also shares what happened in his past that played a part in his reactions and attitudes that appeared during Auggie's story. But when Julian leaves Beecher Prep, his story continues over the next summer before sixth grade at a new school.

I was very impressed with this sequel novella. It's under 100 pages, which is three discs for those you like to listen instead of read. It's a powerful story of discovering yourself. I was shocked to have such a strong reaction to Julian's story. I understood his journey of remorse. We've all been in his shoes in some way or another with a mistake we've made, but it's all about what we do after the mistake that's important.

Michael Chamberlain narrated The Julian Chapter. It took me until disc two to be comfortable with his voice. He sounded too old to be Julian for me. It reminded me of hearing Unshackled! on the radio when the adult actor is a child. I also think it's difficult to read youthful slang when you're older. "Peeps" and "dudes" just sound strange and humorous coming from adults. But at the same time, Chamberlain had distinct voices for each character and his French accent sounded believable to me. It's a well down performance for an adult.

Brilliance Audio also added music at the in and out of each disc as well as having another narrator telling the listener the change discs.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Julian Chapter by R. J. Palacio
Series: A Wonder Story
Read by Michael Chamberlain
Produced by Brilliance Audio
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 2 hours, 36 minutes
ISBN: 9781491524091

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