Mini ARC Review: George by Alex Gino

Written by: Alex Gino
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Pages: 240, Hardback
Series: Standalone
Add on GoodReads
Thanks to Scholastic for the ARC!

Book

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.

LetsTalk

My first reaction to George: I’m just so happy it exists! Considering how many children realize they’re trans in elementary school, it’s kind of ridiculous that there are barely any books like this one for them. (I didn’t fully understand what ‘transgender’ even meant until I was thirteen-ish, which is way too late). Transgender kids need books with characters they can relate to, to show them that they aren’t alone and they can find happiness. Cisgender children need to understand what the word ‘transgender’ means and be able to empathize with and support their transgender peers. This book is so, so important and I’m very glad to have read it.

(Note: I’m calling the main character ‘Melissa’ here because that’s her chosen name; however, for most of the book the narration refers to her as George. I think pairing the name George with female pronouns in the narration and then switching to calling her Melissa at the end was an amazingly effective narrative choice, by the way.)

The book presents Melissa’s struggles in an effective and sometimes heartbreaking way. In one scene that hits me particularly hard, Melissa’s mother (who at this point doesn’t know she’s a girl) tells her, “You’ll always be my baby boy,” and doesn’t realize how hurtful this is for her. I just wanted to give Melissa a hug at this point. I also appreciated this book showcasing how much traditional gender roles are pushed on children, and how badly people can react when someone doesn’t follow their assigned gender role. Even adults who mean well can get it very wrong.

But in general, this is an optimistic book. I was honestly smiling so hard by the end. I was so proud of Melissa for showing everyone who she was. Melissa’s friend Kelly was amazing and supportive and cute, and while her mother didn’t react too well at first, by the end of the book she was willing to accept her. By the last scene, my heart was pretty much bursting with joy.

Basically, I loved this book. It’s short, simple, emotionally honest, and hopeful, and I cannot express enough how happy I am that it exists.

Polina

Other Posts You Might Like
ARC Review: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Written by: Heidi Heilig Release Date: February 16, 2016 Pages: 464, hardcover Series: The Girl From Everywhere, #1 Add on GoodReads Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places ...
READ MORE
Book Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Written by: Sarah J Maas Release Date: September 2nd 2014 Pages: 562, Hardcover Series: Throne of Glass #3 Add on GoodReads Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: ...
READ MORE
ARC Review: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Written by: Renee Ahdieh Release Date: April 26th 2016 Pages: 420, hardcover Series: The Wrath and the Dawn, #2 Add on GoodReads The darker the sky, the brighter the stars. In a land on the brink of war, ...
READ MORE
ARC Review: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
Written by: Jenn P. Nguyen Release Date: June 7th 2016 Pages: 336, paperback Series: Standalone Add on GoodReads Taylor Simmons is screwed. Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation ...
READ MORE
Q&A Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Written by: Cassandra Clare Release Date: March 8th 2016 Pages: 668, hardcover Series:The Dark Artifices #1 Add on GoodReads In a kingdom by the sea… In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight ...
READ MORE
ARC Review: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi
Book Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J.
ARC Review: The Rose and the Dagger by
ARC Review: The Way to Game the Walk
Q&A Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge