Monday, September 21, 2015

Middle Grade Monday: George by Alex Gino

Hardcover,  195 pages
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Published by: Scholastic Press
Stand-alone
Source: Library
For fans of: Middle Grade, LGBTQIA, Realistic Fiction, Diversity FTW


          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.

*MY THOUGHTS*

      I had been seeing this book around so much, but because it was a children's book, I wasn't really breaking down walls to read it. But then one day I decided to just go ahead and at least read thee synopsis and see what had everyone so excited about this book. And I really wish I had found out about it sooner.
     George has spent her entire life seeing herself as a completely different person on the inside as she was on the outside. She's never seen what everyone else did and she grew frustrated trying to make people see what she did. One day George's teacher announces they will soon be casting for the annual school play of Charlotte. George desperately wants to be Charlotte, but her teacher says its a "girl's part." This upsets her, so her and her friend Kelly think up the perfect scheme to help everyone can see who she is once and for all.
     This book is incredible. Not only for the diversity (which we all knew I was drawn to) but because of everything. The writing, the characters, the friendship, EVERYTHING. When I read this I wasn't expecting to fall for it like I did. Starting with the writing, I loved it. It didn't seem at all like I was reading a children's book. The only thing that made me realize it was the talk of Charlotte's Web. Add on to the fact how much I loved that book too, I really fell in love. Gino has a way with words that made me fall straight into the story, as if I was sitting in the classroom with all of them. 
"...it takes a special person to cry over a book. It shows compassion as well as imagination"
pg. 15
     Going along with the writing style, I also fell in love with all the emotions it brought with it. In the beginning my heart broke so many times. I was so hurt that George thought she had to hide it from everyone. I was so upset at all the adults for everyone being so unaware. And then at the end I could barely see through tears because it was just too much. I literally sobbed at the end of this, so much so I could barely see the words on the page. This book brought out the best and the worst in me, and I can guarantee it will do the same for everyone else. 
"Parent-condoned sibling cruelty was a rare gift, and not to be wasted."
pg. 81
     As for the diversity, I LOVED IT. I can't tell you the last time I read a book about a transgender youth in children's fiction. That's because I haven't ever read one. This book paves the way for not only other books like this to come out, but also for transgender children to be brave and show us who they really are. And this is what matters most. Let children be confident in who they are. Let them be happy. Support them. Do whatever it takes to ensure their happiness. Not only with children, but EVERYONE. 
     I loved this book so much I told my mom about it while I was reading it and she did what any other self-respecting reader would do.... Steal it from me and start reading it. I can definitely attest to the fact that this book is so far out of her comfort zone, but still she loved it. And that, is exactly what we need from others. Make everyone fall from their usual and see things that are now happening more often than not. This book is a real eye-opener and I can only hope that people see the book, George, and everyone like her for what she is: LOVED. 
     Overall, I give this

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