Malachy Doyle,
(Bloomsbury, 2004)

Georgie is more animal than boy. He attacks people when they bring him his breakfast. He smears his feces on the wall. He's torn all his clothes and belongings to shreds. The staff at his group home has given up on him entirely; he spends his days alone in a bare room and his nights on a mattress that lies on the floor. No one knows why he acts this way or how to help him, Georgie included. In despair, they send him to Abernant House, a mysterious new group home in the wilds of Wales.

Georgie expects a cell, but instead gets a paradise: a beautiful new room with soft blankets and pictures on the wall, new clothes and even books. And he gets people who talk to him, people who offer him trust and kindness -- like Tommo, his gentle teacher and Shannon, the cheeky girl his own age that understands Georgie better than he knows. With the help of his new friends, Georgie slowly uncovers the terrible secret behind which his humanity hides.

Empathically written with a strong voice for all major characters, Malachy Doyle's Georgie is a knowing and compassionate look into a brutalized mind. This book is a perfect tool to teach children compassion and tolerance for their challenged peers and is a great introduction into mental illness. Recommended for children 12 and over and anyone else wanting to learn the first-hand process of trauma recovery.

- Rambles
written by Tracie Vida
published 17 July 2004

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