George by Alex Gino

  
Title: George
Author: Alex Gino
Genre: Middle grade fiction
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

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.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This is a must-read book for everyone.

It was quick and easy, but holds a powerful message.

George was born a boy, but knows she’s really a girl at such a young age. She doesn’t know how to tell people and tries to let people know by playing Charlotte in the school’s play, Charlotte’s Web.

One could learn a lot about acceptance from this book. When George’s mother finds out, she’s in denial. She’s shocked. She thinks that because George is so young, she doesn’t know what she wants.

Meanwhile, George’s best friend Kelly, accepts George for who she is. It shows the innocence of young minds, which I think is very important. If young children can see past differences in each other, adults should as well.

It was a happy ending for George, one that made me tear up a bit. We don’t exactly know what happens to George after the story, but we have a good guess.

George by Alex Gino gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“My point is, it takes a special person to cry over a book. It shows compassion as well as imagination.” –Alex Gino, George

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George And Me

In yesterday’s post, I discussed how every author puts a little bit of themselves (or something from their life) into their novels. For me, there are numerous things I throw into my novels that are inspired by true things in life. I won’t spill all my secrets, so for now I’ll just explain my good friend George Florence.

20150115_170826George, my protagonist, is a 30-year-old laid-off detective trying to make a place for himself in the world while doing what he loves: helping people and fighting crime.

Being a police officer was something I wanted to do when I was very young. Even when I knew I wanted to be a teacher and writer, I still had a spot in my mind that wanted to be a cop. I wanted to be a teacher since I was six-years-old because of my first grade teacher. I wanted to be a writer since I was ten-years-old because of Kris. Where did this cop thing come from? I have no idea.

When I was little I was always fascinated with that sort of thing. I remember I had a spy kit with handcuffs, a decoder, a notepad, and–the best part–rear-view sunglasses. I was always trying to solve “mysteries” around the house. One time, Kris and I eavesdropped on my mom’s phone call because we were looking for “evidence” in our case, “Mom’s Cooking: Real or Take-Out?” I can’t remember how old we were, but I wish I did.

However despite my fascination, I never pursued it for a plethora of reasons. I’m tiny and have no upper body strength, I can’t stand loud noises, I’m squeamish, and I’m not good under pressure. I just don’t think it wouldn’t have worked out. Of course you never know until you try, but I think when I discovered teaching/writing, my heart changed its mind.

I have written a few novels. Most of them are fantasy-ish with the main characters having super powers. A couple of them are cliche high school drama stories. Each one of those manuscripts (five of them total) are still on the first draft. I congratulate myself for completing a novel, but editing them is just not something I have the motivation to do.

20150115_170900Then I created George. He was a silly character started in a yellow notebook a few years ago at Barnes and Noble when I didn’t know what else to write.

I say he was a “silly” character because that’s entirely what he was. He was originally a detective who did well at his job, but had no common sense whatsoever. He was comical. I didn’t expect to go anywhere with it, but I liked the story. I wrote 32 notebook pages before I stopped and moved onto something else.

Who knew that years later George would rise to the surface and be who he is today?

Unlike my other novels, I completed a first draft easily and then had the urge to edit it right away. I want to continue his story. I want to write more books about him. I want to publish them all. Needless to say, I think I have found my genre for writing.

Funny how it turned out to be a secret passion of mine.

It’s also funny because George was inspired by Phoenix Wright, a character from the Ace Attorney video game series. I played those games and wanted to write my own mysteries and decided to revive George as my main man.

Of course… now that I write this post I realize that George wasn’t originally based off of Phoenix Wright. He was based off of me.

Detective Florence (Book One)

Male Protagonist Character Profile…

Detective George Florence is the male protagonist for my novel Detective Florence. This is his character profile for the first installment of the series.

Detective Florence is a 30-year-old man holding a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. He started off working at the police department from the bottom of the pile and worked his way up to becoming a detective. It was a few years after him tirelessly working case after case that he was laid off from the precinct due to budget cuts from the economy. Now he is running his own freelance private detective agency.

George has a large family consisting of six siblings, a mother, and a father. Each one of his siblings, except one, is in the criminal justice field. He maintains a good relationship with his siblings, although he may not always keep in touch with them. It’s currently unknown about what his parents do for a living or what their personalities are like.

When George worked at the police department, his partner was the late Detective Joseph Williams. Detective Williams trained George in becoming a detective and because the two of them worked so well together, they became partners. Years after Detective Williams passed away, George made an unexpected ally with his daughter, Lilah Williams.

Lilah Williams, a college student majoring in English, becomes George’s new partner at his freelance detective agency. Even though she has no criminal justice background, her writing is great advertisement for the agency and she gives George his first case. She’s great at taking notes while interrogating suspects and has a great mind for figuring out puzzles. Yet, George still sees her as a bit of a nuisance and an annoying “little sister.”

Now that George is running his own detective business, a few of the officers on the police force begin to dislike him. One of them being his former partner who did not get laid off, Detective Xavier Barron. Not only are George and Detective Barron not friends anymore, but they are now rivals. Detective Barron seems to feel threatened by George and uses each case as a new competition to be better than George.

In his first novel, George finds himself starting off small with a simple robbery case in which turns to a murder. Soon he wonders if he got in way over his head, but with the help from his ally and the pressure from his rival, he is in a race to solve the case before the police department does.

In other news, George does not understand how to work modern technology such as computers and cell phones. He also despises caffeinated beverages such as coffee.