The Daily Geekette had a huge presence at this year’s Book Expo America and Book Con. When all was said and done, we did end up picking up a few of the same books, but there was one book almost all of us picked up and read, and that’s George.
George, penned by Alex Gino, tells the story of a 4th grade girl “who the world sees as a boy named George.” Her grade is putting on a play of Charlotte’s Web, and Melissa (her preferred name) believes that if she can play Charlotte on the stage, it will help everyone see her as a girl.
I, personally, felt very strongly about George, and would love to share my thoughts with all our wonderful readers.
I loved this book, but as a new teacher, I am so mad at it. There are two small instances where Melissa’s older brother mentions “girly mags” and porn. What that means is that if I put this book in my classroom and a student with conservative parents takes it home, I am in trouble. However, that did not stop me from giving an extra copy to my school librarian to add to my school’s collection. She has tenure.
I have no doubt this book will be banned as soon as it starts showing up in bookstores, and I am so glad. I think everyone needs to read this book, and banning it is awesome advertisement. George is a wonderful way to discuss gender with children, and adults alike. I think it took me an hour to read from cover to cover, so there is no excuse to not read this book. Gino’s writing is relevant to the age group they are aiming at, and the dialogue between Melissa and her classmates is spot on. It was also incredibly easy to love Melissa, and I hope that helps reluctant readers latch on to the ideas being presented.
I would love it if Gino wrote a sequel, although one isn’t necessary. There are so many questions I wish I had answers to about where Melissa’s story goes. This book will inspire some beautiful fan fiction.
The Daily Geekette would also like to make everyone aware of a blog post Alex Gino put up. In it, they offer some suggestions for talking about George, that could benefit everyone.