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Review, Booklist, September 15, 2009:
"[A] quiet, psychologically attuned youth debut."
Review, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), October 3, 2009:
"'The Georges and the Jewels' is filled with fascinating details about the care and training of horses, and Abby is a refreshing heroine in today's snark-filled times."
Review, Chicago Sun-Times, October 18, 2009:
"Smiley’s intricate and sophisticated knowledge of horses shines throughout this book, making it a guaranteed winner for horse-loving youngsters."
Review, LATimes.com, September 27, 2009:
"I have never admired [Smiley's] writing as much as I do in the first of what promises to be a series of books for children...'The Georges and the Jewels' can easily take its place on the shelf along with the great horse stories of childhood."
Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October 2009:
"Readers...will be happy to mount up and ride along."
From the Hardcover edition.
Abby lives with her parents and an ever changing group of horses and ponies: the Georges (geldings) and the Jewels (fillies/mares).....thus named by Abby's father so they won't get attached to them, as they're trainers/dealers so the animals are all just passing through.
Abby isn't your typical "girl wants a pony" character, or even a "lets get into the horse dealing business" girl: she's been training horses for her father since she was 8 years old. Her father has, in general, a good eye for the diamond in the rough: he buys some pretty ratty looking horses very cheaply from Oklahoma, trucks them to California, after they're trained and fattened up, they're sold for a nice profit. Abby loves riding and training, and is generally happy to see the formerly neglected animals, now filled out, their hooves tended to, and any behavioral/training issues sorted out, go on to good homes.
Sounds like a mushy happy love fest, doesn't it? Well, nothing is ever black and white. A few big problems confront Abby....her dad has perhaps made a rare mistake in buying the gelding she thinks of as Ornery George, a mistake he isn't going to admit making any time soon. He's also not going to be backing down in the fight he had with Abby's older brother Danny, which prompted Danny to move out of the house, drop out of school and go to work. Danny's not backing down either, all of which leaves Abby shouldering more and more of the training responsibities. And then there is school, where a friend of a friend and the school's Big Four are in a knock down-drag out fight (over a boy Abby considers to be about the most boring human being she's ever met, which unfortunately doesn't mean she isn't going to get caught in the cross-fire). Last, but surprisingly least, are the smaller conflicts springing from Abby's parent's Evangelical faith and the modern (the book is set in the 1960s) world.
This book has more detail on training (the good, the bad and the ugly) than any other work of fiction (adult or children's) that I've ever come across. It's got horses and a great jumping pony and a foal, and a girl who rides very well indeed. And yet, I don't know that you could call it a horse book at all. It's a slice of life for one thing: a bit of a girl's life...with very few black and white issues, and many shades of gray.
If I had to boil it down to just one thing, I'd say it's about conflict: whenever you let something..a difference of opinion, incompatible personalities, individuals with different goals...boil up into open conflict - a real fight - you may have winners, you will definitely have losers, and beyond doubt you will have wide gulfs between combatants that are difficult, even impossible, to bridge.
Worth checking out, especially if you're looking for a "think piece".
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2010
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.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 4, 2012
This book is absolutley amazing! It is so touching, but not the mushy love story kind of book.
This book is great for kids, but does have some bigger vocabulary words that they might not understand.
All in all, its a great book! Thanks, Jane Smiley!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 8, 2013
Jane Smiley is a great author.I am reading True Blue right now and it is a good book. I would reccomond reading this book if you love horses. I love reading and I love horses so True Blue is a great book for me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2013
It could be a lot better. I already know all of the things about horses. I AM A COWGIRL! I should aready know all of the stuff! Why wouldn't I?
0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2012
Posted July 22, 2012
I did not buy this book for the Nook but I do have it in real form, if that is what you would call it, and I have to say it was really good! I sudjest this for children and for young readers. I am currently reafing A Good Horse, the second book, and that is good so far too. I love this book because it is just like real life. It is very discriptive and life like, as I said before. I hope people read this book because it is, by far, my favorite!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2012
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Posted November 15, 2009
The book, The Georges and the Jewels, was an okay good book about horse training from a kid's perspective; however, I thought the story was a little weak in threading the main character's personal and emotional struggles. I found it a bit slow and predictable.
The book was about a girl whose family was in the business of breaking in horses and selling them. The main character, Abbey Lovitt, is a seventh grader who is dealing with school conflicts; but, spends most of her time focused on training horses for her dad to sell.
The book begins with recalling the tension and conflict between her father and brother. The son leaves the house abruptly and she is only one kid left to train the horses. While she is a good horse trainer, she finds one particular horse stubborn and intimidating. She is uncertain of herself and gets assistance by a gentleman whose character is much like the horse whisperer.
Abby learns another way to communicate and train the horses, that allows she and her father to become more effective in the horse business.
I wished I would have seen more written on the relationships between her peers, her family or more of what she was thinking from her perspective.
It's a good light read. I wouldn't say I would tell someone to rush out and read it.
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Posted November 11, 2009
This is a fabulous book! I love that at the beginning of each chapter, there are pieces of horse tack and equipment illustrated and labeled - very educational! Also, the plot is not nearly as predictable as most other horsey-books out there today! This will be a book to keep from generation to generation!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2011
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Posted December 1, 2009
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Posted December 2, 2010
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