Before George

Book Author Deborah Robertson
Rights Available World excl. NZ

When Marnya immigrates to New Zealand from South Africa in 1953 with her mother and sister, her mother cuts off Marnya’s hair and changes her name to George to hide her identity as a girl. Hours later, their Christmas Eve train plummets into the Whangaehu River and George loses not only her family and name, but also the answers as to why her mother deceived her father and fled their homeland. Now a ward of the state, George finds herself enrolled in a rural school where survival depends on fitting in with a group of boys who think she’s strange. Disconnected from everything that once defined who she was, George must reconstruct her identity and come to understand her mother’s decisions

About the Author
Deborah Robertson is a secondary school teacher, and shecompleted the Master of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland with first class honours. In 2014, she won the inaugural Teach First NZ essay competition, and she has had short works published by Radio New Zealand and Teach First NZ. Deborah is a scout leader and enjoys trail running and tramping and has hiked extensively in the region where Before George is set. She grew up in a semi-off-grid environment, and rode horses, cooked on a wood stove and grew food.


Huia Publishers


138 mm x 210 mm



Young Adult

Age range
11-14 years

Publication Date
October 2023

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:


Eboni Waitere

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