66 pages 2 hours read

Alex Gino


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2015

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  • Genre: Fiction; middle-grade realistic; LGBTQ+ literature
  • Originally Published: 2015
  • Reading Level/Interest: Grades 3-7
  • Structure/Length: 12 chapters; approximately 224 pages; approximately 2 hours, 57 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: George is a story about a fourth-grade student, born as a boy, who knows she's a girl. The central conflict involves George's struggle to express her identity, particularly her desire to play Charlotte in her school's production of Charlotte's Web, which the school insists is a role for girls only.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: LGBTQ+ themes; bullying and social exclusion

Alex Gino, Author

  • Bio: Born 1973; American author who writes children's literature; identifies as genderqueer and uses singular they pronouns; a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and representation; passionate about fighting for gender equality and diversity in literature; frequently speaks on these subjects at conferences and in interviews
  • Other Works: You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! (2018); Rick (2020)
  • Awards: Stonewall Book Award (2016); Lambda Literary Award (2016)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Secrecy and Shame
  • Natural Versus Normal
  • Coming Out in an Ambivalent World

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the social contexts that transgender people face, which the main character experiences throughout the novel.