George

George - Alex Gino

George is a girl, but everyone thinks she's a boy. She thinks this is a secret she'll have to hide forever, but when her class plans to do Charlotte's Web as their play, she really wants the role of Charlotte. Unfortunately, her teacher won't let her try out for the part because she's a boy. So George must find a way to show everyone that she's a girl if she wants to be able to play the part.

 

This story is just ridiculously cute. That's not to say it's always happy because it certainly isn't, but George (or Melissa as she prefers) is a fun kid to follow. She's got a great best friend, Kelly, and I loved all their scenes together and how supportive Kelly was of Melissa. Them being silly kids was fun.

 

Of course, the book could be heartbreaking at times with how lonely and scared Melissa feels having to hide who she really is from everyone. And there are a few bullies at her school, which doesn't help her situation. Luckily, the book doesn't let the heartbreaking moments take over the story and turn it into a tragedy.

 

George skews toward the younger end of middle grade, making it a quick read, but I think it's important that books like this exist, particularly for younger kids. There aren't many books with transgender leads, especially for kids, so it's always great to see one.