Scholastic, the publisher, explains on their website:
“When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.
George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.”
This is the first book for Alex Gino, who identifies as genderqueer and uses they/them/their pronouns.
“I wrote it because it was the book I wanted to read,” they told The New York Times. “I wanted trans voices telling trans stories.”
The book is aimed for grades 3-7 and through scholastic and more than 50,000 copies will be printed.
“Fifty thousand is pretty amazing for a debut author writing a middle grade book that isn’t part of a series,” David Levithan, editorial director for Scholastic, told NPR. “No wizards, no Greek myths, no action adventure. It’s just one girl’s story.”
The visibility of transgender people has grown exponentially in the last year, with transgender celebrities like Laverne Cox, Janet Mock and Caitlyn Jenner making headlines and speaking out about the realities of living openly as transgender. Transgender youth like HRC Foundation Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings are showing the power of living authentically at any age.
For those people whose gender identity or innate sense of their own gender doesn’t match with that assigned to them at birth, unravelling and expressing it can be complex and difficult. HRC’s Transgender Visibility Guide was designed to help you and your loved ones through that process in realistic and practical terms.
HRC Foundation’s ground breaking guide, Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools, is written for administrators, teachers, parents, and other adults who work with youth, and covers topics ranging from basic concepts of gender and the importance of affirming gender identity, to best practices for restroom access and working with unsupportive parents. Read the report in full here.
For more books about gender stereotyping, family and bullying, click here.