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George Hardcover – August 25, 2015
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"Halloween Hustle" by Charlotte Gunnufson
Skeleton is dancing his way to a Halloween party—but as he grooves across town, he keeps stumbling, tumbling, and falling apart! Can Skeleton stay in one piece long enough to make it to the party? | Learn more
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From School Library Journal
"Insightful...it'll resonate with anyone who has ever felt different." - People Magazine
"George is a timely book for parents to share and discuss with their children, whether dealing with similar issues or simply to foster understanding." - Entertainment Weekly
* "Warm, funny, and inspiring." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Profound, moving, and-as Charlotte would say-radiant..." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "A required purchase for any collection that serves a middle grade population." -- School Library Journal, starred review
* "[A] sensitive, insightful portrayal of a transgender child coming to terms with gender identity." -- Booklist, starred review
"Readers going through a similar experience will feel that they are no longer alone, and cisgender (non-transgender) readers may gain understanding and empathy." -- BookPage
"Reading this breathtaking debut should be a requirement for living." #6 on the Indie Next Autumn '15 List - Marisa DiNovis, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
- Grade Level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Hardcover : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0545812542
- ISBN-13 : 978-0545812542
- Product Dimensions : 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Reading level : 8 - 12 years
- Publisher : Scholastic Press (August 25, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #417,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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George is transgender and this is the story of her coming to terms with the realization of who she is not in a world that defines her based on her appearance, typical stereotypes and gender roles that are prevalent in society. George experiences the world through a role she was born to play, a role that society has deemed appropriate for a boy/man. George knows that how she feels is not congruent with what she experiences or what is expected of her as a son, male student, or a boy friend. This book follows George through one week of her life, one week that will change forever how she feels about herself and the world around her.
The toughest parts of this book are not what George feels, but lets be clear what she feels is very important, because for me children realizing who they are is a natural evolution. The tough parts are seeing how others, mostly adults, react to George. The reactions of George's brother and mother were both well portrayed, his brother being a surprise stand out. But it was George's best friend Kelley who got me in the feels. This book just shows, even though it is in the smallest way, that kids are more accepting and unfazed by George's secret than all of the adults were. It shows how much of the biases that children grow into come from the adults who refuse to educate themselves or who are not above spreading hate as long as it serves their narratives.
This snippet is such a small window into George's life, one that had been hard up until the point we joined her. I am sure that she would continue to struggle if the story were to span her getting older because sadly, society isn't catching up fast enough. This book is important because it gives kids, who may be silently struggling with similar things, the knowledge that they are not alone and that in itself is worth spreading this book to anyone who will read it. This books is excellent for any adult trying to educate themselves or any adult reading it with or to their children to expand their own empathy and understanding of those deemed different. In the end, George wants what everyone, adult or child, wants... Acceptance.
For me personally, my daughter could tell me she was a rock and I would do everything in my power to help her be the best rock she can be. I only hope for a time when being gay, transgender, non-binary and the like won't be a big deal. A time when what our children, friends, and family identify as has no barring on the beautiful people they are. Books like George take us one more step in that direction.
Why I Recommend Bumping This UP On Your TBR:
▪ It celebrates its genre by sticking to the plot formulas of classic middle grade works and by including Charlotte's Web throughout.
▪ It mixes the horrifying reality of coming out (how the world can react) with examples of how healthy individuals can respond to someone coming out.
▪ Like most, I cried reading this. For me it was the last time we see the purse and magazines that did it.
▪ It provide significant validation for trans folks. (And by extension queergender/enby folks. And it has a lot of acceptance of gay folks.)
▪ It provides significant education for all folks.
▪ I wish the title was Melissa instead, but the title doesn't become a deadname until the end and I don't think we talked openly about deadnames before this book was written? I encourage all to educate yourselves about deadnames.
Top reviews from other countries
From the very beginning George is referred to as she and her in the narrative, she's set off as female, despite her anatomy. George is only in the fourth grade, yet has an understanding of her gender, that despite what her body is saying, she is a female. This might seem like a theme that's too old for a child of George's age, but Alex Gino portrayed the child-like innocence that showed George's age. This was done through the dialogue and language used, and the insult 'some jerk' that was so young and not insulting that it couldn't help but endear you to George even more.
In the book the school are reading Charlotte's Web, something I have never read, but it seemed to really touch George. She adores Charlotte, and as her class are putting on a play, she wants nothing more than to play Charlotte. Her best friend Kelly is extremely supportive of George's dream, and together they rehearse Charlotte's lines, ready for auditions. I really wanted to see George succeed and perform his Charlotte in front of the audience, but Ms Udell had other ideas. She had no time for George's audition, telling her to stop joking around. My heart went out to George, especially as Alex Gino oh so cleverly hammered in the 'boy' 'boy' 'boy' throughout the book, and I don't know about anyone else but it gave me strongly mixed feelings towards these adults. One of which was George's mum, I got so angry after more than one interaction that should not have gone the way that it did. I wanted to take George in my arms and hug her, telling her it's okay. Because she clearly needed support from the people around her, and I'm glad Kelly was there to give it to her.
George is a middle grade book, therefore the language is not the most complex thing in the world, in fact I have seen some reviews where people have used the word 'simple'. Why I am able to understand their opinions, I don't personally agree. For me, it was the simplicity of the language and the innocence that it created that really impacted me. I was so intrigued about Alex Gino after finishing George that I went ahead and did a little bit of Googling. I found this article in which both author and book are discussed. What I really liked about this interview was that Alex Gino recommended more books with LGBTQ+ themes, which I will most certainly be checking out!
George is a brilliant book that everyone needs to read. Seriously, go out and read it right now.
Have you read George? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
- TO YOU, FOR WHEN YOU FELT DIFFERENT -
I loved Melissa’s story she’s strong and brave despite the adversity she faces at school and home.
this book hooked me in a way no others have.
i sat down as soon as i got it through the post box and read it all in one go.
i laughed. i cried. i felt everything george went through and i felt like the journey was a personal one and one that i was very happy i could share with the protagonist.
i think alex gino has shown that they are a very creative and engaging author.
their words feel not like a book made for children. but a book written from the perspective of a very perceptive and sensitive young girl. i really saw through her eyes and i cannot wait until tomorrow when i will probably read it again at least once