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George

by Alex Gino

Published by Scholastic Press, 2015
195 pages
ISBN: 978𢠧45812542

Ages 811

A girl born into a boy抯 body, 10-year-old George hasn抰 yet confided this truth to anyone. Then she decides to try out for the part of Charlotte in the fourth grade抯 dramatization of Charlotte抯 Web. George thinks the play will be a vehicle to let her mom know that she抯 really a girl, not a boy. But she also wants the part of Charlotte because she loves the character. George finally tells her friend Kelly the truth, and after Kelly is cast as Charlotte, she and George conspire to have George play Charlotte in the second performance. By then George has told both her mom and her older brother. Both of them had assumed George was gay, and while George抯 brother looks at George as if she finally makes sense to him, George抯 mom is struggling. Alex Gino抯 warm debut novel is a pitch-perfect story for younger middle grade. Substantial without a hint of heaviness, the almost lighthearted tone offers a matter-of-fact presentation of George抯 identity, leaving room for the delightful development of characters and the plot around Kelly and George抯 plan. The support George receives from Kelly, from her brother, and from the school principal, as well as the range of responses of others, are all realistic. But all of the characters are more than their responses, just as George is more than her gender. She抯 George, a girl with many interests finally able to outwardly express an elemental aspect of her identity.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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