Parent reviews for George

Common Sense says

Fourth-grader George identifies as a girl in tender tale.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 10 reviews
Adult Written byChildren'sBookNook December 1, 2015

Confusing to children

The whole basis of this book is sexuality and sexual identity even though it is written for a middle grade audience. George can cause confusion and raise questions about sexuality that are not age-appropriate for children. While there is no explicit sex, the entire focus of the book is sexuality and adult transgender topics. The main character is 10 years old, and the interest level is listed as 3rd-6th graders. On the back cover it says, “Be who you are.” Genetically and physically George is a boy. Because he is confused about his sexual identity, being a girl is accepted as who George really. Children will be confused about why the feminine pronoun is used for a boy. George's older brother teaches him how to clear the browsing history on his mother's computer (p.104), so he begins searching for hormone therapy and transgender surgery and then clears the browsing history. His brother refers to dirty magazines (p.8) and porn (p.141), with the implication that looking at porn is what boys do. Other text says: “She immersed her body in the warm water and tried not to think about what was between her legs, but there it was, bobbing in front of her.” (p.44) Scott says, “So, like, do you want to”—he made a gesture with two fingers like a pair of scissors—“go all the way?” George squeezed her legs together. “Maybe someday,” she said. (p.141) The author bio says, "George is their first novel." The plural pronoun confused me, so I went to the author's website which states, "I am genderqueer (sic) and use the singular-they (sic) as a gender neutral pronoun." Parents and teachers need to be aware of the content of this book which is not talked about in the reviews. All the reviews are clear about the transgender content of the book, but none of the reviews refer to items listed above.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byrcoughler March 30, 2016

An excellent insight

I am wiring this review to clarify a point in another review. They mention that there is a high level of sexuality in this book because it discusses transgender, this is often erroneously linked to gender identity and are mutually exclusive from each other. A child's (or even adult's) gender identity is not an automatic reference to their preferences sexually speaking. Someone could feel mislabeled gender wise and be completely asexual. This book written by a gender fluid author is a great book that may help a younger child dealing with this exact form of confusion in their lives. It shows that support may not always be there from everyone but you may be surprised by those who do. And touching little tale for sure.
Adult Written bybumpers July 20, 2016

12+ Can be confusing to children

While this book is informative and gives insight to a 10 year old boys journey of a transgender story, there are a few parts of the book that are inappropriate for those under 12. The book does foster individuality and help lead to acceptance of George. Not all children are at the same level developmentally and many are too young at the age of 9 to have a full understanding of the sexuality and the changes of the pronouns at the age of 9. Pg8 talks about a child in the bathroom looking at magazines " I bet you are looking at a magazine in there" " that's my bro growing up and looking at dirty magazines". Pg33 George thinks of kissing a boy, the thought gives her a tingle". Pg48 George had seen an interview on tv about a transgender....... A boy can become a girl and you can take hormones to change your body and get a bunch of surgeries if you have the money. It's called transgendering. You can take androgen blockers to prevent you from from turning man like. Pg104 talks about searching the computer and clearing a web browser so tour parents can't see what you view. Granted, it does state you need your parents permission but the information is put out there for them. Pg117 there is an argument / fight and a character tells him " it looks like someone is starting to grow some balls." Pg128 the mom realizes he's transgender and talks about not wanting him in her closet trying on her clothes. Pg141 Intalking with his brother, " so you think you want to go all the way? His fingers gesturing in a scissor motion. Pg176 Georges mother requests her to go slow with the changes, George decides with an accepting friend to go ahead and dress like a girl to an outing. Pg192 George ( Melissa )uses a girls bathroom for the 1st time.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byj a February 22, 2018

NOT for elementary aged kids

The content and vocabulary contained in this book is not intended for Elementary Aged Students. Contains subject matter not appropriate for younger students. Regardless of being 'correct' ... this is not a good book - nor is it well written.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 6, 10, 12, and 14 year old Written byAurea T. January 30, 2018

Middle school and up

I didn't think the writing in this book was great. I appreciate that there is a book about a transgendered character. However, even though the characters are 4th grade, they act much more like 6-7th graders. My kids wouldn't be discussing sexuality at that age, be going out in public wearing makeup, reading Seventeen magazine, talking about tingling feelings when think of members of the opposite sex, etc. It is a short book written with short sentences, so in that way it is easy to read. However, it also addresses hormone therapy and surgery for transgendered persons which really is a bit much for the middle grades to whom it is marketed. I also felt that it portrayed a sexist "all boys are bullies" attitude. In general, it over simplified a very real and important issue. I'd like to see more books address this well.
Adult Written byCity G. August 13, 2017

Great Message!

