Author Archives: Julie Stroebel Barichello

What if life skills weren’t electives?

I walked around my brick foundation today, poking my fingers through the gaps in the mortar. My heart weighed heavy in my chest, my stomach twisting and threatening to squeeze the tamales I had for lunch back up my throat. … Continue reading

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REVIEW: A Literary Tea Party cookbook

I was walking through the newsroom where I work two weeks ago when a reporter waved me to his desk. “I know you like literary things,” he said. “Have you heard about this new cookbook that’s coming out?” He gestured … Continue reading

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A book’s surprise literary connection to home

The title wasn’t even on my radar when I stumbled upon it at the book sale last year. I added it to my stack merely for the sake of the author’s name — I’ve never been let down yet by a Richard Peck book, and like the others, this one didn’t disappoint.

In fact, it came with a bonus surprise. Continue reading

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Thank you for the stories, Richard Peck

I met Richard Peck through Grandma Dowdel. She’s not my grandmother. In fact, she’s his. Not in the way you might expect, though. Grandma Dowdel is a character in Richard Peck’s novels “A Long Way From Chicago,” “A Year Down … Continue reading

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Dear Opossums, I owe you an apology

Even though opossums are fierce on the surface (I have to confess it’s a little off-putting when you’re in close quarters with a hissing ‘possum who seems to unhinge its entire face when it opens its mouth), they get an unnecessarily bad reputation. Continue reading

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A Spot of Childhood Still Exists

In December 1992, I was given a very special task: I got to help Mom wrap a Christmas present for my older sister, Jenny. In July of that year, Disney released the VHS cassette of “101 Dalmatians.” Unbeknownst to me … Continue reading

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The power and importance of constructive criticism

When I finished writing my second novel in seventh grade, I was appalled at the idea of an editor suggesting changes to my masterpiece. “I’m never going to let an editor change my work,” I vowed back then. Erm … … Continue reading

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