AUTHOR: ALEX GINO
RELEASE DATE: August 25th, 2015
FORMAT/PAGE COUNT: Kindle/240 pages
PUBLISHER: SCHOLASTIC PRESS
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.(GOODREADS)
EXPECTATION: From the moment I first heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. It was one of those books I counted down to the release date.
Right at the onset of George, I recognized something in the secrecy of the main character, George. In the opening sentences, there’s a passage that reads, ‘George needed to be certain the house was empty’. After elaborately casing the house for others, George fishes beneath the pile of teddy bears and fluffy bunnies in her closet for a flat denim bag that contained a treasure…her fashion magazines. George loved to get lost in the glossy pages of these magazines, dreaming about the day she could one day be a woman like the ones on its pages, dreaming of the glamour and the beauty products and the outfits and the everything.
One thing you need to know about George is that George is Melissa. You see, the world still sees her as a boy named George. But George is Melissa and Melissa is a girl.
Keeping her glamour magazines a secret are the least of George’s problems. This year’s featured book at school is Charlotte’s Web. Different grades do different things with the book. George’s grade is charged with putting on a play. And George knows she would be the best Charlotte ever. Her best friend Kelly sees nothing wrong with this…so the two go about rehearsing their lines together. But come audition day, George’s teacher, Ms. Udell, is slightly less than amused by George’s audition. But can she stop the girl who would shine the most as the beloved spider?
Alex Gino’s George is raw, honest, and perfectly rendered for the age group of the target Middle Grade audience. It’s a heart-warming story of a girl coming to terms with herself. And it is beautiful. For me, some of the noteworthy moments in this lovely tale include George’s comeuppance of the bully, Jeff. It was so delicious and perfect, and so George. As well, the preparation for the trip to the zoo was stellar…beautiful scene where two best girlfriends, Melissa and Kelly, get dressed up for a day trip. Possibly one of my favourite scenes was the interaction George had with her older brother when she revealed her 'secret' to him. You will love so many scenes in this book. As it's a quick read, I don't really want to give too much more away.
I’d recommend this quick read to anyone…it certainly transcends the Middle Grade market, even as it fits perfectly within it.
I look forward to more from Alex Gino. They have an excellent way of opening eyes without being preachy or lesson-y while doing so. Their ability to tackle the important transgender issue, while telling a wonderful and engaging story was flawless. I can’t wait to see what Alex does next!
EXPECTATION MET?: I waited quite a while for this one. Couldn't wait to read it, actually. It exceeded my expectations nicely. Such a satisfying read. And I'm so glad it exists in the lower reading category of Middle Grade. It will find its audience...books like this always do. Books like this are salvation to those who need them.
Want to learn more about the author? Visit Alex at their website (click on the pic below):