Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: August 2015
Genre: middle grade, contemporary
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.
George would love nothing more than to play Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web for the class play. Charlotte is smart and bold and caring, but George wants to play her because it would mean showing the world who she really is. George is a girl. But it’s hard for people to understand that when, to them, George is a boy.
I’ve seen this book compared plenty of times to Gracefully Grayson, another wonderful transgender book for middle grade and young adult readers. Whatever your take may be, you can’t deny that it’s a beautiful day and age we live in to finally have books like these on the shelves for readers. The first books will, of course, be about how to express oneself to family and friends. They are the stepping stones to what lies ahead, and I’m beyond excited to see that!
George is the perfect book for lower middle grade readers. Or anyone, really, to better understand the mind of a child coming to terms with who they are and how they want to express their individuality. I absolutely loved the way Gino used pronouns in here, how they expressed others’ reactions to George’s confession. Kelly, George’s best friend, is a bit confused (who wouldn’t be at that age?), but completely accepting. George’s older brother Scott is your typical icky teenage boy — I laughed at a lot of the things he’d say because he reminded me so much of my own brother at that age — and when he learned that George is a girl, it was as if his world clicked into place. Bless him. Mom was a tougher nut to crack, but at the same time she wasn’t hurtful. Now, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. There are bullies. There are accepting as well as disappointed adults. George experiences it all, and expresses her frustration and anxiety in a way any fourth-grader would.
If you haven’t already, you should follow Gino’s projects. They’re a true human rights advocate, and I hope to one day see love like this from everyone!