105 Ways to Give a Book

The Thing About Georgie

Sixty hours later, I’m back with my review of Lisa Graff’s book. How’s that for delayed gratification?

The Thing About GeorgieGeorgie is a dwarf. That’s the thing about him. But that’s not what ultimately defines him. He’s a boy who’s having trouble with his best friend. He’s a kid who is stuck with a difficult partner for a school report. He’s a son who loves his parents, but worries what a new baby will do to his family. Georgie does face particular challenges, but he also sees the challenges that everyone faces all around him.

In The Thing About Georgie, the chapters are often introduced by a description of what it’s like to be a dwarf. This narrator asks us to reach our arms over our heads, measure ourselves against a wall, and hold our tongue with our fingers. These exercises engage the reader in understanding Georgie much better than a mere description would have done. In the end, these opening segments relate to the story in an even more integral way.

In many children’s books these days you’ll find that the adults are useless, selfish, stupid, or cruel. Not so in this book. The adults are caring, kind, and supportive. They do occasionally disappoint, but not with intention or thoughtlessness. It’s refreshing to read a book that doesn’t pit the kid against the parents.

The Thing About Georgie is a book about a dwarf, but it’s more about growing up like any kid in elementary school with regular kid problems. Overall, it was fun and interesting getting to know Georgie.

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