Tuesday, March 15, 2016

George

  You love the book Charlotte's Web, and your class is getting ready to put on a play. You want to play the part of the wise and wonderful spider. You've practiced the lines, and you're ready.  But there's a problem: your name is George and you look like a boy. But you know, deep inside, that you are a girl, and your true name is Melissa.
  George is the first book by author Alex Gino, and it won the Stonewall Award, given to an author who has written a book which deals with LGBT subjects. This book is part of a collection of titles featuring diversity in subjects, authors and illustrators which were winners in the 2016 ALA Youth Media Awards. For young readers, children under the age of puberty, this is a sensitive task. But, Gino explores and opens the subject of being a transgender child in a respectful, gentle manner.
  George has a hard time being boyish. She has a teenage brother who is typically masculine, who gets a big thrill talking about his bathroom experiences, and her best friend is Kelly, a girl with a great closet of clothes and a warm, enthusiastic personality. George's mom is not so sure what to do when George becomes more open about her deepest feelings about who she is.
   Read George if you want to gain authentic insight about the world of transgender kids, even in a fictional setting. It's so beautifully written. For more picture books on boys who want more free expression of gender, try Jacob's New Dress, by Sarah Hoffman, for younger readers ( 5-7 year olds), or another book for early elementary school children, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress(2014), by Christine Baldaccio.

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