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The Georges and the Jewels by Jane Smiley
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The Georges and the Jewels

by Jane Smiley

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Kids book about horses, family, parent's expectations. Really well done. I look forward to more in the series. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Very well written horse story that girls who love horse books will want to read and will remember this book. ( )
  librarian1204 | Apr 26, 2013 |
As with her adult novels I found myself drawn into the story, learning more and caring more about horses than I ever have and feeling Abby's struggles with peers, parents and life. Not sure if the 60's are considered historical fiction now but except for some references to events, the story is timeless. ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
This is a gently paced story about a girl named Abby who lives on a horse farm with her family in Northern California. Abby's family buys horses, trains them to be tame enough to be ridden by "a little girl," and then sells them. Abby's family's way of life, including their strong religious faith, makes it difficult for her to fit in at school at times. In this first book in the series, Abby deals with pettiness and cruel social dynamics at school, and, at the same time, the sometimes cruel but often more understandable social world of horses. I enjoyed reading about details of horse training and the horses' lives, and I also enjoyed meeting Abby, a thoughtful and sensitive character trying to reconcile and develop her own world view separate from those of her peers and parents.
  prkcs | Nov 25, 2011 |
Reviewed by hoopsielv for TeensReadToo.com

Abby is one busy seventh grader. Between school, church, and her family's ranch, there is little time for much else.

Abby can't remember much about her life before the horses that her family raise, train, and then sell. The mares are all named Jewel, and the geldings are called George. Her dad feels that if they each had individual names, it would seem like they are going to stay permanently.

Still, Abby can't help giving some of them special names.

Jack is an unexpected colt whose mother died shortly after his birth. Abby immediately feels a connection to him and wants to do all she can to ensure his survival. Then there's Ornery George, who just can't seem to be tamed. Abby's father doesn't understand her fears and wants her to show this horse who's the boss. With a stranger's help, can Abby make this horse into a gentle giant?

Each chapter in this novel features illustrations relating to horses. This was an excellent tale set in the 1960's. Anyone interested in horses and ranch life would enjoy it, and it's also appealing to others, as well. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 14, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
"The Georges and the Jewels" bears none of the signs of a literary writer slumming it for the kids -- no condescension, just the keen interest in what makes life tick that animates all of Smiley's fiction, but with a seventh-grade narrator. I have never admired her writing as much as I do in the first of what promises to be a series of books for children.
 
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Sometimes when you fall off your horse, you just don't want to get right back on.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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