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.