Author: Alex Gino
Genre: Middle Grade, LGBT, Fiction
Originally Published: August 25th 2015
Format: Hardcover (195 pages)
Synopsis: When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.
George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
My Rating: ★★★★
Simply put, George is a wonderful book.
It tells the story of George, a young girl who has been born in the wrong body: biologically she is a boy. This story explores George’s own feelings as well as the way in which those around her react. Her best friend, Kelly, turns out to be wonderfully supportive; her brother is surprisingly accepting; her mother goes on a roller coaster of emotions and she is on the receiving end of taunts from the class bully. I strongly felt that the reactions shown to George in this book are quite close to those of today’s society and it made it feel very real.
I loved the raw emotions in this book. It is so honest and I love that this book is written in a simple way and easily accessible to children. This is such an important novel and, as someone who works with young children, it was also an eye opener. I think this is a book which needs to be more widely shared as it deals so effectively with such an important issue. This is the kind of book that leaves an impact on the reader for a long time after, and I only finished it a few hours ago.
What did I love most about the book?
I really liked the fact this book was written in the third person and that the female pronouns were used throughout when talking about George. I thought it beautifully reflected the fact that, yes, George is biologically a boy, but inside she truly is a young girl.
“She’s always going on about how we’re not supposed to let people’s expectations limit our choices.”
“She looked in the mirror and gasped. Melissa gasped back at her. For a long time, she stood there, just blinking. George smiled, and Melissa smiled too.”
“His words crawled under her skin, settling deep into the crevices of her bones. ”
I would love to see more and more books like this. Not only is the message important, it is told in a realistic and sensitive manner. The author isn’t intentionally trying to push certain emotions onto the reader, but the simplistic writing and raw emotion makes this a very emotional read. Fantastic.
Have you read George? What did you think?