Book - 2015 | First edition
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Nov 19, 2020

Ten-year-old George loves the book, Charlotte’s Web, so when her class puts on a stage production, she is desperate to play the role of Charlotte. The only problem is that everyone sees George as a boy but George knows in her heart that she’s really a girl. The teacher refuses to cast a boy in the role and George is heartbroken. But George’s best friend Kelly has an idea….

Oh my goodness. I inhaled this book in just a few hours and it left me with so much joy for George, I was almost in tears.

George is afraid to tell anyone that she’s really a girl. What will they think? But as she slowly starts to share her secret, she finds so much love and acceptance. The road isn’t perfectly smooth—that would be too unrealistic. People who know her need some time to accept the idea, which feels fair. But watching George become the person she knows she is? It’s a priceless gift to watch her transformation and journey to self-acceptance.

I loved so many of the other characters for their reactions but I feel that I have to mention two in particular. Kelly is amazing! We all need a cheerleader like Kelly in our lives. Like everyone else, she needs some time to readjust her thinking when George shares her secret. But once Kelly gets through the adjustment period, she is all in. She gives George the courage to be who she knows she really is. She encourages George in ways that mean so much to her. Kelly is a rock star and the very definition of true friendship.

I also need to mention George’s principal. She has a miniscule role in the book but it’s an important one. She has a rainbow flag in her office along with a sign that says, “Support safe spaces for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth.” When she starts to suspect that there might be something a bit different about George, she hugs her and makes a point of saying, “My door is always open.” She’s not asking questions, she’s not judging, she’s accepting and making sure that a young person in her charge has a place to feel safe and a shoulder to lean on. What a difference a figure like that can make in a young person’s life!

George herself is a sweet kid who is trying so hard to fit in but she just can’t. She cries in Charlotte’s Web. She tries to avoid the school bullies, even though she can’t help being on their radar. She loves her family and Kelly and she’s so afraid of losing them if they know she’s really a girl. The stress and the inner conflict are starting to get her down. My heart broke for her inward struggles. But by the end, George was shining and I was so proud of her for having the strength to be her authentic self and to share that self with those fortunate enough to know and love her just as she is.

I highly, highly recommend this. It’s a feel-good story and it’s an easy introduction to transgender topics for readers both young and old. It’s sure to spur questions and discussions, which can only lead to a better understanding and empathy. And don’t we need all the empathy we can get in this world?

Aug 04, 2020

This about was about a boy named George who was trapped in boys body. With the help of George’s best friend, George came out as transgender.

May 16, 2020

Really liked this book even though from the title I did not expect what the story ended up being . Sweet story and certainly gives perspective on how the person trapped in the wrong gender body feels and thinks . Would recommend this book .

Mar 28, 2020

George may have the body of a boy, but inside she knows that she is a girl. After her fourth-grade class finishes reading Charlotte’s Web, they prepare to stage a theatrical production of the story, and George wants more than anything to be cast as Charlotte. But she is not allowed to even try out for the part because it’s a girl’s role. So George and her friend Kelly make a plan to not only let her play the role, but to help her begin to be who she truly is.

George is a powerful and important story for the drastically underserved group of transgender children. I was very impressed with not only Gino’s ability to bring the experience of a transgender child to life, but also their ability to capture what it’s like to be ten. The way the characters talk and think, the things that are important to them, and their style of humor brought me right back to my own fourth-grade classroom, more than anything else I’ve ever read. Gino’s characters are real people. This make’s the main character’s journey of coming out all the more personal and poignant, so much so that I as a cisgender adult could easily relate to George’s struggles and experience.

IndyPL_MollieB Mar 15, 2020

George wants to play the role of Charlotte in the school play, but her best friend Kelly earns the role. George's teacher stresses there are too many girls who want to play the role, and it wouldn't be fair to cast George in it.

At home, George refers to herself as Melissa, but not out loud. She cherishes her lip balm in the winter months, and "finds" her mom's supply during the springtime.

How can George tell everyone who she really is without being bullied?

This book is a must read for anyone! Adult readers may know youth who are struggling to come out as their true selves. Young readers may not know how to come out to their friends and family. Although this book is not a guide, it does provide the guidance that trans youth are not alone.


Jan 26, 2020

Alex Gino has added to the literature for young people. This story of George, as the inside cover states, “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.”
Alex Gino has created an accessible and authentic story about a fourth grader. It is contemporary and important, plus it is a good story.

Oct 01, 2019

This is an excellent book. I was hesitant because I know this book has been heavily challenged. I found out it is a powerful book that is much needed, and very well done. It is straightforward but thoughtful, and gives valuable and beautiful insight into the main character's mind. Critics say it is a problem because it talks about genitals; in my opinion this is handled very appropriate as the most it says is "what's between her legs," not even any actual anatomical words. It does not treat gender identity as a whimsical choice; it reinforces how deeply and completely the main character feels her identity, and I appreciate that it does bring up that talking to a professional is an important step. Critics also say they're appalled that the characters "go behind the adults' backs;" in my opinion, this is not a problematic description. First of all, if you think kids will never go behind your back, you're fooling yourself. Secondly, the way the kids do this is in a supportive way (best friend supporting the main character in taking a leap of faith to act as a female character in a play), and they do acknowledge that it could be potentially problematic and disrupt the other actors, and some adults get upset about it, so it's still realistic. I wouldn't have any problem having my fourth grade kid read this book. If you're afraid your fourth grader is going to learn something new by hearing "what's between someone's legs," or be easily suggested that they pick a new gender, or do something against an adult's wishes, then you have way bigger problems than your kid reading this book. I agree it's a good idea to read it yourself, partially because it's actually dang good and most importantly to foster dialogue. But it's not something you need to protect your child against.

