(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

In Newton's award-winning novel, the Reverend Richard E. Sloan, pastor of the Gideon Baptist Church in Gideon, North Carolina would like everyone to think that he has the perfect family, but the private family is very different from the public one. While Mrs. Sloan tries to present a united front with her husband, older daughter Aileen has already shown her arrogance in dating the town's bad boy; and signs of rebellion are slowly growing in Neal, the Sloan's fifteen-year-old son. But perhaps the most complicated and terrifying changes are those that are going on unnoticed within meek seven-year-old Georgie. As Neal begins to see those changes, he realizes that he cannot cope with them alone and that there is no one for him to turn to for help.

I Will Call It Georgie's Blues was one of the first young adult novels to discuss the problem of emotional abuse within families. Without attempting to analyze the situation or discuss it from a psychological point of view, Newton tells the story of the Sloan family through the eyes of teen-age Neal. It is through Neal's eyes that the reader looks behind the calm, perfect facade of a minister's family to find rebellion, confusion, and psychological problems. Critics have called this a powerful, emotionally-charged novel, one that is full of pain, suffering and hope.

(The entire section is 222 words.)