Cover image for You're a brave man, Julius Zimmerman
You're a brave man, Julius Zimmerman
Mills, Claudia.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999.
Physical Description:
152 pages ; 22 cm
Twelve-year-old Julius has his hands full over the summer when his mother attempts to improve his grades and teach him responsibility by signing him up for a French class and getting him a job babysitting.
General Note:
Sequel to: Losers, Inc.
Reading Level:
700 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.8 4.0 2116.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.7 9 Quiz: 20517 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The sequel to "Losers, Inc. Twelve-year-old Julius Zimmerman is the former vice president of the defunct organization Losers, Inc. Ethan Winfield, the former president, no longer feels like a loser. But Julius still does, maybe because his mother thinks of him that way. To "improve" him, Mrs. Zimmerman signs Julius up for a summer course in intensive French and for a part-time job baby-sitting three-year-old Edison Blue. She also sets a summer reading goal for him. Julius doesn't ace the French class and doesn't do the required reading, but he does turn out to have a winning way with kids -- and adults -- and in the end proves to his mother that her criteria for success aren't the only ones.

Author Notes

Claudia Mills is an American author of children's books. She is also an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has written several children's series including: Mason Dixon Series, Gus and Granpa Series, West Creek Middle School Seres, and Dinah Series.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-7. Julius Zimmerman, last seen in Losers, Inc. (1997), is planning a big summer for himself. Or, rather, his mother is. She's arranged for him to have French lessons and a babysitting job, and she has set his reading goals. Julius is willing to go along; he wants to make his mom proud. But when he needs a private lesson to do the hokey pokey in French class, discovers that his young charge isn't toilet trained, and learns that A Tale of Two Cities has 454 pages, he's bummed. Mills relates all this with her usual amusing take on things and makes Julius an endearing hero, especially when he tries to toilet train Edison ("My wee-wee doesn't like potties"). Julius' eventual success in ways his mother never imagined, makes both of them happy and leaves readers satisfied. The amazing new girl in town, a young actress, opens the way for another book about Julius. --Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Seventh-grader Julius Zimmerman's plans for an idle summer are spoiled when his mother signs him up for a five-week French course and an afternoon baby-sitting job. After only 45 minutes of French, the boy is convinced that he is the worst student in the class. Then, he meets his young charge, Edison Blue, and is horrified to learn that the child still wears diapers. The next few weeks present many challenges to Julius: toilet training the three-year-old, studying a new language, and trying to live up to his mother's expectations. During this time he also develops an interest in Edison's next door neighbor, Octavia. Throughout the story, the boy records his goals for each week, which change from lofty to realistic as the summer passes. As she did in Dinah Forever (Farrar, 1995), Mills catches the angst and awkwardness of middle schoolers with a light and humorous touch. There are some laugh-out-loud moments: one comes when Julius's French teacher gives him a private lesson in "le Hokey Pokey" with the entire class watching through the window. Julius is an appealing character-he isn't the best of students, but he tries hard. By the end of the summer, he accomplishes some of his goals and impresses his mother with his talent for working with children. Give this book to readers who enjoy Betsy Byars's Bingo Brown (Viking) or Lois Lowry's Anastasia (Houghton).-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.