“George stopped. It was such a short, little question, but she couldn’t make her mouth form the sounds. Mom, what if I’m a girl?“
“George” is as simple and ground-breaking as the question at its heart. Alex Gino has created a quiet, heart-felt, middle-grade novel about an elementary school student who was born outwardly male but who has – maybe always – believed that they were a girl. As George faces classroom cruelty, she walks a dangerous tightrope teetering between fear of exposure and a desire to stop hiding. Though this is a story about hurt and hiding, it is also a novel of hope – hope that we all can be ourselves and be embraced by those we love and even by those who fear and hate.
This story is elegantly simple. The fear, pain, worry, and heartache of George are tangible and poignant. Written from the perspective of a fourth grader struggling so intimately and eloquently with gender identity, “George” is perhaps the ultimate ‘exemplar’, the unfortunately necessary tool in the arsenal for advocates who seek to humanize the struggle for rights. This shining little star reminds the hetero-normative, gender-biased world out there that people are people, difference is beautiful, and love is love.