STARRED REVIEW
September 2015

An honest, kid-friendly look at being transgender

By Alex Gino
George looks and dresses like a boy, but inside, she’s not a boy. Her family doesn’t understand, but George knows that she’s a girl. It’s hard pretending to be a boy, but it’s even harder when the class bully picks on her and starts fights.
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George looks and dresses like a boy, but inside, she’s not a boy. Her family doesn’t understand, but George knows that she’s a girl. It’s hard pretending to be a boy, but it’s even harder when the class bully picks on her and starts fights. 

When it’s announced that the fourth-grade classes will put on a production of Charlotte’s Web, George decides to audition for Charlotte, so she can finally play a girl’s role in front of her friends and mother, but mostly so she can feel like her secret self is out in the open. Her best friend helps rehearse, and eventually George confides in her that she’s really a girl. Kelly is supportive and encouraging, but their teacher insists George can’t play a girl’s part. Fortunately, an open-minded principal shows readers that being transgender is just another part of being human, and that there are people who understand.

Debut author Alex Gino beautifully addresses the struggles of being a transgender youth. It’s an intense conflict to be one sort of person on the outside but feel like someone else on the inside, and this book recognizes and straightforwardly discusses LGBTQ issues, including family misunderstandings, peer support and public acceptance. Readers going through a similar experience will feel that they are no longer alone, and cisgender (non-transgender) readers may gain understanding and empathy. 

Positive messages echo throughout George and to the reader: Be you, whoever you are. 

 

This article was originally published in the September 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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George

George

By Alex Gino
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545812542

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