George - Alex Gino

19 Nov 2015

This book is simple, beautiful and important.

I always keep an eye out for books that push the boundaries. They're usually the most interesting, the most daring, the most enlightening. Personally, I don't think that writing about the subject of someone who is transgender should be considered pushing the boundaries but, sadly, there are still some people in this day and age who remain ignorant and judgemental. All the more reason to be writing children's books on the issue.

Alex Gino has chosen to write about a subject which has received a lot of press attention, opinion and general noise. Only his book stands out from it all because he has chosen to write about it from the viewpoint of a child, where there is no way to hide from the true reality.

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But George knows she is a girl. The problem is getting everyone else to believe it. When she auditions for the role of Charlotte in the school play Charlotte's Web, she is told she cannot have the part because she is a boy. So, along with her best friend Kelly, she comes up with a plan to get on stage and play her dream role, and show the world who she really is.

The complexity of this issue, the feelings of the person who is transgender, the opinions and reactions of others, are all addressed with frank and simple language. Yet nothing is lost; you feel George's struggle in every word as she fights to be who she is and to be accepted by her family, friends and the rest of the world.

With an ending full of tentative hope, George is a book for everyone. A story to relate to whether you are someone who has experienced/is experiencing George's difficult journey, or whether you have ever simply felt different.