Book Review of Melissa
The Children’s Book Review
Melissa (Previously Published as George)
Written by Alex Gino
Ages 8+ | 208 Pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (2015) | ISBN: 9781338843415
What to Expect: LGBTQ, Gender Identity, Reality Fiction, and Friendship
If ever there was a novel to encourage you to be who you are, to be true to yourself, this is it. Melissa is an impactful read that captivates.
Follow the journey of George, a young, inspiring, and audacious protagonist, as she embarks on an exhilarating adventure of self-discovery and self-realization. If you were to look at George, you would assume you are looking at a boy. However, George identifies as female and believes this will be a secret they must keep forever. But when their teacher shares the news that the class play will be Charlotte’s Web, George wants to play the role of Charlotte more than anything.
Unfortunately, they are turned down for the role because the teacher believes them to be a boy, and too many girls already want the part. Their best friend Kelly comes to the rescue to help George devise a plan to help them come out to the world, including their own family, as themself—as Melissa. Will Melissa find their moment to shine and be the person they’re meant to be? One thing is for sure; Melissa will inspire courage within you, no matter your life endeavors and the complexity of these endeavors.
In the face of daunting obstacles and incredible challenges, Melissa’s tenacity, inner strength, and determination shine, revealing the true essence of heroism and empowerment. Nonetheless, Melissa’s resilience and self-belief are not the only key players in this beautiful story. Their wise and wonderful friend Kelly provides endless support and encouragement, reminding Melissa to never lose sight of their dreams and aspirations. Ultimately, this heartwarming tale is a tribute to friendship, motivation, and self-acceptance, reaffirming that we must always strive to be the best version of ourselves and embrace our unique individuality.
Wholeheartedly recommended, Melissa leaves readers feeling inspired and empowered to take on anything that comes their way. Join Melissa on their incredible journey and seize the opportunity to “shine bright like the star you were always meant to be.” Their story will warm your heart with its glittering radiance.
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About the Author
Alex Gino is an American children’s book writer. Gino’s debut book, Melissa, was the winner of the 2016 Stonewall Book Award as well as the 2016 Lambda Literary Award in the category of LGBT Children’s/Young Adult. Gino is genderqueer and uses singular they pronouns and the honorific Mx.
What to Read Next if You Love Melissa
- Lily and Dunkin, by Donna Gephart
- Gracefully Grayson, by Ami Polonsky
- 14 Powerful Books and Tips to Smash Gender Stereotypes
- The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, by Dana Alison Levy