GEORGE ON HIS OWN by Laurie Lawlor


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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 After three books centered on oldest child Addie (Addie's Long Summer, etc.), Lawlor turns to next-child George, now 12. Pa depends on George's help, expecting that he'll eventually take over their Dakota farm; but George dreams of an escape from farm work and a chance to play his trombone. After little sister Nellie May's death from measles, Pa's anger upon learning that George has paid for the borrowed trombone causes the boy to take flight, hoping to join a band of traveling players en route to Deadwood. The players, who take full advantage of the substantial competence George has acquired under stern Pa, turn out to be charlatans and thieves; but, fortunately, one of them--grateful that George saved his life after a snakebite--gives him enough money to get home, where he finds a loving Pa, mellowed by his absence. Lawlor doesn't get beneath the surface of her characters, who exist mostly to exemplify 19th-century frontier life, and her dialogue is awkward, unconvincing. Still, the prairie setting is well-researched, the plot's interesting enough to hold readers, and the family--more prosperous, and with quite different family dynamics--offers a plausible contrast to the beloved Ingalls. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-8075-2823-4
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1993


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