George (Now being published as Melissa)
Author: Alex Gino
Published: August 25, 2015
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 25-26, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
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.
Forget what you personally believe about transgender people, we need more books like this! Whether this will be a book for a transgender child to read, this book can be for everyone as it shows how one person who feels they are very different from others can be their own person.
George is in 4th grade and though she physically looks like a boy, she knows in her heart that she is a girl. As the reader reads the novel, they see how George feels. She has not told anyone who she really is, including her family. Over the course of this short novel, George tells her best friend Kelly who she actually is and that she wants to be Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web in the school play and Kelly is all for that!
This is a novel of differences, acceptance, and coming together. This is a novel that shows how being different can make one person feel among other ‘normal’ people.
This is a novel written by trans author Alex Gino and the title was just changed from George to Melissa earlier this year. Here is a link that explains that change: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/87750-alex-gino-debuts-new-title-and-cover-for-groundbreaking-trans-novel.html This book is one of the most banned books for a variety of reasons and I found out about it during Banned Books Week this year and decided to read it for myself. Though I am not a parent, I did really enjoy this novel and feel it would be appropriate for middle grades kids.
Depending on the version you read, George/ Melissa is highly recommended!