Review of ‘Drawing Outside the Lines’

Drawing Outside the Lines is a historical tale of empowerment, a thoughtful tale chronicling the life of famed female architect Julia Morgan.

Drawing Outside the Lines introduces Julia Morgan to readers unfamiliar with the woman who broke barriers to become one of the world’s most renowned architects.


I love learning new things. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea who Julia Morgan was. I’m not a historian who follows architects, but I absolutely loved learning about her, and this novel allowed me to do that.

Austin did an excellent job of chronicling the life of Julia Morgan. This short and sweet novel begins with her at age 11, following her all through college and ending with the announcement of her being the first woman admitted into the Beaux-Arts University’s Architecture Program in Paris on her third attempt.

The story goes through the motions, highlighting the difficulties and inequality women in the 19th century faced in academics. But, more than that, readers can see and imagine Julia’s passion and drive, even at such a young age.

It was inspiring to see these snippets of her life and how these moments impacted her and set her on her path to become the famed architect she is now. Moreover, the time jumps are seamless.

I will say, however, that the story’s pacing dragged a little bit and made the story feel longer than it actually was. For the younger audience, this book is intended for it might be a struggle unless they are interested in the subject matter.

Final Thoughts

Drawing Outside the Lines is the perfect book a parent or teacher can share with children. If broken up daily, say a chapter a night or a chapter during a classroom storytime, this book opens up discussions and can be empowering and inspiring. If Julia Morgan could make her dreams come true through hard work and perseverance, why can’t we all?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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