In part one of this article, we examined how authors are importing challenging topics into our children’s picture books.
But, chapter books for young audiences present an even greater challenge. It takes more time to review them. Michael’s 4th-grade daughter brought home a “Scholastic Gold” chapter book entitled George from her school library. Scholastic reserves their “gold” designation for books that have received, “extensive praise.”
The cover looked innocent enough. The designer centered the title “GEORGE,” in all primary colors with a child’s face peeking out from inside the letter “O,” a cute touch, for kids. But once the book was cracked open, Michael discovered that this was no ordinary chapter book. This was Michael’s book review.
“This is age-inappropriate to the point of being straight-up creepy. I know that since it’s about a transgender person, everyone on the liberal side feels compelled to say how great it is, but come on … porn references, talking about chopping off genitals, kids trying on each other’s underwear … even if you want to support transgender people surely at some point there must be a line where you acknowledge the sexual topics are just too adult for a third grader!”
George is a well-written story about a boy named George who believes that he is a girl and eventually takes the name Melissa. From page one author Alex Gino, who also struggles with gender identity issues, describes George in the story as “she.” As Michael’s review suggests, the heartwarming story is filled with all sorts of mature themes and an unbiblical view of gender. Here are a few examples from George to show you what parents have discovered their grade school children reading:
The book describes George taking a bath, describing his genitals. “She immersed her body in the warm water and tried not to think about what was between her legs, but there it was, bobbing in front of her.”
After finding out George believes he is a girl, George’s older teenage brother Scott asks him if he is going to get gender reassignment surgery. “So, like, do you want to”–he made a gesture with two fingers like a pair of scissors–“go all the way?” George squeezed her legs together. “Maybe someday,” she said.
Melissa (George) shares that he is a girl with Kelly, who invites Melissa over to try on girl clothes. “Melissa took off her own underwear, stepped into Kelly’s, and pulled it up under her skirt. Other than the coolness of the fabric on her skin, she could barely tell she was wearing anything at all.”
The book is also full of instruction on how a child can pursue a gender transition. For example, Kelly gave George this advice. “Did you know you can take hormones, so that your body, you know, doesn’t go all manlike?”
Parents don’t expect publishers to use a chapter book, designed for children as young as third grade as a means to introduce Gender Dysphoria, gender transition hormone therapy, pornography use, and more. George pushes children who may be confused about their gender toward transition, rather than counseling. The book doesn’t mention that the vast majority of children, who struggle with gender identity issues, go on to accept their biological gender.
Unbelievably, George has received at least six literary awards and declared Book of the Year by three different organizations. The author shares amazement at the book’s success saying, “To learn that children and whole classes are reading Melissa’s story is astonishing. To know that it’s being translated into eleven languages is mind-blowing.”
 Gino, Alex. George. Scholastic Press 2015. Pg 44.
 Ibid. Pg. 141
 Ibid. Pg. 187
 Ibid. From the books FAQ.