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George by Alex Gino

‘Be Who You Are’

This is the resounding message of George, a brilliant novel from Alex Gino, award-winning author of queer and progressive middle grade fiction. Gino is an educating, empowering voice for anyone interested in or involved with the LGBTQIA+ community.

It is a testament to the power of George (and Gino’s voice) that it has graced the top of the ALA’s ‘Most Challenged’ books list for the past two years running.

George has a secret, she is actually Melissa. Although everyone sees a boy, Melissa knows she is a girl. BUT, there seems to be no way for Melissa to share her secret. Everyone, from her family to her teachers to her classmates can’t see Melissa, they only see George. Melissa doesn’t want to hide, but sees no option and receives little support. Her teacher thinks she’s joking when she want to audition for Charlotte in the school production of ‘Charlotte’s Web’, her mother is worried, and prescribes a dinner out for pizza as the cure to get George to feel ‘like a normal kid again’.

The stress and anxiety Melissa endures is panic-inducing to say the least. Yet, with the help of her best friend Kelly, she starts to believe in her ability to show the world who Melissa really Is!

According to the ALA, George is challenged by various parental and special-interest groups with the aim of avoiding ‘controversy’. More than that, and I quote: ‘schools and libraries should not put books in children’s hands that require discussion’. This is real folks, these are the times we live in.

More than ever, now is the time to take responsibility for the education of our children and ourselves. Whatever your comfort level is when it comes to social activism, there must be some movement and response. When there is an active attempt to stifle thought and conversation, especially amongst children, we need to support those voices like Alex Gino (and others!).

READ THIS BOOK, and check out the ALA’s list of past challenged books as well. Now is the time to educate and come together to fight ignorance and hatred. Do it for yourself, do it for the kids!

Review by Joel

$7.99 Scholastic Gold Paperback

Grades 3-7

George is in stock at the bookstore, you can order it online or call us at (505) 988-4226.

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