Monday, September 7, 2015

GEORGE by Alex Gino

George is a fifth grade boy who identifies herself as Melissa.  George's best friend is Kelly.  Having a girl for a best friend helps a bit, but George would love to be able to share her secret with someone and just be herself.

The kids at school seem to know George is a little different.  She deals with taunts and teasing from some of the guys, especially when the teacher finishes reading CHARLOTTE'S WEB and George sheds a few tears at the sad ending.

George begins to hatch a plan that might make telling her mother about her secret a bit easier.  Every year the fifth grade performs a play based on CHARLOTTE'S WEB.  George believes she would be the perfect Charlotte.  She even gets encouragement from Kelly as they practice running lines before the tryouts.  However, the teacher dashes any hopes George has when she refuses to let George play the part she so badly wants.  This calls for a new plan, and Kelly is on it.  There may still be hope that George can show the world how important it is to live life as a girl.

Author Alex Gino began writing GEORGE in 2003.  Just released this week, the book represents a step forward in acknowledging transgender issues for younger readers.  Gino presents the subject in an informative, non-threatening plot that not only educates but also speaks to kids questioning their own sexual identities.  GEORGE is a must have for classrooms and libraries.

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