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The Thing About Georgie

by Graff, Lisa


School Library Journal :

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Gr 3–6—This story about the trials of a fourth grader who is a dwarf will entertain and enlighten kids. About to become a big brother, Georgie worries that the baby will grow bigger than he and fulfill his musician parents' hope for a child who can play an instrument. At the same time, Georgie fears that Andy, who's been his friend since kindergarten, likes the new boy better. When Georgie's parents leave him at Andy's house on Christmas Eve, he finds himself being unexpectedly cruel and losing the friendship. Georgie is also assigned to do a project on Abraham Lincoln with Jeanie the Meanie, who puts his name in for the role of the lanky president in a class play. Stuck with the nomination, he's able to give a commanding performance-with Jeanie's help. Andy lets Georgie know he misses him, and his loving parents, who have been somewhat oblivious to his concerns, also come through. Commentary to readers throughout about what Georgie can and can't do is delivered by an anonymous voice, whose identity is revealed as a surprise at the end.—Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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From BookList, January 1, 2007, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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Nine-year-old Georgie has height issues. As a dwarf, he isn't likely to grow much taller than his current 42 inches. Consequently school furniture is awkward, running track or playing a musical instrument isn't possible, and he knows his soon-to-be new sibling will quickly outgrow him physically. To make matters worse, he's had a misunderstanding with his best friend, Andy, and is being forced to partner with Jeanie the Meanie for a school report. Given these circumstances, this might easily have been depressing. Instead, first novelist Graff employs a light touch, turning in a poignant, often funny exploration of what it means to celebrate one's skills rather than lamenting one's limitations. Graff makes good use of an anonymous narrator (revealed in the last chapter to be one of the book's main characters), who provides kid-friendly information about dwarfism. An upbeat and sensitive look at what it's like to be different, this novel will spark discussion.
KayWeisman.

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