The Georges and the Jewels: Book summary and reviews of The Georges and the Jewels by Jane Smiley

The Georges and the Jewels

By Jane Smiley

The Georges and the Jewels
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2009,
    240 pages.
    Age range: Children


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Book Summary

Jane Smiley makes her debut for young readers in this stirring novel set on a California horse ranch in the 1960s. Seventh-grader Abby Lovitt has always been more at ease with horses than with people. Her father insists they call all the mares "Jewel" and all the geldings "George" and warns Abby not to get attached: the horses are there to be sold.

But with all the stress at school (the Big Four have turned against Abby and her friends) and home (her brother Danny is gone—for good, it seems—and now Daddy won't speak his name), Abby seeks refuge with the Georges and the Jewels. But there's one gelding on her family's farm that gives her no end of trouble: the horse who won't meet her gaze, the horse who bucks her right off every chance he gets, the horse her father makes her ride and train, every day. She calls him the Ornery George.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Many will find it difficult to say goodbye to Abby, Jack and especially to Ornery George. Ages 10–up." - Publishers Weekly

"It's the minute details of work with the horses that make this book sing, and horse-mad readers will snap it up. Age 10-14." - Kirkus Reviews

"Ultimately, the subtle shifts in attitude that occur may be appreciated by adults but lost on the young readers for whom the book is intended." - School Library Journal

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Author Information

Jane Smiley Author Biography

Jane Smiley was born in Los Angeles, California, moved to the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri as an infant, and lived there through grammar school and high school (The John Burroughs School). After getting her BA at Vassar College in 1971, she traveled in Europe for a year, working on an archeological dig and sightseeing, and then returned to Iowa for graduate school at the University of Iowa.

MFA and PhD in hand, she went to work in 1981 at Iowa State University, in Ames, where she taught until 1996. Jane is the author of numerous novels including The Age of Grief, The Greenlanders, Ordinary Love and Good Will, A Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, Moo, Horse Heaven, Good Faith, Ten Days in the Hills, and the young adult novel, The Georges...

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