(GEORGE) by E.L. Konigsburg


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Parentheses because George is Ben's concentric twin, his loudmouthed inner voice, or, as Mrs. Konigsburg puts it in a nutshell. . . "Ben and George got along splendidly until the year of Benjamin's sixth grade when Ben's need to be accepted by others became greater than his need to be acceptable to George." With hilarious consequences like the nosedive in his marks when George withdraws from Organic Chemistry, and some that are not so funny -- in that William, the older boy Ben tries to impress and George resents, is using the chemistry lab (this is an experimental, mixedgraded school) for extra-curricular, extra-legal purposes and he sees to it that suspicion for the theft of supplies falls on Ben. In heavier hands than Mrs. Konigsburg's, this could be deadly; but while Ben's mother may be Betty Anti-Crocker in the kitchen (quoth George) she not only believes in him but, when it counts, believes him too and while science teacher Mr. Berkowitz may not cut much of a figure, he has the soul and spirit of a hero. And, while Ben is running the gantlet of a stepmother who, having minored in psych, hears George as evidence of paranoia and a psychiatrist George won't, for once, speak up to, Mrs. Carr and Mr. Berkowitz are finding each other in one of the most engaging adult courtships ever to get into a juvenile. As for George, Ben promises not to forget him, and when Ben's voice deepens, it becomes indistinguishable from George's, but he'll "watch his diet and never swallow orange seeds or watermelon pits because to do so could bring on an attack of appendicitis, and that he realizes would involve surgery." In current fiction, a boy with a problem seldom has it so good.
Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1970
ISBN: 1416949577
Page count: 199pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1970


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