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Julia Marks is extremely short compared to other children in her middle school. In fact, she’s so tiny that she can fit through the dog door at home when the family accidentally locks themselves out—a dog door that reminds her of Ramon, her beloved pet who just died.

Julia decides to boycott the word short because she doesn’t like the reminder of its meaning in her life. But at the beginning of the summer holidays, when her mother enrolls her as a participant in a local theater group’s production of The Wizard of Oz, she is cast as a Munchkin and changes her perspective on being short.

After meeting Olive, an adult with dwarfism, Julia decides “that this is going to be the summer when the little people call the shots.” With the encouragement of the director, her new friend Olive, and her neighbor Mrs. Chang—an elderly artist, actress, and seamstress—Julia grows in self-understanding and acceptance. She realizes that “I’m little but big inside.”

This gentle, somewhat eccentric, and humorous middle school novel relates the griefs, struggles, insights, and triumphs of a pint-sized girl with a big heart and exciting dreams for her future. (Dial)

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