Gino (2016 at the international literature festival berlin)
|George, You Don’t Know Everything Jilly P!|
Alex Gino is an American children's book writer. Gino's debut book, George, 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 was born and raised in Staten Island, New York, but over the years has lived in such locations as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Brooklyn, New York; Astoria, Queens; Northampton, Massachusetts; and Oakland, California. As of April 2016, however, Gino lives in their RV as they drive around the country.
Gino is known best for their debut novel George, a middle grade novel featuring a young transgender girl, which they first began work on in 2003. The working title of the novel was Girl George (a reference to Boy George), though when the book was bought by Scholastic, this was changed to the present title to broaden readership. Gino has expressed some regrets about deadnaming their character with this title, and mentions that if they had the opportunity to do it over, they would have chosen a different title.
With regards to requests for a sequel to George, Gino expressly states that "[they] will NOT be writing a transition story for a largely cis audience more interested in trans bodies than trans people."
Gino's website mentions, additionally, that aside from promoting George, they are also working on another middle grade novel, this time "about best friends, baby sisters, first crushes, Deafness and the Black Lives Matter movement."
Gino's works, especially George, have been criticized for their transgender themes; Peter Sprigg, of the Family Research Council—deemed an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center—claims that the books will confuse "normal children" who are in the process of establishing their identity as male or female. In defense of the book, Scholastic argued that George simply encourages kids to be who they are.
Awards and honors
Gino has been nominated for multiple awards for their novel, and has won several such as:
- 2016 Stonewall Book Award: Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children's Literature Award
- 2016 Children's Choice Book Award: Debut Author
- 2016 California Book Awards: Juvenile (Gold)
- 2016 Lambda Literary Award: LGBT Children's/Young Adult
- 2016 American Library Association: Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016
- ALAnews. (January 12, 2016) "2016 Stonewall Book Awards Announced."
- Federle, Tim (September 11, 2015). "'George,' by Alex Gino". The New York Times.
- Alter, Alexandra (June 6, 2015). "Transgender Children's Books Fill a Void and Break a Taboo". The New York Times.
- "The 2016 Lambda Literary Award Winners". Lambda Literary Foundation.
- Hansen, John (September 9, 2015). "Alex Gino: 'I knew I was different as a kid'". Guardian US (interview).
- Gino, Alex. "About Alex".
- Alex Gino [@lxgino] (3 April 2016). "OK, today's the day I get everything else done so I can hit the road for my new RV lifestyle in the morning. From here, it looks manageable" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Gino, Alex. "GEORGE".
- Gino, Alex (August 19, 2015). "How To Talk About GEORGE".
- Alex Gino [@lxgino] (April 10, 2016). "Re GEORGE sequel: They will NOT be writing a transition story for a largely cis audience more interested in trans bodies than trans people" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Christian groups slam transgender book 'George,' saying it will only confuse kids | Christian News on Christian Today". www.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 2017-06-12.
- "CBC Past Winners". Archived from the original on 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
- "California Book Awards". Commonwealth Club of California.
- "Top Ten Challenged Books: Resources & Graphics". Banned & Challenged Books. American Library Association. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
- Tobias, Suzanne Perez (November 2, 2017). "Author: Libraries need more transgender books". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 13 March 2018.