Recommended for ages 8-14
George looks like a boy. Her mom thinks she’s a boy; the kids and teachers at school see a boy, even if they bully her and call her a girl. Even her best friend, Kelly, thinks George is a boy. The thing is, middle schooler George is a girl, really. She knows it. It’s a painful secret that she has to keep.
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.
When her teacher announces that the class play will be Charlotte’s Web, George sees her chance to let a little of the real her peek through. She wants to be Charlotte. She wants to be Charlotte so badly. Will her teacher, her classmates, or her mom understand?
At last, a middle grade book with an LGBTQ character – and a positive, upbeat one, at that! George is a fantastic book. Every page is a delight. George is a sweet, introspective character who is self-aware at a young age and owns it. She keeps her real self a secret, but is always waiting for the chance to come out, and the class play provides that moment. She’s determined to be Charlotte, knowing that everyone will understand once they see her.
Kelly wins prizes for the best friend ever. She accepts and embraces George for who she is – you’ll tear up very happily as you follow their relationship’s progression to the end of the book.
Bullies aside – because bullies are inevitable – every character in this book offers a positive, realistic support system for George, a transgender tween at the beginning of her journey. Realistic, because we see that some have some difficulty, even discomfort, understanding George’s feelings and reality, but have enough love to work through it with her and come to a path they can all walk together.
I love this book. I want to buy copies for my home, my libraries, and to hand out to kids in every middle school. I’m thrilled that it exists. Not only do I think that this is this one of the most important books you’ll read this year, it’s one of the most captivating.
Author Alex Gino is a trans activist with a website that offers resources for youth that every parent and educator should bookmark. You’ll also find an author schedule and further information.