DBRL_ReginaF Aug 31, 2019

I was a little apprehensive to read this one. I'm just so overwhelmed with trauma these days that I didn't want to read about anyone being bullied or not accepted for who they are. I'm glad I read it. It's such a sweet story. Thanks to the Read Harder Challenge for pushing me toward this lovely book.

Aug 19, 2019

Bless you MultCoLibrary for providing this book for all to read!
If a reader (especially child/teen) is not gender non-conforming, chances are they will meet such a person and this book gives a bit of insight into what goes on inside an 'invisible' person.
There are so many people around us who are invisible in one way or another and wish they didn't have to be, wishing to be safe being themselves.

Jul 08, 2019

This is a really good book for kids, and it's fun to read this book.

Jun 23, 2019

This book could be added to list of mindfulness books for children. A great mindfulness discussion item: what happens to you when your inner world is not reflected back to you by your outer world? What happens to George in this book? The author's treatment of George's predicament is filled with love and respect.

Jan 24, 2019


This book deserves more than 5 stars because the main character, George, was determined, strong, and amazingly persistent. I absolutely love that her friend, Kelly supported George through telling people he was a girl. I would highly recommend this book.
P.S I am a 10 year old and this is my 2nd favorite book!!

Nov 01, 2018

A very sweet book from a young person who knows who they are and must let everyone else know. George shows resolve, fortitude, and bravery in being herself and helping her family accept her. This is a great read for introducing young people to transgender issues. It is a gentle start. I think books are a great way for kids to learn complex things.

Cute, concise, and completely crucial. Since "trans panic" is the fear du jour, this book (pearl-clutchingly written BY a trans woman) made the American Library Association's 2017 top 10 challenged book list just for teaching kids about the evils of acceptance. Please check it out, pass it on, and help spread some good in this world through junior fiction. Also, check out the audiobook version, Jamie Clayton is so good!

Sep 26, 2018

Recommended reading for Banned Books Week! Although a lot of people have tried to ban this book, I hope that readers will approach it with an open mind and see if they can learn something from it. The ten-year-old protagonist George faces some tough problems related to gender dysphoria--perhaps some problems that you never thought of before. However, as you probably guessed from the bright, colorful cover, it is ultimately an upbeat book, and George achieves some important victories in it. Author Alex Gino does a good job showing how important it is to be true to yourself, which is a valuable lesson for anyone to learn.

Apr 29, 2018

George is about a 10-year-old that was born in a boy's body but identifies as a girl. George is a story that brings some understanding and a realization that a transgender identity comes at an early age. How does he share with his Mom and older brother that he doesn't see himself as a boy? Will his best friend, Kelly, accept him? Can he play Charlotte in the school play, a part usually given to a girl?

Apr 17, 2018

For parents who are more conservative, this book is not one you want your 8-10 year old reading....especially without a dialogue with you as they read it. Parents should read this before they give it the thumbs up for their child.

DPLsheila Mar 29, 2018

George is an amazing story about finding yourself and being brave enough to hope others will except you.

Mar 26, 2018

Beautiful book, just beautiful.

JCLEmmaF Oct 06, 2017

what an incredibly lovely, important book. george is a sweet, honest, and genuinely good book about a young trans girl. it's interesting, smart, engaging, and well written. so in love.

SPL_Liz Aug 25, 2017

This is a great book about a transgender girl in the fourth grade. I enjoyed reading George's thoughts as she navigates coming out to her best friend and family. The author, Alex Gino is able to make difficult topics like gender dysphoria, micro-aggressions, bullying, and bathrooms easily understood. George's best friend Kelly not only encourages her but creates space for her to be herself and succeed in the things she loves. George's triumphs make this an uplifting book that celebrates diversity and friendship. A gem of a story!

Jun 27, 2017

This was an amazing book about being who you are and accepting people as they are. It has a great message and a good plot. George only wants to audition for Charlotte for the class play, but since she is a so-called "boy", she is not allowed. I think everybody should be aware that people can be who they are, and you shouldn't judge them. This was a great book!

May 30, 2017

So I know I'm about 800,000 years late on this book- I've been busy okay? But oh my god everyone I know needs to get up and read this--seriously. The book is kind of brutal, in a good way--at some point, after I had thrown it down for the 8th time to cry, I went "this is really a book about the ways that parents bully their children about gender and don't realize it at all." As a non-binary trans person, the way that people around Melissa insist things about her gender was very, very painful, but the end was so satisfying and wonderful. Bless this book--I'm so, so grateful it exists, and I want every person I know to read it.

Mar 12, 2017

This book was a delight to read. All Melissa wants is to be accepted for who she is, which I think is a theme that will be pretty universal for the upper elementary/middle school crowd. The only difference between her and her peers is that she's trans, which I think was presented in a very age-appropriate way: everyone thinks she's a boy because she looks like one, but she's actually a girl. I really can't recommend George highly enough.

Mar 09, 2017

Inspiring and meaningful. Definitely worth reading! :) Cheeky Bob's Reading Tips ! My motto is if you don't like/get a book at first read 20 pages and then decide if you want to continue:) BY CHEEKY BOB:) (If you would like to read my comment I have put it in with the summrays)📝

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