Thursday, August 27, 2015

Be Who You Are

I just read a book that needs to be in school libraries everywhere...

GEORGE by Alex Gino.

From the book jacket:

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.

This book is brave and funny and hopeful and heartbreaking. I'm so glad it exists! 

I love the conversations this book will start. In my own house when we were discussing GEORGE, my daughter said, "Cisgenders need to be able to support their transgender friends." Which led to her explaining to me what cisgender means and how I shouldn't stereotype gender roles. It was awesome! Young adults today see gender as a spectrum which allows for a rich diversity in identity.

I loved the clever use of pronouns. The story is told in the third person and 'she', 'her', 'herself'... are used in relation to George.

I loved George's conversation with her older brother, Scott:
Scott put down his fork. "So do you?"
"Do I what?" 
"Think you're a girl?"
"Yes." George was surprised at how easy that question was to answer.
"Weird. But it kinda makes sense. No offense, but you don't make a very good boy."
"I know."
Scott looked at George as if his sibling made sense to him for the first time. George had never been gladder to have an older brother.  

And her mother's comment:
"You're one tough cookie. But the world isn't always good to people who are different. I just don't want you to make your road any harder than it has to be."
"Trying to be a boy is really hard."
Mom blinked a few times, and when she opened her eyes again, a teardrop fell down her cheek.
The final chapter from Charlotte's Web begins chapter 2 of the book and plays a big role in the story. You can read it HERE... be sure to grab a tissue first. 

No comments:

Post a Comment