The Book Reviews – Website

December 19, 2010

Luna

Luna by Julie Anne Peters: Book Cover

Luna

 

Author: Julie Anne Peters

 

Page Length: 248

 

Reading Level: 6

 

Genre: Fiction         

PLOT SUMMARY: Regan awakens to the sounds of Luna, her sister/brother, carousing through her room—applying make-up and trying on clothes.  Liam, Regan’s older brother by day, is a transsexual (a girl in a boy’s body).  However, this is a secret between the two siblings.  By day, Liam, a handsome, academic genius, is one of the most sought after boys at school.  By night, he addresses himself and has Regan also refer to him as “Luna”, as he steps into his female role.

As Regan struggles to cover for Liam’s/Luna’s strange behaviors and lack of desire to compete on the school’s baseball team, she also struggles through her classes at school that Liam often causes her to miss.  Besides having a girl for a brother, Regan’s parents are also dysfunctional.  Her dad lost his manager’s job at Sears and has had to take a menial job at Home Depot.  Her mother is a wedding planner, who pops pills throughout the day.

Regan tries to have a normal life at school, and becomes interested in Chris, who is her chemistry partner.  However, when Liam decides he is going to “come out” and have a sex change, Regan can concentrate only on Liam’s actions, and how his parent’s and his long-time friend, Aly, will react to Liam’s decision.

Throughout the book, Regan has flashbacks trying to figure out exactly when she knew Liam was a girl in a boy’s body.  She finally realizes that she knew a long time before he actually admitted it to her.  When Liam finally appears in make-up and girl’s clothing to his parent’s, Regan realizes that her mother has always known about Liam and did not do anything to help him. Regan also learns that Chris knows about Liam, and has no problem with accepting Liam as he is. 

After years of fighting Liam in his decision to “come out” and have a sex change, Regan learns that he will be happier and, better still, so will she as Liam lives his life as “Luna”. 

REVIEW: The subject of transsexuals in a high school book is a bit edgy and controversial.  However, this book was written from Regan’s point of view and is realistically presented in how a sibling may deal with this situation. 

This book could be used in a study of diversity and tolerance. Julie Anne Peter’s approaches controversial subjects in the way that young adults perceive them, which makes her books appropriate to read.

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: transsexuality is the theme of the book, there is also some mild profanity

AREAS OF TEACHING: Character, Compare/Contrast, Point of View and Theme

RELATED BOOKS: Define “Normal”, Keeping You a Secret, Far from Xanadu, and Between Mom and Jo

MOVIE CONNECTIONS: The Bond (2007, documentary), Just Call Me Kade (2001, documentary)

RELATED WEBSITES:

www.frameline.org/youthinmotion/guides/gender_curriculum_guide.pdf

www.julieannepeter.com/files/index.htm

REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

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