Book review: George, by Alex Gino

Gino GeorgeGino, Alex. George. Scholastic. 2015. $16.99. 240p. HC. 978-0545812542.

4th grader George is excited about the chance to star in the school play of Charlotte’s Web. However, all the boys have to audition for Wilber and the girls for Charlotte. Everyone may think George is a boy, but on the inside, she knows she is a girl. George thinks maybe if she plays the role of Charlotte (her favorite character), then everyone, especially her mom, will finally see that George is a girl. With the support and help from her best friend, Kelly, George hatches a plan to let her true self shine.

From the start of this light-hearted and often humorous book, George thinks of herself using feminine pronouns and feels best when looking through the girl-centric magazines she keeps hidden. She is sure of her feminine identity, but struggles to find the confidence to be herself in front of others. She is afraid of how her friends and family will react when they truly know her. George dislikes the perception others have of her, and she feels at odds with her body. The book briefly discusses transitioning and George’s desire to become a female physically. This is done in a thoughtful and age-appropriate manner.

George is a funny and kind character whom all children deserve to meet. They will relate to her feeling out of place and misunderstood. George will make all readers more empathetic and will be a hero to kids questioning their own gender identity. This book should be in all collections that serve 3rd-6th graders.

Jenna Friebel
Youth Services Librarian
Deerfield (IL) Public Library

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