Cover image for Georgie
Doyle, Malachy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2001.
Physical Description:
154 pages ; 22 cm
With help from a sympathetic fellow resident, a patient teacher, and other staff at a school for emotionally disturbed teenagers, fourteen-year-old Georgie begins to find his way back to sanity.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 3.8 3.0 64317.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Georgie is a damaged young boy acting out his rage and grief on all those who try to help him. In a final attempt to break through to Georgie, his caretakers send him to a new facility and this move is, at last, a catalyst for change. As Georgie struggles to find a place for himself in this new home he meets two people who change his life: A young girl with whom he shares the pain of loss, and a counselor whose patience and tender care help him find and maintain his sense of self.

A raw, emotional and even controversial read, Georgie will strike a nerve with young adult readers. Intense situations and emotions are skillfully handled by this truly talented author.

Author Notes

Malachy Doyle is the author of many award-winning picture books. His book Tales from Old Ireland was named a 2000 Parents Choice(r) Gold Award and also received the Irish Bisto Award. He writes full time, apart from visiting schools or escaping into the mountains, and his books are available in eleven different languages. Malachy has been married for 22 years and has three children: Naomi, Hannah, and Liam. He lives in Wales.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-10. When 14-year-old Georgie learns that he is moving to a new group home in Wales, he goes berserk--destroying and fouling everything he can, and then huddling in the corner of his room, cold, naked, and filthy. So begins Georgie's narrative of his slow triumph over his traumatic past. It's a remarkable teacher and Shannon, a fellow resident, who save him. Slowly, tentatively, Georgie begins to talk and fight his way to back to sanity, overcoming the terrible trauma he endured as a young child and learning to trust and befriend others. Georgie's voice is utterly real, and his recovery is realistically gradual. Although the end of the story seems a bit too pat, Doyle's debut is a remarkable book that ends in victory. Excellent for booktalking; suggest this to both strong and reluctant readers. --Jean Franklin

Publisher's Weekly Review

British author Doyle convincingly traces an orphaned 14-year-old's transformation from a mute and angry boy who shuns human contact to a young man coming to terms with his past and seeking the company of others. Narrator Georgie is about to move from the institution in which he currently lives to a new home in Wales. Readers quickly learn that there's nowhere to go but up: the room he is leaving consists of a bare mattress on the floor (I wreck everything, that's why. Everything they give me, everything I ever owned. I rip it, break it or piss on it). But his quarters at the new home come furnished with a proper bed, stereo and mirror. Through the trust in and companionship with a patient and kind teacher, and the budding friendship with a kindred spirit, Shannon, Georgie gradually begins to reach out and even to speak. Slowly, he uncovers the horrible memories that have caused his retreat into silence. Several chapters from Shannon's point of view offer a bigger picture of the school and the other students. At times, the level of sophistication at which the boy can articulate his feelings seems implausible, however, especially since he was institutionalized at about age seven (for example, when a new orderly comes to deliver his medication and he pulls her hair, I want to lift up her hair and crawl inside, hide from my anger, hide from myself, hide from the me that makes people afraid). But his actions and responses to the world around him are so convincing that readers will likely overlook these narrative inconsistencies. Georgie's uplifting story demonstrates what a few people who genuinely care can do for another human being. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10 Terror, rage, and a total inability to deal with the horrors that life has brought him have left Georgie isolated in the most extreme ways. At 14, he does not speak, cannot read or write, and spends his days alone in a room that has been stripped of anything that he could break or destroy. A new flood of rage occurs when Georgie learns that he is being sent to a different residential home, another change he is ill equipped to handle. Once there, though, he meets Tommo, a teacher with an uncanny ability to reach damaged children, and Shannon, a girl who has begun to heal from the traumas of her own life. The love and acceptance he feels at his new school and permission to grieve for his murdered mother allow him, too, to take steps toward recovery. Narrated by Georgie, with occasional first-person accounts by Shannon, the novel brilliantly takes readers inside a damaged psyche. British terminology and descriptions of the rural Welsh countryside provide an external environment in which the story of an inner journey is rooted. Everyday events such as eating meals with others are fraught with overwhelming emotion in this teen's world, a very real place into which readers are drawn. While both Georgie and Shannon at times sound surprisingly insightful about their problems, on the whole this book is exceptionally well crafted, from its gripping opening to its hopeful conclusion. It's a perfect hand-sell and a book with punch for teens who go for emotionally wrenching fiction. -Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.