Meet Alex Gino

Wednesday, November 11th (Veteran's Day) 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reading, Q and A, Booksigning with Alex Gino.

BE WHO YOU ARE! Meet Alex Gino, the author of the newly published middle-grade (ages 8-12) novel GEORGE -- one of the most talked-about works of children's fiction this year: 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.

Tim Federle of the New York Times says, "George may be the most right-now book imaginable. How do you talk to children about Caitlyn Jenner? Give them “George” (and watch “I Am Cait” together). Also, trust that when you tell a contemporary child that some people are born into a body they don’t identify with, most will blink, say, “O.K., cool,” and ask what’s for dinner."

While children can have a sense of their gender identity as early as the age of three, children's literature is shockingly bereft of trans* protagonists, especially where middle grade literature is concerned. George offers more than the novelty of an LGBTQ coming-out story, however. Here, what is most remarkable is the use of pronouns: While the world interacts with George as if she is a boy, the narrator only refers to her with female pronouns, which gives her girl-ness a stronger sense of validation. In addition, George comments on the fact that, in past years, gays and lesbians have achieved a certain amount of visibility and acceptance, while the trans* community is still largely ignored and misunderstood. George's mother remarks that while she can handle having a gay child, she simply can't accept her as "that kind of gay." For George, as is the case for many LGBTQ youth, coming out is a process that she must repeat until she is properly recognized. There is pain in George, but not without the promise of a better tomorrow, even if tomorrow doesn't arrive as soon as it should. VERDICT A required purchase for any collection that serves a middle grade population.—Ingrid Abrams, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

* "A coda to the Charlotte's Web story, in which George presents herself as a girl for the first time, is deeply moving in its simplicity and joy. Warm, funny, and inspiring." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Profound, moving, and—as Charlotte would say—radiant, this book will stay with anyone lucky enough to find it." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review