Melissa by Alex Gino

Melissa by Alex Gino
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA, Middle Grade, Contemporary, LGBTQ
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea


When people look at Melissa, they think they see a boy named George. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

Melissa 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. Melissa 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, Melissa comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

You have to be who you are, no matter what.

I loved this story. I did. I loved reading about Melissa coming into her own and finding who she was always meant to be. The writing was authentic and empathetic, too. I read this in one day and recommend it strongly.

Melissa was born George but she’s never felt like a boy. She feels like a girl. This is her story of coming into her own and being the girl she was always meant to be. This book won’t be for everyone, but it would definitely help a young person understand that the feelings they have—wanting to wear a dress or be a tomboy—isn’t bad. This is a young person’s story. It’s told like a young person would tell it. There are moments where things are awkward, where there’s acceptance and where Melissa shines. I loved the portrayal of Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web. That was the best.

If you’re looking for a book that explains how a young person sees themselves and how one young person born one way can feel another, then this is the book for you. I recommend it highly.

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