January 24

Book Review: George by Alex Gino

January 24, 2016

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. 

I’ve had my eye on this book for awhile, and when I was doing my random browsing at the library, it happened to be sitting right on the shelf calling my name. I decided it would be a perfect #24in48 Readathon book, and I was right. Here are my thoughts:

On the Plus Side:

  • This is a fabulous introduction to transgenderism for all age levels. It helps all people understand the thoughts and feelings of a 4th grade transgender student.
  • I loved all of the connections to Charlotte’s Web (which I just happened to be reading for work at the time I read this….simply by coincidence).
  • I think the reactions of the adults and peers in George’s life were realistic. Some peers will be accepting, some will have a hard time understanding. As far as his mom and brother, they loved him, but they also had to go through their own process of learning and acceptance.
  • Kelly is such a great example of an accepting, positive peer role model. I would love to work with students like Kelly and George.
  • I love that this book focuses on an elementary school student…an age when this is likely to be introduced. Elementary students will definitely be able to identify with the story behind this one.

On the Minus Side:

There were no minuses for me on this one. I highly recommend it if you are looking for an introductory presentation of life as a transgender 4th grader.

Have you had the opportunity to read George? What did you think?

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Posted January 24, 2016 by Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings in category "book review

6 COMMENTS :

  1. By Shannon @ River City Reading on

    So glad to hear so many great things about this book – it’s one I’ve been eyeballing, too. I love the thought of using MG for a Readathon…definitely have to remember that for next time.

    Reply
    1. By Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings (Post author) on

      Shannon – I work in an elementary school, and I was reading George, I just kept thinking how perfect it would be as a read aloud when the time comes (more schools are having to do some education in this area as the need arises, and I’m sure my district is not far behind). I love reading some “easier” books for readathons – I’m less likely to get bogged down in a heavy or long book. It keeps me fresh and motivated!

      Reply
  2. By Wendy on

    I really liked this too, and I felt that by making George a 4th grader, the author did two things: Subtly put it out there that kids know from a very early age if they are transgender, and avoided confusing sexuality with gender identification.

    I’ve had several of my middle school students pick this up–they are reluctant to discuss it with me, but have passed it on to friends. I like to think it’s helping shape their generation’s awareness and attitudes. I had never even HEARD of the concept until I was in my 30s, and really only started learning about it five or six years ago, when an acquaintance’s child transitioned, and then I had a transgender student at the high school I was at.

    Reply
    1. By Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings (Post author) on

      I didn’t specifically say it in my review, but I also totally appreciated the book because gender identity is very separate from sexuality, and in an off hand way teaches the difference between the two. I love that your students are enjoying it, and I hope that word continues to spread on this gem!

      Reply
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