Thursday, August 27, 2015

George: A Call to Be Who You Are #bookschangelives

I'm super excited to tell you about a book that came out this week, George. Written by Alex Gino and published by Scholastic Books, George is the story of a 10 year old transgender girl who wants everyone to know and understand that she is, actually, a girl named Melissa. With a beautiful and bold tagline of "BE WHO YOU ARE", the book is the first middle grades fiction book with a transgender main character.

We were fortunate enough to receive an early copy of George, through a friend who is an author (check her out, she even has some great short stories currently free for kindle!). Rebekah was so excited to receive such a special thing, a copy of a book about someone like her, before it was released, and signed to her by the author. How cool!


So Rebekah took the book to read before I had a chance, and she loved it! It was really affirming to read about a character with whom she strongly identified. In her words, these were her thoughts on the book...


George is a good book to explain what it can be like to be transgender. The story was enjoyable. I liked all the details. It was cool to read about someone like me. My favorite part of the book is the play, Charlotte's Web, because George surprised everyone and did what she really wanted to... she got to be herself in the play. Usually in a play you're acting, but it was on stage that she finally got to be herself. I liked that. The trip to the zoo was my other favorite part, because Kelly's uncle didn't even know George was transgender. She could just be herself at the zoo without anyone noticing she was different. She didn't have to worry about anything else. I think it's a good book for other kids to read because most kids don't know about being transgender and it's a fun thing to learn about.
I loved hearing Rebekah's thoughts on the book, and I was excited to read it myself. The book was honest and funny with likable characters. As a parent of a transgender kid, I admit I wince at some of the plot surrounding being bullied or not accepted. I want to pretend that's not out there, but of course, it is. In the end, I felt good that Rebekah was able to read about it, hurt with George, empathize with her story, and then rejoice with Melissa. Rebekah's life won't always be easy. There will be bumps.There will be mean kids and mean adults. George was a great story of being who you are in the face of adversity and surrounding yourself with friends and family who have your back! Like Rebekah, I'm excited there is a book for others to read that gives them a window into the experience of being transgender. The power of seeing yourself represented in literature can not be overstated.

Here are some additional resources about George: