How does Julio describe Corpus Christi in Chapter 4 of Sharon M. Draper's Romiette and Julio?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Sharon M. Draper's Romiette and Julio, the second title character Julio has just moved from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Cincinnati, Ohio, and absolutely hates Cincinnati, terribly missing his old home. Based on Julio's descriptions found in early chapters, Julio saw Corpus Christi as a type of paradise.

According to Julio, Corpus Christi is full of "big, sweeping magnolia trees," whereas Cincinnati only has "barren, black trees" that are "runty little maple trees" (p. 16). In Corpus Christi, the Nueces River that runs through it is beautiful in contrast to the Ohio River that is "dirty and dull," "brown and thick" (p. 16). In the Nueces River, Julio could enjoy swimming, sailing, and fishing.

The condition of the Ohior River is one of Julio's greatest disappointments since he absolutely loves water, declaring he learned how to swim before he learned how to walk. On hot days in Texas, there was nothing like relaxing in the cool, soothing water of the Nueces River. In Texas, he was such an excellent swimmer that the coach of his swim team encouraged him to train for the Olympics though Julio never took the thought seriously, preferring instead to swim simply for fun. Julio also severely misses being able to sail on the river, having learned how to sail on his uncle's boat. He participated in sailing races "every Wednesday" and had become a good enough sailor to win races in the "junior division" (p. 17). Julio had also longed for and planned to get his own boat, informing his readers that "kids in Corpus Christi get boats instead of cars when they turn sixteen" (p. 17). All in all, he longs to have back the warm ocean air blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico and the "soft Hispanic flavor" of the city.

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