George - Alex Gino, Jamie Clayton

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

George is a book I picked up when I was looking for something to listen to as I was organizing the bookshelf last weekend. I realized my library had an audio copy of this book that had been on my TBR list since it first came out and I quickly snapped it up and downloaded it right away.

George is a poignant middle grade novel about Melissa, a transgender girl who longs to play Charlotte, in her fourth grade class production of Charlotte’s Web. I really loved this book! It was heartbreaking, but I grew to see Melissa as a real child struggling to show her family and the world that she’s a girl, not the boy she’s perceived to be. She is an inspiration and I was so proud of her for standing up for her dreams.

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 was narrated by Sense8's Jamie Clayton. While I haven't watched the show, she did a great job narrating the characters of this book. She added an extra dimension to this middle grade book and I could believe the emotion in her voice. I hope she continues to narrate books because I would love to listen to more from her! I could tell each character apart and its clear she spent time on her performance.

Though the book was clearly written to a younger audience, it teaches an important lesson that we could all learn from: BE WHO YOU ARE. Alex Gino says that they wrote George because “the hole in children’s literature was clear, and they knew how they wanted to fill it,” and I have to say it was a success! This is a book that should be in all school libraries. It is important, relevant, and teaches readers to love and celebrate who you are. I will definitely be reading more from Alex Gino!