Pub Date: Aug. 25th 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I’ve been trying to write this review for days, but everything I write doesn’t seem to do the book justice- even my attempts at summarizing the book are lame. So I’m just going to spit it out: George is a very special and important book that I think everyone should read. Although the intended audience is young children, I believe that people of all ages can learn a thing or two from this book.
I specifically remember picking up George at BEA at a table and trying to determine whether or not I should take it home with me. I asked the girl manning the table what the book was about and her eyes immediately lit up and she told me that it was an adorable book and I had to read it, her enthusiasm sold me and I grabbed a copy for myself, my sister, and a couple of friends (I asked and she was fine with me taking multiple copies so don’t judge me). That was the best decision ever.
Okay so what is George about? Like I said earlier, all of my attempts at summarizing this book has failed so I’m going to cheat and post the summary from Goodreads:
BE WHO YOU ARE.
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.
This is the first fictional transgender story I’ve ever read and it really touched me. I’ll be honest, I really don’t know that much about transgender people. I know that they are born as one sex but feel like they are the other one and I know that they get a lot of hate when they try to be their real selves. Other than that I don’t know much, in fact I learned all of that when I started 10th grade! I think Alex Gino did a great thing by creating this book because it really sends a strong message about the transgender community.
Why do I keep saying that everyone should read this book? George gives readers a glimpse of the internal and external struggles that many transgenders experience. It’s also is an adorable story about true friendship, love, and acceptance. It was a quick and enjoyable read, it only took me one sitting to finish (: I actually used little marker things (I can’t remember the name at the moment) for the first time and underlined some of my favorite parts!
One of my favorite things about this book is how determined George is to play Charlotte in the school’s production. She puts everything on the line when she tries out for the part even though she was afraid of what the teacher might think, that is true courage. George’s friend, Kelly, is the friend that everyone wishes they had. Not only is she intelligent for her age, but she really cares for George and helps her towards her goal. Together they help each other be their best selves.
Before I end this review I wanted to address something that I’ve seen in a lot of people’s negative reviews for this book. Many people have rated this book 2 stars solely because they didn’t think that the book had enough ‘angst’ to be realistic. Now I do realize that transgender youth do experience more emotions and troubles than the book portrays, but I wanted to stress that this is a children’s book. The book is directed towards 4th graders and up, that being said I think that the ‘lack of angst’ is appropriate. Like I said, I didn’t know anything about transgenders until high school, so what do you expect an eight year old to know? I think that this book is a great introduction to kids who don’t know what it means to be transgender as well as give them a little insight as to how hard it can for transgenders to be their real selves.
Okay so that’s the end to my rambly review/discussion of this marvelous book! If you haven’t read it please go out and buy (or rent from the library) a copy as soon as it’s released tomorrow, you won’t regret it!