Melissa by Alex Gino

Available At: Chinook Trail (MS), Encompass Heights

Categories: LGBTQ+, Sexual

Description: “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.

YA Label?: No

Notes: Lauded for its portrayal of a transgender child.

Violations (Miller Test [MT] & Colorado Obscenity Test [CD])

The above scale indicates whether, in our view, the referenced book violates established and upheld Federal (Miller Test) and State (Colorado Obscenity Test) standards. Books that violate ALL established standards will have a table printed in red. Under Colorado Law, willful distribution of such material is deemed a Class 6 penalty carrying a fine and/or up to 18 months in prison.


Page 16: “That’s my little bro! Growing up and looking at dirty magazines.”

Page 23: “George hated the boys’ bathroom. It was the worst room in the school. She hated the smell of pee and bleach, and she hated the blue tiles on the wall to remind you where you were, as if the urinals didn’t make it obvious enough. The whole room was about being a boy, and when boys were in there, they liked to talk about what was between their legs.”

Page 49: “While Mom made dinner, George headed upstairs to take a bath. She took off her shirt while the tub filled, waiting until the last possible moment to take off her pants and underwear. She immersed her body in the warm water and tried not to think about what was between her legs, but there it was, bobbing in front of her.”

Page 63: “Don’t be. My dad says that men performing in non-traditional gender roles is good for feminism. He says it’s important, as an artist, to be in touch with his feminine side.”

Page 123: ”If she squinted at the mirror, she almost looked like a girl. For now, anyway. Today her skin was smooth, but someday testosterone would grow a terrible beard all over her face.”