George

George reminded me of Wonder in the best way possible – a book about acceptance, especially of difference, about not just tolerance but love and understanding, about learning to embrace and not apologise for your own deviance from the norm.

Sweet, charming, funny, but also heart-breaking, sob-inducing – you feel for George as she yearns to be the Melissa she feels she is inside. The use of a text like Charlotte’s Web is really smart; it’s a story almost everyone is familiar with, through whatever format they’ve encountered it, and it grounds the whole concept of wanting to be a girl although culture and biology insist that you’re a boy.

Simply written, it gets across concepts that may be unfamiliar to 8-12 year-olds in a way they can grasp and sympathise with. I love this so hard – George is the middle-grade book on transgender questions that we didn’t know we needed.