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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

George

Meet George, a 10 year old boy who thinks he's a girl. Every year at school, the fifth graders get to put on a school play. This year it is Charlotte's Web and George wants to be Charlotte sooooo badly. During auditions, George reads for Charlotte's spot and the teacher explains that he cannot play a girl in the play. But George doesn't understand because he KNOWS he's a girl. He questions his sexuality. He tries to tell his mother. But for some reason only Kelly can hear him. Kelly lets him dress up like a girl and talk about girly things. Towards the end, Kelly decides he should play Charlotte and they won't tell anyone of the actor switch. It comes as a shock to everyone. A BOY playing CHARLOTTE? That's crazy! But George knows he's a girl, even when the boys at school pick on him and start fights. George knows.

Now, I'd like to put my opinion here. Alex Gino worked on this book for 12 years but only came up with a basic working mind of a 10 year old. At 10 years old, children shouldn't be questioning their sexuality, they shouldn't even know what that is. Growing up with only a sister, one of us always had to play the father when we played house. Girls can play as boys and boys can play as girls, that does not make you a transgender at age 10. Defining our children at such a young age doesn't help or hurt them. As we grow older, we change. Our tastes change. As children we do not know who we are or what we want. 

This is the only input I have to give. I understand many, many people will disagree with me. As I will disagree with many people as well. Do I think this should be a kids fiction book? Absolutely not. Do I think some kids may need a book like this? Absolutely. To each his own. 

UPDATE:
I just want to come back out and edit this.
Since reading George, I've taken several psychology classes and child development classes.
I think that when I first read this I was making conclusions based on my own experiences. But with the knowledge that I have now, I can honestly say I was wrong. We don't give kids enough credit for understanding their own feelings. We can't make them feel a certain way, we can't possible understand things from their mind. They are individuals who know their own thoughts.
That being said, I still don't like the way this book was written. I don't think Alex Gino got the idea out that he was trying to portray. It was an attempt to bring this new culture into the lives of children, which is great but it wasn't executed in a way that makes sense to all readers.

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