Friday, December 18, 2015

Book Review: George by Alex Gino

Title: George
Author: Alex Gino
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 240
Format: E-book
Published: August, 2015
Price: $10.99 -> Rp152.926 (Amazon)
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Date started: December 16, 2015 - Date finished: December 17, 2015


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.
George was born a boy, but deep down inside she knows that she's destined to be a girl. From early on even though on the outside she's a boy and has boy parts, George always associated himself as a "she". In his room, she kept a stack of magazines that she keeps hidden from her mother and her brother, Scott. Those magazines are a part of George's identity as a girl.

In school, her teacher said that kids in her grade will be performing a play, turns out the play that they'll be performing is Charlotte's Web. The story of Charlotte and Wilbur is a story close to George's heart and she totally wants to play Charlotte. George enlists the help of her best friend Kelly to practice the lines of Charlotte before auditions start. At first, George is hesitant about auditioning for Charlotte's part since she's a boy and all but her friend Kelly supported her to the fullest.

When the time of the audition comes, George auditioned for the part of Charlotte, she knows every word that Charlotte should say in the play but when she finished auditioning her teacher taught of George's performance as some kind of a joke because since she's technically a boy she can't play Charlotte in the school's play. Since the teacher promised beforehand that everyone would get a part in the school play she offered George other parts but she turned them down because she really only wanted to play Charlotte. In the end George chose to be one of the stage crews in charge of Charlotte's web. She thought that if she couldn't be Charlotte she'll at least be Charlotte's support.

Kelly actually got the part of Charlotte. Seeing how her best friend really wanted to play Charlotte they both hatched a plan to make sure that George can be Charlotte on stage and so that everyone can see just how "special" George really is.
“My point is, it takes a special person to cry over a book. It shows compassion as well as imagination.” 
I first heard of this book from Raeleen Lemay, one of many book-tubers I subscribe to. When she explained about this book it immediately intrigued me because of its premise. It's a combination of a coming of age story with LGBT element but it is packaged as a middle-grade book, which means it is targeted for younger readers. For myself it is very unheard of but upon finishing this book I realized how important this book is and how every kid in the middle-grade age range should read it.

There's a lot to like about this book but I think you'll really like the characters in this book. Of course I like George, our main protagonist but I also really like Kelly, the best friend. Kelly, for an elementary-school student is really open-minded. She's one of the first few people who accepted and embraced George as she is. I think the fact that she's so open-minded is because of her father. George on the other hand you can't help but to like she's just plain lovable.
She’s always going on about how we’re not supposed to let people’s expectations limit our choices.
She looked in the mirror and gasped. Melissa gasped back at her. For a long time, she stood there, just blinking. George smiled, and Melissa smiled too.
Another thing to praise about this book is the author's writing capabilities. Yes, at first I was a little bit confused because George is a boy but the writing kept referring to George using the words "she" and "her", but as I kept going the story flows really well and I wasn't confused anymore.

You might be wondering why I didn't give this book a 5-star rating considering I only gave praises in my review. Truth be told I cut down a star because of its ending, perhaps it's just me and others actually liked this book but I feel like when I read the last page that it wasn't an ending at all. For me, the story just kind of cuts-off all of a sudden and I feel like the author could've done a better job.

Either way, I did enjoy this book tremendously and would really like everyone to read this book because it delivers such an important message to people of all ages in understanding people.

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