Rummanah Aasi
  George is a book about a transgender fourth-grader who increasingly learns to be herself and to tell others about her secret. Young readers will rejoice in the message of being true to themselves and to be tolerant of others. I think this book is a great contender for the upcoming Newbery Award.

Description: 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.

Review: George is a warm, funny, and inspiring read. George is a fourth grader has a secret. Despite appearing as a boy, George has always identified herself as a girl. While she has kept her identity a secret, she endures bullies who mock her and parents/friends who mean well when they say she will turn out to be a good boy. She can no longer keep her secret to herself when she learns that her school will be performing a dramatized version of Charlotte's Web and George desperately wants to play Charlotte, a role given only to girls. For George, playing Charlotte isn't just about being an actor, but an opportunity for her mom to finally she George as she really is: a girl.
 Since George is written for middle grade readers, her struggles are presented with a light, age-appropriate, and hopeful touch. The responses she gets when she begins to confide in those closest to her are at times unexpected but perfectly true-to-character. For example, her best friend Kelly finds a great friend to talk about fashion and George's crude older brother observes--"No offense, but you don't make a very good boy." The adults are also given a wide range of reactions from uncertainty to acceptance as well. I do hope there are more books like George written for middle grade students as we talk more about gender non-conformity.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are some crude jokes made by George's brother. Recommended for Grades 4 and up.

If you like this book try: Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky, Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Ferdle,
2 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I'm so glad there are books like this aimed at younger kids rather than just upper YA and adult readers, I'm sure there are a huge number of people out there like George who need to know they're not alone!

  2. It's good that there are books like this for children and that it shows instances of both bullying and acceptance. I'm mostly curious as to Kelly's initial reaction; I know people are now more aware of transgender people, but it's still hard for people, especially kids, to be accepting.

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