The Georges and the Jewels

The Georges and the Jewels

Book - 2009
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Seventh-grader Abby Lovitt grows up on her family's California horse ranch in the 1960s, learning to train the horses her father sells and trying to reconcile her strict religious upbringing with her own ideas about life.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780375962271
0375962271
9780375862281
9780375862274
0375862277
Branch Call Number: YA FICTION SMILEY
Characteristics: 232 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Clayton, Elaine

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k
kgubbins
Nov 21, 2013

True blue is a good books too.

y
ychi
Jun 26, 2012

Voice. This book has it in spades (or so the expression goes; I don't actually have a clue what it means, hehe). Abby is the most authentic middle-grader ever, what with her exasperation towards seventh grade politics and clear-eyed view of the world:
Once upon a time, I would have told him [her dad] all about it [a mishap at school], just because it wasn't me who was in trouble, and it was all pretty interesting. But I knew what he would say: "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." I didn't think it was as easy as that.

While on the subject of her dad: Abby's family is quite religious. And that "quite" deserves its italics. There's a distinct possibility readers will feel uncomfortable with the restrictions which she has to live with, though the religion portion also provides a venue for Abby to grow and change her developing, conflicting views on life. Her father seems controlling in addition to the religious emphasis on which he seems to place everything, which didn't make Abby's home life the most pleasant thing to read about.

Danny and Uncle Luke augment the roster of adept horsemen, but Jem Jarrow is a little too pro with horses to be believable. But goodness, the horse aspect in The Georges and the Jewels? Ahhhhhmazing. Smiley effortlessly integrates horse training techniques and aspects of horse ranch life, from the financial side to the chores. Even non-horse-lovers are going to get what it feels like to love horses. At least, I hope they will.

Have I mentioned yet that I love horses? And I LOVE the title.

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