This is about George, a young child who is born a boy but knows he is actually a girl. It’s the story of her discovering bravery and confronting her family, her friends, and her own heart to debut in the world exactly the way she was meant to.
I started this book ready to love it—trans-child as a main character by an author who didn’t seem like they were using the trans-community to make a quick buck? Yes, please! Regardless of how ready I was to read about a little girl waiting to be seen, I was still nervous that I was going to be disappointed.
Overall, I really liked this book—it proved to be just a plain ol’ story, which was a huge relief. Sometimes when a book comes out about a hot topic or featuring a character that’s not white/straight/CIS, so on, there tends to be a lot of explaining regarding what it’s like to exist as them. While this book did that, I don’t think it was over-the-top or condescending.
My favorite character in the book (besides Melissa, of course) was her best friend. We all need a Kelly in our life, and her character really helped to settle the tense moments when adults said or did the wrong thing.
And that’s another thing—the reactions of the adults in Melissa’s life felt very real. Not every adult gets it, or can keep up with a trans-child’s needs during their transition. Sometimes they say the wrong thing, even if they have good intentions. In this book, there’s a lot of push back and a lot of confusion. Reading the parts where her teacher said silly things, or the anger and denial of Melissa’s mother awoke a protective fierceness in me. I think that’s an important thing to read and to feel.
And so—if you’re looking for a sweet book about a little girl who want to play Charlotte in her school’s production of Charlotte’s Web, grab this one. I rate it 4/5 stars.
PS: Alex Gino’s website is one of the happiest author sites I’ve seen in a while. Look them up, they’re awesome.