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George by Alex Gino



George thinks as herself as a girl even though she was born a boy. She feels awkward using the boys' toilets. She longs to play the part of Charlotte in  the school production of Charlotte's Web.   

All of her life, however, she has been assigned male gender and she has a penis. She collects pictures of girls in pretty swim wear - not because as a boy she is turned on by this - she is after all only a fourth-grader -  but because as a girl she wants to look like the people in the pictures.

The narrator uses the pronoun “she” right from the beginning but older brother Scott calls George “little bro’”. Her best friend Kelly seems quite accepting of her wanting to take the part of Charlotte but her words “Who cares if you’re not really a girl?” (26) injure George.  Kelly is keen to support her friend’s plans but completely misunderstands the situation. She reminds George that men have traditionally played women in theatre before, especially in Shakespeare’s time.

George has to go through the ordeals of confessing her status to her best friend and to her mother.  Reactions are somewhat hostile at first.

However, the story ends on a high, though she has taken just one small step and must continue to take one step at a time.      


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …