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GEORGE

Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 4 years, 8 months ago

26 June 2015 GEORGE by Alex Gino, Scholastic Press, August 2015, 240p., ISBN: 978-0-545-81254-2

 

“There will come a time when everybody who is lonely will be free to sing and dance and love”

--Frank Zappa (1968)

 

“‘Anyway, I think you’ve got a great idea.’

“‘What idea?’

“‘Trying out for Charlotte. Ms. Udall will love that you care so much about the character that you want to play her onstage, even though she’s a girl and you’re a boy. Plays are all about pretending, right?’

“‘Um...’ was all George could say. Playing a girl part wouldn’t really be pretending, but George didn’t know how to tell Kelly that.”

 

“Sexual orientation describes an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional, or spiritual attraction to another person, while gender identity is one person’s sense of being a man or a woman.”

--from GLAAD’s Gender Resource pages

 

Thanks to GEORGE, I know so much more than I did yesterday about what it would be like to be a young person whose body is at odds with his or her gender identity. GEORGE is a great read and a landmark book.

 

George is a fourth grader who was born male but has the sense of being a girl. The story is told in the third-person, and it took me a few pages to get used to the narrator referring to George as “she.” She (George) cringes whenever she is told what a wonderful young man she is going to grow up to be or when she needs to use the boy’s room. She is too young to yet know whether she is attracted to boys or to girls, but she knows that she is a girl.

 

George is fortunate to have a best friend, Kelly, who is bright, spirited, enthusiastic, and open-minded. Thankfully, there are also a couple of adult characters and a cool big brother who will be there at the right time for George, given the terrain she is seeking to traverse: audition for the lead role in the class play of Charlotte’s Web. George’s determination to be Charlotte will lead to conflict and her dealing with judgmental attitudes. Fortunately, GEORGE has a happy ending.

 

GEORGE contains references to hormonal therapy and surgery. I see it as a book for ten- to fourteen-year-olds.

 

It gets complicated when I try to grasp all the details of transgender and transsexual. It gets a lot simpler when I remember that GEORGE is really about getting to be oneself. GEORGE is a timely must-have for every public and middle school library out there.

 

Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Pickshttp://richiespicks.pbworks.com

BudNotBuddy@aol.com

https://www.facebook.com/richie.partington

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