“But Gertie Garza, You’re a Girl! by Melanie Mathis Miller

“But Gertie Garza, You’re a Girl! by Melanie Mathis Miller 683 1024 Reader Views Kids

But Gertie Garza, You’re a Girl!

Melanie Mathis Miller 
Crimson Dragon Publishing (2024)
ISBN: 978-1944644444
Reviewed by Michaela Gordoni for Reader Views (12/2023) 

Little Gertie Gerza likes to play in the mud, catch frogs, and have fun. She’s brave—she even wants to be a lion tamer when she’s older. But some other kids don’t believe that she can be what she wants to be. They tell her, “But Gertie Garza, you’re a girl!” and that she can’t do that. But Gertie has a strong abuela who has never let what others say define who she is or was. Abuela tells Gertie about her adventures around the world, and Gertie realizes she can be just like that too—whatever she wants to be!

This short story is a true gem. It has a great message, good rhyming, humor, and attractive illustrations by Karissa Miller Laffey. Author Melanie Mathis Miller knows exactly who her audience is. Many girls are told that they are different just because they are girls. They are treated differently than boys with little explanation as to why. But who says girls can’t tame lions or climb trees? After all, both girls and boys have a head that thinks, and a body that can run fast, climb on a limb, or snap a whip in a tiger’s pen.

The rhymes are great—they are very catchy and engaging for young children to catch on to. Young girls will feel inspired and encouraged after reading this book. Even readers who are not girls or who are dealing with different issues resulting from being criticized by others can gain insight from seeing Gertie’s attitude. Gertie likes herself and doesn’t let what others say affect who she is. She doesn’t question if she is wrong to think the way she does but knows that she is going to be what she wants to be.

Overall, “But Gertie Garza, You’re a Girl!” is a very cute and funny story. Gertie Garza even reminds me of myself when I was a young girl. Melanie Mathis Miller tackles a persistent societal issue by starting small—with young minds who shouldn’t have to face judgment because of their gender. It’s a great addition to any public or home library.

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