(5 / 5) – It Completes Me!
A story which begins and ends with Charlotte’s Web, but like most tales, it is the middle that counts.
Alex Gino, in their middle grade book Melissa, offers the story of a young girl named George who finds her way through the challenges of middle school, bullies, parents, teachers and best friends to find a deep well of self-acceptance, knowledge and understanding.
Melissa is a sweet story of a young trans girl that offers a narrative not often seen in middle grade books. Gino’s telling of Melissa allows for the complications of relationship as a young person discovers their queerness that doesn’t revolve around outright rejection. It was wonderful to read a story that allowed for a community to slowly but realistically rally around Melissa as she came into her own. The various characters around her, though they had their own journeys, kept Melissa in the center offering tenderness throughout the story.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone and particularly for anyone struggling to find themselves. The coming of age and self-discovery shared in this novel is universal and written beautifully for a younger audience. An absolute treat of a book.