George vs Ghost

If your child is in the 6th-grade Saline Summit class, they will have a choice of two books to read on return from spring break on April 1. There are mature topics in both books (shared below) which you should be aware of so you can support your child in this decision and the reading. If neither book is suitable for your child please discuss this with your teacher and the school administration and help them choose a more appropriate book that meets your educational goals. Please pass this along to any parents or groups where this information might prove useful.

George, by Alex GinoSituations and topics within the text (how it is portrayed):
– Pornography (neutral/positively viewed)
– Deleting browser history to hide it from parent (positively viewed)
– Repeated bullying over crying about a book the teacher is reading (negatively viewed, verbal reprimand)
– Revenge on bully (destruction of their property, positively viewed as warranted, no consequences)
– The book uses a literary technique to make the main character’s hate for her body more visceral
– all the male characters save the main character are, at best, neutral, but most have significant apparent flaws. All things male and masculine are associated with bad smells, for instance, and all things female and feminine and associated with good smells. Most of the senses receive similar treatment – via sight, touch, etc
– males are negatively viewed in minor but constant ways.
– Main character is able to create or change situations around them so they can live according to their desires.
– Synopsis from Wikipedia:Melissa (known to all as George), a fourth grader, dreams of playing Charlotte, the female spider, rather than Wilbur, the male pig, in her school’s production of Charlotte’s Web. Melissa auditions for the part by reciting Charlotte’s lines to her teacher, who thinks that Melissa is playing a joke on her. While initially upset, Melissa refuses to participate in the play but volunteers for stage crew. After Melissa comes out as transgender to her best friend Kelly, and in the process becoming known by her preferred name, the two devise a plan for Melissa to play Charlotte during the evening performance of Charlotte’s Web.

Ghost, by Jason ReynoldsSituations and topics within the text (how it’s portrayed):
– Gun violence against the main character and his mother by his father (negatively viewed)
– Bullying about parents and financial difficulties (verbal, negatively viewed, bully punished)
– Drugs (negatively viewed, no use or distribution, but awareness of who has them)
– Revenge on the bully (physical attack, negatively viewed, punished for retaliation)
– Retail theft (negatively viewed, eventually apologizes and resolves theft after being caught)
– The main character undergoes significant personal change and growth.
– Bullying vs good-natured teasing associated with the nature of friendship and opening up to others is explored
– Synopsis from That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?