Book Review #136 – George, by Alex Gino

Hey everyone!

Here is my review forย George, by Alex Gino.

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Synopsis:

BE WHO YOU ARE.

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.

 

Pros:

  • so beautiful and pure
  • will leave your heart full
  • actually uses the word transgender!!!
  • great books for young readers

 

Cons:

  • based too much on gender stereotypes
  • doesn’t necessarily incentive but it doesn’t really condemn the use of violence as a defence against bullying either

 

Verdict:

Oh god, I loved this book so so much! It was recommended to me a lot but it was so loved I had my reservations, specially considering the topic. But I’m so glad I picked it up because it was an amazing read. I got the audiobook from the library and it was narrated by Jamie Clayton (from Sense8), which made it even more special. I wasn’t expecting this book to be as freaking cute as it was. George was just lovely a character. She’s so pure and innocent, I just wanted to hug her the whole time. I found her emotions really genuine, it cleansed my heart of all cynicism. She was definitely the highlight of the book for me. The plot was efficient and sufficient for the purpose of this book, even if I wished just a tiny bit of more depth to the story. But I understand its simplicity, considering the target audience for this novel. Even if I did enjoy it as much as I did, as the high goes off, there’s a few things I have to admit I didn’t enjoy quite as much. Mainly, I had some problems with the gender stereotypes that this book is pretty much set. George is sensitive and likes skirts and make up. At one point, even a character referes to her by saying she didn’t really make a good boy. What does that even mean? Just because she didn’t like the typical boy things, that made her a girl? It bothered me a bit and I’m not sure that’s a 100% good message to share with kids. But I really, really dislike gender norms so whatever. Another meh thing is the use of violence as aย defend from bullying. George gets in a fight with a boy and, it’s not like the adults encourage her to continue with that kind of action, but there’s no real consequence to her actions, either. I don’t really agree with using violence against violence. I don’t think it’s a good thing to pass to kids, since it’s not constructive advice for the person or even the world. What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that this book is really beautiful and definitely a very important read but it’s not a perfect book by any means. You should pick it up yourself, if you’re cisgender or not, and maybe even get it for your friends and family!

Have any of you read this one? Thoughts? Please share.

Thank you so much for reading and see you soon,

Cat.

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