2:13 PM, May 26, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The speed with which the transgender agenda is moving may end up making the same-sex marriage debate look slow and deliberative by comparison. And now Scholastic, the children's publisher that specializes in distributing and selling books through schools, is poised to bring the issue to a middle school classroom near you. The medium is George, the story of an eight year old boy named George who desperately wants to be considered a girl.
George is the first effort by author Alex Gino, self-described on Facebook as a "[p]rogressive middle grade novelist, author of GEORGE (fall 2015, Scholastic). Fat queer activist, glitter liberationist, urban gardener, and then some." Gino's bio on Twitter is similar:
Although the book will not be published until August, Scholastic is sending pre-publication copies to teachers for feedback on the novel. The letter accompanying the advance copies of the book reads as follows:
Although the book is targeted at middle-schoolers, George tells the story of a fourth grader named George, a boy who has "always" thought of himself as a girl. He keeps a stash of Seventeen and other girls' magazine hidden in his room, chafes at being called a "boy" or "young man," and is mortified by his own anatomy. A class production of Charlotte's Web brings the issue to a head when George wants to portray the spider Charlotte, a part offered only to the girls in his class.
The author Gino exclusively uses female pronouns to refer to George throughout the story, distracting for an adult but potentially unsettling for the novel's preteen and young teen target audience. The book's back-flap bio of the author takes a different tack, saying of Gino that "George is their first novel," a remarkable grammatically incorrect concession for an educational publisher to make in a children's book.
Although George uses Charlotte's Web as the vehicle to tell this eight year old boy's story, readers may find that the story The Emperor's New Clothes comes to mind as well. Although not everyone immediately accepts George's new gender, many of the cool characters do, and the reader is given the impression that reason will win the day and the others will come around. There is one mention by George's mother about George seeing a therapist to talk about "these things," but the mother says she probably needs someone to talk to about it also. There is no discussion of what other feelings that conflict with biological reality (race, appearance, age) might also be worthy of affirmation.
When asked to comment on the appropriateness of having a self-described "fat queer activist" be the one to address such a difficult, sensitive and controversial subject, a spokesperson for Scholastic initially replied, "Please provide an address and I’d be happy to send a copy of the book so you can make an informed judgment on the content." (A copy of the book had already been obtained for this story.) After a follow up inquiry, Scholastic provided the following statement:
Author Alex Gino has been working on GEORGE for more than twelve years and, during that time, the issue of gender identity has come out of the shadows and is now very much a part of American life. What GEORGE manages to do – with sensitivity and grace – is bring questions of identity to younger audiences in a natural and truthful way and with an age-appropriate storyline. As we have shared the book with educators, parents, and librarians, the resounding refrain has been, “This is the book we’ve been looking for!” These parents and educators have told us that rather than having young readers overhear conversations among adults or in the media, the book helps them to have the conversation directly with children, in a way that is deeply appropriate for their age level. They value the message of GEORGE as one that everyone, child and adult, can benefit from: BE WHO YOU ARE.
The spokesperson did not respond to a question about whether or not Scholastic has published any books with alternative points of view on transgenderism.
10:05 AM, Feb 27, 2015 • By ADAM J. WHITE
Not long ago, Harvard Law School's Charles Ogletree told Politico that Eric Holder "is a race man":
Feb 9, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 21 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Scrapbook is pleased to note that Philip Anschutz, chairman and CEO of The Weekly Standard’s parent company, has just written a book that not only adds some authorial luster to our own ranks but makes a genuine contribution to our understanding of America.
10:42 AM, Oct 22, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Andrew Cuomo's book is a dud. The memoir, released last week, has sold 945 hardcover copies in its first week of sales, Amy Chozick of the New York Times reports.
"Andrew Cuomo's memoir sold 945 hardcovers in first week on shelves, according to BookScan. That's right, guys, 945 copies," writes Chozick on Twitter.
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:35 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on the latest on the airstrikes against ISIS and the efforts to discredit Leon Panetta after he criticized the White House on foreign policy in his new book.
A worthless initiative in Florida.
4:08 PM, Aug 25, 2014 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Florida Polytechnic “University” (it isn’t accredited) is making headlines this week by opening a bookless library. Instead of checking out traditional codex books, students will be forced to read class material on tablets, e-readers, and/or laptops. According to the middle-aged librarians and bureaucrats who run the school, a bookless library will appeal to the youth.
8:53 AM, Aug 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Erica Payne, founder and president of the left-wing Agenda Project, is encouraging people to deface the cover of Paul Ryan's new book, which is hitting shelves today.
"Hi Daniel," Payne writes in an email. "Just a heads up, Paul Ryan's new book comes out today and his publisher is furious! It turns out that they accidentally shipped it with the wrong cover, and they need your help to make things right.
11:50 AM, Aug 3, 2014 • By FRED BARNES
Craig Shirley, a prominent biographer of Ronald Reagan, has accused historian Rick Perlstein of plagiarism in his new book, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. Shirley has cited 45 instances in which he says Perlstein uses information and passages from his 2004 book, Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All, without proper attribution.
11:26 AM, Jul 17, 2014 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Our affable colleague, senior editor Victorino Matus, is famous for his big head, big heart, big appetite—and encyclopedic knowledge of food, drink, the consumption of same, contemporary German politics, and the sociology of his native New Jersey.
10:03 PM, Jun 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton's published, Simon & Schuster, isn't likely to sell enough books to make back her hefty advance.
"Sales of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new memoir, 'Hard Choices,' declined 43.5 percent to 48,000 copies in its second week on the shelves, according to Nielsen BookScan," the Times reports.