by Alex Gino (2015) Grades 3 to 8

Author Alex Gino dedicates this book to his readers: “To you, for when you felt different.” It is a heartwarming story about what it’s like to struggle with a feeling of being outside the status quo and yet wanting to be true to oneself. The book will inspire young readers and open their eyes to understanding and promoting acceptance, while celebrating differences in others.

Gino’s simple writing style is perfect for students up to middle-school age. The background setting — the staging of a play at school and the roles students play — is also appropriate. The story highlights diversity and shows how important it is to “Be who you are.”

George is a great resource to have on hand to help facilitate discussions on gender identity, friendship and family dynamics. The story and its characters will leave a lasting impression on readers and prompt them to consider how best they can support others so that they feel accepted and included.

This book may be available at your local library. It can also be purchased from independent children’s bookstores, as well as from Scholastic here and from Chapters here.