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The Thing About Georgie

The Thing About Georgie

4.2 49
by Lisa Graff

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Fans of Kate DiCamillo and Linda Urban will love The Thing About Georgie, a warm and humorous story starring an unforgettable young boy with dwarfism, from acclaimed author Lisa Graff.

As far as Georgie is concerned, everyone has a "thing."

The thing about poodles is that Georgie Bishop hates to walk them.

The thing about Jeanie the


Fans of Kate DiCamillo and Linda Urban will love The Thing About Georgie, a warm and humorous story starring an unforgettable young boy with dwarfism, from acclaimed author Lisa Graff.

As far as Georgie is concerned, everyone has a "thing."

The thing about poodles is that Georgie Bishop hates to walk them.

The thing about Jeanie the Meanie is that she would rather write on her shoe than help Georgie with their Abraham Lincoln project.

The thing about Andy's nonna is that she kisses Georgie's cheeks and doesn't speak one word of English.

The thing about Georgie's mom is that she's having a baby—a baby who will probably be taller than Georgie very, very soon.

The thing about Georgie . . . well, what is the thing about Georgie?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
"I need you to do me a favor," writes an anonymous commentator as a prelude to chapter One. The reader is asked to reach over the top of his or her head and touch the opposite ear. We're then told that Georgie can't do that, "even if he wanted to." Through these short assignments at the beginning of every chapter, we are made aware how the simple actions we take for granted are not options for our intrepid fourth- grade protagonist, Georgie. It turns out Georgie is a dwarf, a small person in a big world, and he's doing very well, thank you, with a great best friend, Andy, who handles the really big dogs in their dog-walking business, and two loving parents who are symphony musicians. But then Georgie learns his mom is going to have a baby, who might grow up to play an instrument the way his parents hoped he would, his best friend seems to have found a new best friend and business partner, and the girl who has taunted him since kindergarten, Jeanie the Meanie, is now his partner for a big school project and apparently still determined to make his life miserable. It all seems like just too much, but help shows up from an unexpected quarter and Georgie figures out that he can look beyond his limitations to his strengths, as others already have. Short chapters, credible preadolescent dialogue, and engaging male and female protagonists make this is an accessible book for learning about living with and looking beyond differences. It would have been greatly enhanced by providing a few select resources about dwarfism as supplemental material since the subject certainly arouses the reader's curiosity.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6
This story about the trials of a fourth grader who is a dwarf will entertain and enlighten kids. About to become a big brother, Georgie worries that the baby will grow bigger than he and fulfill his musician parents' hope for a child who can play an instrument. At the same time, Georgie fears that Andy, who's been his friend since kindergarten, likes the new boy better. When Georgie's parents leave him at Andy's house on Christmas Eve, he finds himself being unexpectedly cruel and losing the friendship. Georgie is also assigned to do a project on Abraham Lincoln with Jeanie the Meanie, who puts his name in for the role of the lanky president in a class play. Stuck with the nomination, he's able to give a commanding performance-with Jeanie's help. Andy lets Georgie know he misses him, and his loving parents, who have been somewhat oblivious to his concerns, also come through. Commentary to readers throughout about what Georgie can and can't do is delivered by an anonymous voice, whose identity is revealed as a surprise at the end.
—Tina ZubakCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Georgie is a dwarf, and Andy, his best friend, doesn't seem to care. The two are practically inseparable and even have a dog-walking business together. They have their own interests too; Georgie, for example, loves classical music even though his short fingers prevent him from playing the instruments his musician parents do. Overall, life is good. Then Georgie finds out his parents are going to have a baby who may quickly outgrow him-and be able to share music with their parents in a way that he can't. He and Andy have a fight when Andy invites another friend to join their dog-walking business. Finally, Georgie is paired with Jeanie the Meanie, his nemesis, for a school project. How much can one fourth-grader take? A likable hero, Georgie is realistically drawn, and inventive suggestions at the start of many chapters will help readers understand some aspects of life as a little person. If a trifle earnest-every problem clearly presents an opportunity for Georgie to learn and grow-this is nonetheless a compelling portrayal of dwarfism, differences and growing up. (Fiction. 8-10)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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653 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Thing About Georgie

By Lisa Graff

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Lisa Graff
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780060875909

Chapter One

I need you to do me a favor. Yes, you. You'd better do it, too, because I'm not going to let you read any further until you do. Okay, are you ready? Stretch your right arm high up to the sky. Now reach across the top of your head and touch your left ear. Did you do it? Good. Go find a mirror and look at yourself.

Do you see how your arm forms a kind of arch over your head like that? Did you ever realize that your arm was so flexible or that it could reach so far? Did you know you could do that?

Well, Georgie can't.

I thought you should know that before you started reading about him. It's not that Georgie's problems all started because he couldn't touch his left ear with his right hand, but the fact is that he can't. Even if he wanted to.

You can let go of your ear now.

Georgie sat at his desk in Mr. Myers's fourth-grade class, his chin in his hands, and tried to ignore the tapping on his shoulder.


The thing about Jeanette Wallace, Georgie thought, was that she was mean. That's why everyone called her Jeanie the Meanie. Georgie had known her since he was five years old, in kindergarten, and she'd been mean even then. She was always staring at him or following him around at recess and asking him mean questions like "How come your head's so fat?" And when he tried to ignore her, like all the adultsin the world told him to, she got mad and bugged him more. Once she'd even made up a song about him.

Georgie Porgie puddin' and pie
Too bad you're only two feet high

True, she'd gotten in trouble for singing it and had to scrape gum off the bottoms of the desks for an entire lunch period, but that still didn't make Georgie feel a whole lot better.

The worst part, though, was that Georgie had been sitting directly in front of her since the first day of fourth grade.


Georgie stared straight ahead and tried to think good thoughts, like the fact that this was the last day before Christmas break, which meant no more Jeanie the Meanie for two whole weeks.


Suddenly something caught Georgie's eye. Three rows up and two seats over, Andy Moretti dropped his pencil on the floor. Georgie held his breath. If Andy picked the pencil up in one swift movement, it meant the drop had been an accident. But if Andy struck the pencil twice on the floor before returning it to his desk, it was a signal.

The thing about Andy Moretti, Georgie figured, was that he was Italian. Not just a little Italian like Georgie was a little bit Irish (and a little bit German and Scottish and Native American and who knew what else); Andy was all Italian. He was also the best soccer player out of all the kids in fourth-grade lunch and Georgie's best friend since forever.

Andy struck the pencil twice.

Georgie smiled and raised his hand. He tried to raise it as high as he could, so Mr. Myers would be sure to call on him.

"Yes, Georgie?" Mr. Myers said. "Did you want to work out this problem for us?"

Georgie nodded and slipped out of his seat to walk to the chalkboard. He hopped up onto the step stool that was always at the front of the room, just for him, and then he finished the problem that Mr. Myers had written on the board: 3 - 10 = -7.

On the way back to his seat, Georgie made a detour so he could pass Andy's desk, and Andy slipped a note into his hand. Georgie waited until he was safely back in his seat and then unfolded the paper quickly under his desk. "My mom will pick us up. Don't take the bus!"

Georgie felt another tap on his shoulder. "What's the note say?" Jeanie the Meanie hissed in his ear. Georgie didn't answer. He shoved the paper into his pocket and ignored the tapping until the bell finally rang three minutes later. Then, like everyone else, he leaped out of his chair, snagged his backpack from his cubby, and raced over to the wall by the door to grab his coat.

Everyone in Mr. Myers's class had their own hook for their coats with their name written above it, but Georgie's was different. Georgie's hook was a foot lower than all the others. The janitor had put it in especially for him on the first day of fourth grade. Georgie usually didn't think much about it. He didn't usually think about the step stool under the chalkboard either. Or the fact that his feet didn't reach the floor when he sat at the lunch table, or that Jeanie the Meanie picked on him more than anyone else in the school. That was just the way things were, and Georgie knew there wasn't anything he could do to change it.

Because the thing was, Georgie Bishop was a dwarf.


Excerpted from The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff Copyright © 2007 by Lisa Graff. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Lisa Graff is the author of The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower and The Thing About Georgie, which was named to nine state reading lists. Lisa grew up in a small California town very much like the one in this novel and received an MFA in writing for children from the New School.

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Thing about Georgie 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book teaches not only children but everyone, that you don't have to have a "thing" just to feel like you belong in the world.
vannybear More than 1 year ago
An amazing story for all ages, by Lisa Graff, is a well written novel describing an average family with a not so average son, Georgie. Georgie is a dwarf that wishes he was tall. His life was amazing until he lost his best friend and found out his mother was pregnant, with a normal sized baby. After winter break Georgie has to start a project and his partner is the meanest girl in school. Because of georgies disablitiy he is judged every where he goes,but everyone learns to over look his height and see him for him. The meanest girl in schoool is jeanie. She calls people mean names like"cheese brans and goat breath." Jeanie's nickname because of her cruel attitude is air go, jeanie the meanie. In this story georgie and jeanie hated each other in the beginning but evolved into great friends by the end. Their friendship started when ever the teacher made them work togeter as partners. After the project was over the did a school play. Georgie was abraham lincoln,who was the tallest president, but georgie was the smallest kid in the school. Jeanie was there and supported georgie and made him tall buy making him stilts and a big costume. Overall they developed greatly though the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im a dwarf and i can realate to what georgie thinks or has. Great book recemeded
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this for book club at my old school and it was good everyone liked it!!! I loved this book soo much. Good book for all ages at 8+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The thing about Gorgie is awesome!!!! Full of unexpected twists and turns.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow amazing book any one who has eyes and knows how to read should get this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author has crafted a light but moving tale about a plucky character, Georgie, who has physical limitations. Through the clever use of an anonymous narrator we learn what Georgie can't do but, more importantly, what he can. The story itself is less about his physical challenges than the changes going on in Georgie's life - something all kids can relate to - but any reader will come away from it with a new respect for dwarfism.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is good about showing kids that it is OKAY to be different. I really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and LOVED it! It is extremely well thought out and it is amazing read. Recomend for ages 8+!
Paul Matthews More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book if u dont kniw what to read then read this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an amazing story that I have read over and over and each time it gets better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book.Teaches lots of life lessons inspire kids to stand up for anybody who's being bullied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will take any of you kits. Said the sweet mother who looked at all the kits and didn't know who to choose. Her mate took away her kits so she still has milk to feed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NAME Flutterkit AGE 3 moons APPEARANCE yellow shekit with light pink highlights that show up really nice in sunlight, soft warm blue eyes, wings, soft kind voice HISTORY mom was killed by a fox, was left to fend for herself with only animals as her friends PERS shy, softspoken, loves animals and animals love her
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing!
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This book is great. You should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish he was like everyone else. Honestly, i feel bad for him being a... ... ...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this booknis good so far. I am on page 13 and this is one of my reading invatationol books for school. My teacher told me to read it. I have another book checked out at the library. It is called Dimone Willow. It's a really cool book. On that book I am on 26. Well I am going to go back to reading
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