George knew that Mom was trying to help. But George didn’t have a normal problem. She wasn’t scared of snakes. She hadn’t failed a math test. She was a girl, and no one knew it.
-Alex Gino, George
Synopsis: George is a girl. Her body might fool people into thinking otherwise, but she knows she’s a girl. And she’s dying to play Charlotte in the fourth grade production of Charlotte’s Web. The only issue is that everyone says she can’t play a female role because she’s a boy. George has to fight to get what she wants and show who she really is.
The Good: Gender and sexuality are complicated themes, but they aren’t dumbed down in this novel despite being written for an audience of children/middle grade readers. George’s character is awesome, and her voice is real and authentic.
The Bad: The language and plotline could’ve been expanded or a bit more complex/expanded, even within the juvenile fiction category. While the themes weren’t simplified, I think George could’ve shown a broader range of emotions related to her understanding of her gender and her relationship with her naysayers.
Rating: 4/5 stars.
Challenge satisfied: #12, read a book by or about a person who identifies as transgender. (This book is both by and about someone who identifies as transgender!)
Additional notes: I love the cover art for George. It evokes Google’s homepage, which emphasizes the quest for understanding.
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