Yesterday, I went to my double bookcase and scanned the shelves looking for something to grab my interest. I wanted to read a quick yet meaningful book and after some deliberation, plumped for George by Alex Gino. It kept me up past midnight and I finished it in a whirlwind of emotions. It also marks my 10th book for the 2016 Reading Challenge, and my first created category.
Author: Alex Gino
Favourite character: Kelly
Category: #41 A middle-grade book
“My point is, it takes a special person to cry over a book. It shows compassion as well as imagination.”
George by Alex Gino tells the story of 4th grader Melissa, a young girl born in the body of a boy, George (for the purpose of this review I’ll be using the pronoun she). This middle-grade novel centres around Charlotte’s Web, which the class have been reading, and are going to perform as a play to the rest of the school and their friends and family. George’s best friend Kelly insists that she tryout for Charlotte, along with the rest of the girls. George desperately desires to play Charlotte and have people view her as a girl.
This is a very special book, highlighting the importance of friendship and bravery, and it deals with important issues such as bullying and parental/teacher misunderstanding. The characters in this novel are excellent: George/Melissa is an incredibly troubled little girl, hiding a secret she wishes she wasn’t, and Kelly is the most amazing and understanding best friend.
I’m so glad a book like this exists, especially since it’s targeted towards 8-12 year olds. If it can help one child accept who they are then it’s been the most tremendous success! And if it educates the masses at a young age about transgender issues then it’s only going to make for a more caring and loving body of people in the future.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and hope it, or something like it, becomes required reading at schools. The younger we can educate kids about LGBTQ issues, the less of an issue they will be.
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