Julia Redfern is a character developed by Eleanor Cameron in a series of books, written from 1971 to 1988. This makes these books much later than her Mushroom Planet books and are much more deeply written.
The books are, in order of publication:
- A Room Made of Windows
- Julia and the Hand of God
- That Julia Redfern
- Julia's Magic
- The Private Worlds of Julia Redfern
These books were written in reverse chronological order, besides the last. A Room Made of Windows starts with Julia as a young adolescent, and the books go back in time to when she was about five years old; and then jump forward to her high school years in the Private Worlds of Julia Redfern.
These books, because they are about a child, are in the children's book section of many libraries. However, the writing, although it does not have anything "objectionable" in it, is hardly writing for a child, as the prose style and vocabulary are hardly toned down from an adult book, and the themes are very complicated. Some of the writing has a touch of "Magical Realism" almost.
The books center around Julia Redfern, a girl growing up in turn of the century Berkeley, CA, and her extended family: her literary, but somewhat inefectual father, who dies in World War I, her mother, her intellectual brother Greg, her grandmother who dotes on her brother, her rich uncle Hugh and his snooty wife Alex. We follow these people's lives for a period of about ten years, and Mrs. Cameron slowly reveals the reasons for their feelings towards each other, and reveals Julia's awkening awareness of these relationships.
In addition to being literary and intelligent (these books were probably semi-Autobiographical) Julia is also pre-cognitive. However, these books are not in the genre of "supernatural", and there is no glaring supernatural incidents. The paranormal phenomenea come exactly like they do in real life, making Julia, her family, and the reader all shake their heads and wonder what it all means.
The level of thematics, psychology and literary skill put into these book are so great that is seems absurd to classify it with the mass produced children's\Young Adult books that have been popular for the past 15 years. They don't write them like this anymore.