Chapters 1-5 Summary
Sharon Draper's Romiette and Julio opens with Romiette's recurring dream. Deathly afraid of water, Romiette is drowning in her dream. As she struggles to surface, she feels the water pull her back down until she hears a man's voice. Just as it seems she is about to be saved, Romiette wakes up, sweating and disoriented. She is unable to go back to sleep; so she reaches for her journal and begins to write about her fears.
Chapter 2 features Romiette's journal entry in which she introduces herself and her family. She discusses her fear of storms and water and explains that while she took swimming lessons, she was always too afraid to let go of the side of the pool. A sixteen-year-old junior in high school, Romiette is independent, opinionated, and stylish: characteristics she inherited from her parents. Romi's dad, Cornelle Cappelle, is a prominent newscaster for the local Cincinnati TV station. Lady, Romi's mom, owns and runs an African boutique in downtown Cincinnati. She is known in the community for her regal, sensible personality, and she encourages Romi to explore her African roots.
After describing her family in her journal, Romi lists the features that she would like to find in a love interest. She is uninterested in most of her male peers because she wants someone who is curious about the world around him and who would be just as comfortable watching a hockey game as he would be attending a play with her. When Romi finishes her journal entry, she realizes how late it is and tries to go back to sleep.
The next day when Romi returns to school from Christmas vacation, she is eager to meet up with her close friends. Her best friend, Destiny, is positive, fun, and keenly interested in astrology. As she and Romi discuss their Christmas vacations, a fight breaks out nearby and the girls distance themselves from the foolishness.
In Chapter 4, Draper introduces the book's second title character, Julio. As Julio walks to school, he hunches against the bitter cold of Cincinnati's winter and laments the fact that he had to leave behind his hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas. He hates the drabness of his new environs and reflects on his sailing and swimming adventures in Texas. Having talked to his best friend, Diego, the night before, Julio misses his home and friends even more as he treks through the cold. When he reaches his new school, he braces himself for what is to come and enters. As he does so, he witnesses the typical excitement of friends reuniting after a school break and feels his anger build. Suddenly, Julio is knocked down by a green-haired kid falling through the doorway, and Julio's explodes in a fit of anger. He punches the student in the nose, and the principal, Mr. Prince, arrives to investigate the "fight." As Julio and the green-haired kid, named Ben, walk to Mr. Prince's office, Ben covers for Julio and tells the principal that he slipped on some ice and that Julio was simply trying to help him up. Mr. Prince, not wanting to deal with this situation, sends the boys on their way. Julio is puzzled by Ben's willingness to lie for him and asks him why he did so. Ben introduces himself and tells Julio that he has no hard feelings; he can tell that Julio is having a rough time in his new environment. As the boys part ways and go to their separate classes, Julio's spirits are lifted a little because he believes he has found a friend.
Chapter 5 switches back to Romi as she spends time with Destiny after school. Destiny wants to buy a "Scientific Soul Mate System" but needs a little financial help from Romi to do so. Romi admires her friend's free spirit and ultimate faith in the universe's powers and agrees to go in on the "system" with her. The chapter closes as the two girls head to the post office to mail in their order form.
Chapters 6-10 Summary
After Julio finishes his first day at his new school in Cincinnati, he trudges back home through the snow. His dad, Luis Montague, is unpacking boxes in their apartment when he enters. When Luis...
(The entire section is 7,473 words.)