I loved this book! I think kids nine and up, will understand the moral of the story and understand all the messages this book sends to us. What parents should know is that George is judged for trying to show who he is and is punched in the stomach a.k.a bullies! George also has a stash of Seventeen magazines that she holds onto because she considers the girls (models) of the magazine her friends. People also thought George was gay but George isn't so sure. George wonders about having a surgery he has heard about that completely turn him physically into a girl. Another thing is sometimes the book references to mild sexual topics. But that is why I caution for kids 10 and up to read this book. Overall, what the book is about is George is technically a boy, but on the inside she feels more like a girl. The fourth grade puts on the production Charlotte's Web, George really wants to play the spider, Charlotte. But she's not sure if he can because everyone sees her as a boy! I'm not going to spoil the rest. The great message is that George starts to follow the path to her true self. Which is the best path to take. George discovers she doesn't need to change for people to accept her, or at least she shouldn't have to. George sees herself as a girl, so she wants people to see her as a girl. There is nothing wrong with how she feels. She is being her true self. That is the best thing she could ever be.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byGeorge B. May 22, 2018

Good for pre teens and up.

As a transgender man, I loved this book, but I also noted that, yes indeed, theres subjects that may not be suitable for kids below the 6th grade. I didn’t become ‘self aware’ until junior high, so I think this book would be great for teens and pre-teens 7th grade and up. Young children wont understand the psychological process of being transgender, it’ll only confuse their outlook on the matter (I say this with all due respect to the LGBT+ community, kids just don’t understand everything yet!). The book itself brings up very valid points that help shine light on the struggles and dysphoria that comes with being transgender. There are some sexual remarks and whatnot, but nothing 14+ teens wont understand. A good book to teach children that are going through a confusing period who and what they are and how they should embrace themselves instead of shutting everyone out.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Sexy stuff
Parent Written byAndrea D. May 3, 2018

Not for elementary Ages

Topics and content not for elementary kids. The content brings up issues most kids have not been exposed to and it gives them only one side to the story. Deleting internet history and discussing porn are not topics children should read about without a parent knowing ahead of time. This book is thinly veiled as appropriate for kids ... but an older audience would be more appropriate.
Parent of a 3, 6, and 9 year old Written byAmanda N. June 8, 2018

I don’t recommend this for any age but especially not for anyone under 18

How completely confusing to aim this at children. I completely disagree with the authors views and it’s Flat out disturbing the things being told to children. Shame on scholastic.
Adult Written byhatred a. June 6, 2018

most uplifting story i have ever read!

this is one of the best books i have ever read! it has the same message as wonder, and is just as good, if not better! It will help children who are reading it understand what it happening to them, and help other children understand their friends. and this book is not just for children, it is a generally uplifting story that will lighten anyone's day. and the reviews that call this book inappropriate because of details that are necessary to this book (like the main character's older brother who is an example of the obstacles that transgender children and adults face) are completely wrong! those reviews should instead be thanking Alex Gino for their wonderful addition to the world of literature!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byCrawh12 April 30, 2018

George helps build compassion and understanding

We listened as a family to the audiobook. The kids took the story for what it was- a child who feels like a girl but was born a boy. They now understand it is possible for people to feel like George does. This helps them not be surprised in the future when they meet people like George and/or discover they have a different gender identity than they were born with.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byWikistick September 23, 2018

Positive message/too much information

I enjoyed the story but felt grade four was too young for the characters, these characters seemed more mature than 9/10 year olds. The message in the book is important for children struggling with their sexual identity and sharing it allows everyone to understand their feelings. I think I would be more inclined to incourage my children to read this book if the operation and hormone injections had been left out. I understand these points are important but I did not feel at this age level they were necessary.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Sexy stuff