Have you heard about George by Alex Gino? There’s quite a bit of buzz about this new middle-grade book and a wide range of perspectives on it. We’d like to share ours here.
Alex Gino has been working on George for 12+ years. During that time, the issue of gender identity has come out of the shadows and is now very much a part of American life. What George manages to do – with sensitivity and grace – is bring questions of identity to younger audiences in a natural and truthful way and with an age-appropriate storyline.
As we have shared the book with educators, parents, and librarians, the resounding refrain has been, “This is the book we’ve been looking for!” These parents and educators have told us that, rather than having young readers overhear conversations among adults or in the media, the book helps them to have the conversation directly with children, in a way that is deeply appropriate for their age level. They value the message of George as one that everyone, child and adult, can benefit from: be who you are.
Scholastic has always recognized that not every book is for every young person, and we encouraged families to take an active interest in their children’s reading choices. We want you – parents, families, educators—to help in the selection process so that a child will not select a book that is contrary to her or his family or community values.
We care deeply about our young readers and are proud to distribute and publish many award-winning, librarian-approved children’s books and educational materials. Part of our mission to “Open a World of Possible” to all children is fulfilled by making available a wide array of titles for children and their parents to choose from.
George has received multiple starred reviews, including from Kirkus (they called it "warm, funny, and inspiring") and Publishers Weekly ("profound, moving, and...radiant"), and many positive reviews from readers on Goodreads.com. Here’s a sampling:
- "This book is funny and heartbreaking and hopeful. It made me laugh and cry and cheer, all within about twenty pages. But more than any of that, it is a book that is going to save kids' lives. Truly." --Goodreads reviewer Kate
- "George is a sweet and unassuming story about a kid who just wants to be accepted and known openly for who they are. It shows the strength of true friendship, and the importance of loving yourself no matter what other people think of you." --Goodreads reviewer Leah
- "This book made me wonder how I personally, as an educator, could help a student similar to George!" --Goodreads reviewer Megan
- "This book will help many young people feel less isolated and more empowered. I believe it will create safer schools and safer places for children to explore their own gender." --Goodreads reviewer Krista
We always appreciate reader comments, and we sincerely value hearing many points of view on the books we publish. Thank you.