Book - 2015 | First edition
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"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"-- provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2015
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780545812573
Call Number: j GINO 2015
Characteristics: 195 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

(Gr 4-6) George knows she's a girl, but everyone else sees her as a boy. When her class play comes up (Charlotte's Web), George sees it as an opportunity to let everyone know who she really is. Will her plan work?

George knows she's a girl, but everyone else sees her as a boy. When her class play comes up, George sees it as an opportunity to let everyone know who she really is. Will her plan work?

Winner for LGBT children's/young adult.

From the critics

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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.

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Jan 06, 2021

blue_cheetah_13266 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Oct 24, 2020

kaitlynnesbitt thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Oct 01, 2019

indigo_tiger_145 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

Jul 18, 2018

jen_mcK thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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danicapenno thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 6 and 99

Apr 11, 2017

ssaradd thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Mar 12, 2017

stepha89 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

cheeky_bob Mar 08, 2017

cheeky_bob thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

green_alligator_9902 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

TSCPL_NatalieM Aug 19, 2016

TSCPL_NatalieM thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


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cheeky_bob Mar 08, 2017

George is a transgender child with a sweet heart, meaningful soul and a boys body. All George wants is to play the part of Charlotte in the school play of CHARLOTTE'S WEB. But one thing is stoping her everyone thinks she is a boy. Her best friend is a kind hearted girl named Kelly, who helps George to fulfill her dream and let everyone know who she really is. I think you should really read this book. It has meaning and a strong message behind it. :) By Cheeky Bob:)


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waywardangel Nov 09, 2015

A sensitive insightful portrayal of a transgender child coming to terms with gender identity.


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