Author: Alex Gino
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: August 25, 2015
Summary (via 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 book was so good. I feel like it should be mandatory reading for younger children, to help expose them to literature about transgendered people. These kinds of books will let kids know it’s okay to be who you are, as the first line in the summary says. I gave this 5 out of 5 stars.
I read this book for #ReadProud. I ended up reading it in one day, because I didn’t want to put it down and it’s a pretty short book. I’d heard some great things about this book, and they were definitely all correct. George is such a great main character. I felt for her while she tried to let the world know that she was a girl, not a boy. Her story touched my heart, and I’m sure it’ll touch your heart too!
First off, I really love Kelly, George’s best friend. Kelly was always there for George and didn’t judge her like a lot of other people did in the story. Kelly encouraged George to try out for Charlotte’s part in the play, and even helped George be Charlotte after the teacher said no. Kelly encouraged George to embrace being a girl in other ways as well, and I have to say bravo to Kelly’s character. If it wasn’t for her, it might have been harder, and taken George longer, to embrace her true identity.
George’s mom kind of annoyed me for most of the book. She kept dismissing George’s words, kept dismissing George when she tried to tell her mom that she wasn’t a boy. She comes around towards the end, but I feel like she’s going to take a while to come to terms with this. I wish more parents were accepting of their children, no matter what. George’s dad isn’t really in the picture, and we only hear mentioning of him a few times. George’s brother Scott was a pretty great character overall. He’s a little brash at first, but he comes around to the idea of George’s true identity much faster than the mom.
Of course, some kids can be cruel. Kids like Jeff, Rick, etc. are why more kids don’t come forward with their true identities. It breaks my heart that kids, and even adults, have to endure that kind of pain. Bullying is beyond wrong; I know from firsthand experience, but my reasons for being bullied were different. No child should have to endure bullying. But despite being picked on, George prevails. The ending was absolutely perfect. I just know George is going to be okay, even if she experiences some ups and downs.
Before I finish the review, I just want to point out one line that really stuck with me. It was said about George and I think it fits perfectly: “My point is, it takes a special person to cry over a book. It shows compassion as well as imagination.”
Final note: Another amazing debut! I read this book for the #ReadProud challenge this month, and I regret nothing. You can buy a Kindle or Nook copy of this book for $2.99 right now. Go get a copy ASAP!