Wednesday, 17 October 2018

George by Alex Gino


  

2015

Secondary, Key Stage 3, ages 10-13, teen   
George thinks as herself as a girl even though she was born a boy. She feels awkward using the boys' toilets. She longs to play the part of Charlotte in  the school production of Charlotte's Web.   

All of her life, however, she has been assigned male gender and she has a penis. She collects pictures of girls in pretty swim wear - not because as a boy she is turned on by this - she is after all only a fourth-grader -  but because as a girl she wants to look like the people in the pictures.

The narrator uses the pronoun “she” right from the beginning but older brother Scott calls George “little bro’”. Her best friend Kelly seems quite accepting of her wanting to take the part of Charlotte but her words “Who cares if you’re not really a girl?” (26) injure George.  Kelly is keen to support her friend’s plans but completely misunderstands the situation. She reminds George that men have traditionally played women in theatre before, especially in Shakespeare’s time.

George has to go through the ordeals of confessing her status to her best friend and to her mother.  Reactions are somewhat hostile at first.

However, the story ends on a high, though she has taken just one small step and must continue to take one step at a time.      

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