Saturday 24 June 2017

Review on George

George is just your average ten year old. She lives with her mum and older brother, goes to school and has a best friend. The only problem is that everyone sees George as a boy instead of the girl she truly is. When her teacher announces the class will be doing a school production of Charlotte's Web, George is desperate to play Charlotte. She is heartbroken when her teacher tells her she can't play Charlotte because she's not a girl. However, George's best friend, Kelly is determined to help George achieve her dream role, and help her to show the world who she truly is

I wanted to read this book the minute I saw what it was about! Really, how often do you come across a middle grade book about a trans kid? The answer is obviously never. The book follows George, a fourth grader who wants to play the role of Charlotte in her school play. However, everyone sees George as a boy, including her teacher, who tells her the role has to go to a girl. It was heartbreaking seeing the struggles George had to go through, with everyone telling her she is a boy, when she knows in her heart that they're wrong. Although the trans community is becoming more visible in the media, it is still something that is stigmatised, particularly by the older generation. I felt as if these different opinions due to generation was shown perfectly in this book, with George's best friend and her older brother understanding and accepting her quite quickly, while her mum took a little longer to come to terms with it. I did however love that her mum eventually took her seriously, telling her she would take her to therapy. Unfortunately some trans kids aren't so lucky, and have their gender identity completely dismissed. Parents tend to force gender and sexuality on their children from the moment they're born. We often hear parents say their five month old son is a ladies man when he looks at a baby girl, yet they are quick to tell their LGBT child that they are going through a phase, and they are too young to decide on their identity. We need to stop seeing cisgender and heterosexual as the norm, as this is damaging to LGBT children who are too scared to come out. Although this book is intended for young readers, I feel as if parents of trans children would greatly benefit from reading it.

I adored the characters in this book, especially Kelly, George's best friend. I always feel as if friendship is one of the most important relationships, and this was definitely the case with George and Kelly. I loved how much they cared for each other, and how Kelly was completely understanding and selfless, helping George to get her dream role so she could show the world who she truly is. The last chapter was probably my favourite. It was so heartwarming to see George finally get to express herself, and go out for the first time in girls clothes. I loved how helpful and kind Kelly was, allowing George to borrow some of her clothes, and calling her by her preferred name. I felt as if it was the perfect ending to show trans kids that there is always hope.

I have to talk a little about George's older brother, Scott. Although the siblings do get along, Scott is a stereotypical boy who is interested in first person shooters and gory movies. I thought he would have a negative reaction to George telling him that she is trans, so I was pleasantly surprised that he was so accepting. I did feel as if he asked some inappropriate questions, such as if George was going to “go all the way”, but as he is young, and school sex education is usually terrible when it comes to LGBT issues, I think it was due to a lack of understanding.

I don't really like labelling books as “important reads” but I feel as if I'm going to have to with this one. Children are a lot more open minded than adults, and I feel as if children around George's age who read this book will come away with a much better understanding of what being transgender is like, and will be less likely to bully trans children. It is also obviously an extremely important book for trans children to read. Seeing how George overcomes the struggles of being trans, and how her life turns in a positive direction is inspirational, and shows children in a similar situation to George that there is help out there, and they don't have to suffer in silence.

I would recommend this book to both children and adults, as I feel as if everyone would benefit from reading George's story. It is a wonderful story full of hope, friendship, and the importance of being yourself. Alex Gino is a fantastic author, and I am looking forward to seeing what they write in the future!

George is now available to purchase!

  | Amazon Book Depository

1 comment:

  1. Aw I've been meaning to pick this book up for what feels like forever now, but never seem to! I don't know why, because it sounds great. Glad to hear you loved it :D