George by Alex Gino – book review

George by Alex Gino

George by Alex Gino

Published: August 25th 2015 by Scholastic Press

Length: 240 pages

Where I got it: Library!

Why I got it: I saw it in a book haul on Youtube and the synopsis caught my attention straight away.

Summary from Goodreads:

BE WHO YOU ARE.

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.

I cannot explain fully how important this book is.

George is a story about a very young girl who is dealing with the fact that although everyone is expecting her to be a boy she simply isn’t happy being one. With their year putting on a play of Charlotte, George is determined to play the main role despite what her teacher said. Just from that short description, you can already imagine how courageous our main character is. George is the definition of brave and I can honestly say she is one of the greatest role models any child can have.

The biggest surprise for me when reading this book came at me straight away and that was the pronouns. Going into this book I assumed that George will be referred to as a “he” but that wasn’t what happened at all and it was such a pleasant surprise. I am thrilled to say George’s identity and journey was respected to the fullest. This, along with the simple yet charming writing, Alex Gino presents a really wonderful novel that everybody should read.

Something that really caught my attention with this book is how hyper-sensitive children are about “acting their gender,” especially the boys. We see it throughout the book and although at first I was slightly stunned at how big of a deal this was, when I look back at when I was that young I could definitely spot the similarities. Boys have to be active and sporty and radiate the careless attitude. It’s hard to read this book and not think of how ridiculous it all is. The author definitely highlights this issue with some of the side characters which wows me every time I think about it.

George receives the easiest five star rating I’ve given this year. To think that we are at a point in children’s literature in when LGBT+ issues and topic can be written about without it being deemed “inappropriate” or thought of as “adult only” makes me incredibly happy. After this book I will definitely be picking up anything and everything Alex Gino writes and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

If this book goes on to gain as much success as it deserves, I can only imagine what an impact it would make on people’s opinions and how it could make some kids out there feel a little less alone.

RATING: [5/5]

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Top Ten Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If Taught YA/Children’s Fantasy 101

top-ten-tuesdays

I need everyone to know that I am taking this list very seriously.  Not only do I have the the ten books/ series that are a MUST if you want to be on my YA and Children’s Fantasy 101 course, I also have what we’ll be learning from each book and I’ve also got some wider reading suggestions too. Yupp. I loved making this week’s list.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling 1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

It’s a classic. Honestly, it should be a given by now. Not only is this series super famous and all round amazing, it basically covers the old fashioned style of magic that is used in book while some of the other books on this list would have more modern styles. I’d totally be the teacher that sets Harry Potter trivia for tests.

The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan (Wider reading: Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan)

Now this is a series that gets compared to Harry Potter a lot so by putting it up I can teach my students the never-compare-my-two-favourite-series-and-tell-me-one-is-a-rip-off lesson. Plus, I mean, this series is just so funny AND EDUCATIONAL! Greek mythology tests would also be a thing for this one.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas3. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas is a Queen. Yupp. That’s the first lesson my students would learn along with Harry-Potter-is-life and the one above. From Sarah J. Maas we would learn all about world building and how to rip someone’s heart out with only a few chapters.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead4. The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Wider reading: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead)

These books are just so funny. Plus, this series has a lot of politics and scheming so that would be fun to teach. This world is far more developed than my next choice and I think also has a better mythology background.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer5. The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

We’re not planning on learning anything from the content of this book. We’re learning how the hell it go so popular and how to answer the every standing question: Team Jacob or Team Edward?

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare6 + 7. The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Both of them. There’s no wider reading going on here it is COMPULSORY to read everything Cassandra Clare has every written before you even step into my classroom. From this book, we’ll be learning all about how different species of supernatural begins work together in society and we’re also learning the lesson many forget of NEVER TRUST A FAERIE OMG HOW MANY TIMES DO I NEED TO SAY THIS???

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas8. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This is a bad one to follow that little rant with as this book is bursting with Fae. BUT it’s Sarah J. Maas. Have I mentioned she’s a Queen yet?

A Darker Shade final for Irene9. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E Schwab

You see, I’ve picked this one especially because it has a lot of travelling between different universes that run parallel to each other which none of the other books have. Plus, V.E. Schwab is amazing and everybody should read this book.

Fallen by Lauren Kate10. Fallen series by Lauren Kate

Here’s the thing: I’d really love to put A Daughter of Smoke and Bone in this place. I really would. But I haven’t read it yet. Yikes. So I went with this, somewhat disliked, series by Lauren Kate which I read some years ago but I’m sure I will be re reading since the movie is coming out next year. There’s a lot of “angel” YA books out there so I guess with this choice I’m covering that area.

And that’s it! Make sure to leave a link in the comments to your list and I’ll check them out!

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain – book thoughts

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark TwainThe Prince and the Pauper || Mark Twain || Classic || 240 pages || 3.81 on Goodreads

Two boys: the same age, almost the same face. The one difference: Tom Canty is a child of the London slums; Edward Tudor is heir to the throne. How insubstantial this difference is becomes clear when a chance encounter leads to an exchange of clothing and of roles…

I wasn’t really sure why I picked up this story. I saw it at the library, it looked short and so I took it home. I didn’t know much about it when I picked it up so I dived into the story blind which is something I loved to do every once in a while.

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