Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, November 1, 2015

George by Alex Gino...

How I Heard About It:  This was a book that I heard a lot about on Twitter before it was released.  Not only did the title grab my attention, but the cover was also quite intriguing.  I was curious to read it and see what all the "talk" was about.  

What It Is About:  George is in elementary school and is struggling with who he is.  He actually knows he isn't a he, but a she.  It is a huge secret and he isn't sure what to do with it.  George knows he wants to keep it from his mother and older brother.  He also isn't sure he can tell his best friend Kelly.  Life at school is tough because he isn't like the other boys.  George knows he is a girl, but doesn't know how to tell people.  When the class is going to perform the play "Charlotte's Web", George thinks this may be his chance to be his real self.  He tries out for the part of Charlotte, but the teachers don't give him the part because he is a boy.  Kelly actually gets the part which is difficult for George.  After George finally confides his secret to Kelly, they come up with a plan for George to finally be his true self.  Of course this plan has a huge impact on the school, the classmates, his mother and brother, and the friendship between George and Kelly.  

What I Thought Of It:  I completely enjoy this story.  It was beautifully written and a thoughtful story.  With so much press about "transgender" issues right now, this is a timely story.  The story was told in such gentle good taste that many young readers would be able to understand this subject at their level.  There were times when I thought the characters took the "news" quite easy and I'm not sure this would be the case in real life.  I could feel George's conflict and pain and wanted the best for him throughout the whole story.  George's story will stay with me for a long time to come.

Who Should Read It:  It surprises me that the novel is targeted for children in grades three-seven and ages eight-twelve.  Even though the subject was handled with care, the topic is one for mature readers.  There are many issues and ideas that are brought up in the story, that I'm not sure an elementary age reader could handle them on their own.  In my opinion, this would be a great story to be shared at home between a young reader and their parent.  That way the content could be discussed and understood.  Readers that are in grades six, seven, and eight and be able to handle the reading and content on their own.  Adult readers should definitely read this book because it is powerful and so well written.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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