From the Publisher
Awards for Luna
National Book Award Finalist
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
A Stonewall Honor Book
A Lambda Literary Award Finalist
A Book Sense Summer Reading Book for Teens
Praise for Luna
*"Groundbreaking, finely tuned realism about a transsexual teen. . . .Peters writes her characters with care and complexity."-Kirkus Reviews, starred review "
A thoughtful novel about a brilliant, determined, transgendered teenager. . . Liam/Luna is an affecting character."-The New York Times
"This novel breaks new ground in YA literature with a sensitive and poignant portrayal of a young man's determination to live his true identity and his family's struggle to accept Luna for who she really is." - School Library Journal
For years, Regan's brother Liam has been nursing a secret. By day, he is Liam, a passably typical boy of his age; at night, he transforms himself into Luna, his true, female self. Regan loves and supports her brother and she keeps his Liam/Luna secret. Things change, though, when Luna decides to emerge from her cocoon. She begins dressing like a girl in public; first at the mall; then at school; then at home. Regan worries that her brother's transgender identity is threatening her own slippery hold on normalcy. This serious, powerful teen novel was a National Book Award finalist for Young People's Literature.
"This novel sensitively portrays the life of a transgender teen through the eyes of a sympathetic younger sister," wrote PW. Ages 15-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
A friend of mine grabbed this book and read the back cover blurb. "Why," he said, "do people write books about teenaged boys trapped in the bodies of girls who wear dresses and makeup and name themselves Luna?" I thought it was a fairly reasonable question. Still, if there's a teenager out there who finds himself in this situation and the book helps him through it, I'm glad the book exists. Besides, it was really enjoyable. I read it in one sitting, and although I do not know anyone who is transgendered, the author gets big points from me for making a risky topic believable, respectful, and appropriate for all ages. VOYA Codes 4Q 3P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Little Brown, 256p., Ages 15 to 18.
Deana Rutherford, Teen Reviewer
Regan has a secret. Frequently in the dark of the night, she is awakened by a stunning figure standing at the foot of her bed, all flash and femininity, twirling in her flowing skirts and scarves. At night, she is Luna, transformed by the shadows into her true self. By day, she is Liam, Regan's brilliant older brother. Trapped by his outward appearance and the expectations of society and especially his father, Liam struggles with the knowledge that he is not who he seems to be, and the only other person who knows is Regan. She struggles with her own conflict, worried that his secret will be revealed and their lives destroyed by everyone who doesn't understand, while at the same time loving him and trying to keep him from destroying himself. In the meantime, Regan tries to carry on with her own life, wanting to pursue a relationship with the new boy Chris, but holding back, because of her secret. As Luna moves closer and closer to coming out, Regan's panic builds. As a foil to her detached, self-medicated mother, Regan is the only person who can mediate Luna's inevitable revelation. Peters' sensitive treatment of the struggles of the transgendered and those who love them allows readers to see another aspect of the difficult adolescent journey toward identity and the influence of societal pressure. Peters writes with great empathy and provides her readers with carefully chosen information about transexuality and the quest to become whole. KLIATT Codes: SRecommended for senior high school students. 2004, Little, Brown, 256p., Ages 15 to 18.
Liam and Regan are brother and sister and they care for and protect one another. In fact, the two are so close that only fifteen-year-old Regan knows Liam's secrethe is trans-gender, meaning he wants to be a girl. Regan's love is unconditional but not everyone else is as accepting, so Liam only dresses in Regan's clothing and takes on the name Luna at night. However, Liam is tired of hiding and wants to come out to his family as Luna ASAP and the novel follows the changing relationship between the two siblings. The story is written in Regan's voice, which is astute on the author's part because it helps draw in readers who may have difficulty relating to Liam's plight. The story deftly portrays the experience of trans-gender teenagers and both Regan and Liam are engaging characters. While those struggling with sexual identity may find this novel particularly resonant, all readers will be able to relate to Liam and Regan's desires for "normalcy" and self-acceptance. 2004, Megan Tingley Books/Little Brown and Company, Ages 13 to 16.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-"Yeah, I loved her. I couldn't help it. She was my brother." Regan has always been there for her transgender brother, Liam, sacrificing her needs for his, but when he announces that he is ready to "transition" into Luna permanently, Regan is not sure she can handle the consequences. She has been his confidant all her life, letting Luna dress in her room, buying underwear for her when Liam couldn't, and giving support. However, when the attractive new guy in chemistry class shows an interest in Regan, she wishes her sibling would just go away and give her a chance to live her own life. Liam realizes that in order for his sister to be free, he, too, must free himself to become the woman who lives inside him. Told from Regan's point of view in the present and in flashback, this novel breaks new ground in YA literature with a sensitive and poignant portrayal of a young man's determination to live his true identity and his family's struggle to accept Luna for who she really is.-Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Groundbreaking, finely tuned realism about a transsexual teen. Sophomore Regan's own life barely exists because of the fierce needs of her 17-year-old brother Liam-who is, in Liam's heart, mind, and soul, a girl named Luna. Regan is Luna's confidant and support, and the only person who knows. Their cold parents refuse to notice hints; peers surmise (incorrectly) that Liam is gay. Regan and Luna's often-painful closeness has prevented Luna's suicide over the years, but middle-of-the-night dresses, wigs, and makeup aren't enough anymore; Liam can't stand to exist at all, and begins the transition publicly to Luna. Peters writes her characters with care and complexity. Regan's clumsy new romance and Luna's coming out to a lifelong friend who's in love with Liam shiver with tenuousness, but find hope. At the end, Luna's off to Seattle to begin the process that will end with sex-reassignment surgery and Regan's ready to focus on herself for a change. The first of its kind-well done and essential for every library serving young adults. (Fiction. YA)
Read an Excerpt
By Julie Anne Peters
Little, Brown Childrens Copyright © 2004 Julie Anne Peters
All right reserved.
Chapter One It was the feel of her presence in my room that woke me - again. I rolled over in bed and squinted at the clock on my nightstand. "What time is it?" My voice slurred. The blurry numbers came into focus. Two thirty-three. "Two thirty-three? Don't you ever sleep?"
She didn't respond.
I scooted my pillow against the headboard to sit up, see what she was doing. "What is that?" I asked.
"Like it?" She shimmied in front of the mirror. The layered fringe on the dress she was wearing swayed in waves. "It's an old flapper dress I found at Goodwill," she said. In her stockinged feet, she performed a little Charleston for me. "It's vintage. Totally retro. Don't you think? I'm wearing this baby to prom."
I snorted. Her eyes met mine in the mirror and sobered me fast. She couldn't be serious.
Examining the length of herself, she hooked her long hair over her ears and wiggled her hips again. She'd chosen the blonde wig tonight. It wasn't her favorite, since she thought it made her look cheap. Like a slut. It did go well with the red dress, though. She caught me looking at her and smiled. "I'm going to run for prom queen, too."
I burst into laughter, then clapped a hand over my mouth to smother the sound. Wouldn't want to wake the parental units upstairs.
She was joking. Wasn't she? "Lia -"
"Luna," she said. "I've taken the name Luna." Her eyes fixed on mine. To gauge my reaction, I guess. Or seek my approval. What did it matter what I thought?
"Why change?" I yawned. "You've always been -"
"Lia's too close. Lia Marie. It's just too close." She crossed my bedroom, blazing a trail through the layer of clothes and other crap on my floor. As she passed under the window, she stopped and pivoted. The moon cast an eerie glow through my basement window. A spotlight. A spray of luminescent beams.
"Luna," she repeated softly, more to herself than me. "Appropriate, wouldn't you say? A girl who can only be seen by moonlight?"
Exhaustion overwhelmed me suddenly. Or my weariness of it all. "Go to bed, Luna." I snuggled down into my comforter and punched my pillow, willing myself back to sleep. It'd take me hours to drift off again, especially if she stayed to do her makeup. And she would.
I studied her through a slit eye. Something was different. A change had come over her. Nothing physical. More a shift in her cosmos - or maybe a crack.
"I can see your bra straps," I told her. "You need to buy a strapless."
"Really?" She twisted her head to peer over her shoulder. "Do you have one?"
"Get real. Even if I did, you're not wearing my underwear."
"It wouldn't fit anyway. I'm at least a C cup."
I blew out a puff of air. "You wish." Rolling over, I muttered, "You're such a freakshow."
Her hair splayed across my pillow, tickling my face. "I know," she murmured in my ear. "But you love me, don't you?" Her lips grazed my cheek.
I swatted her away.
As I heard her slog across the floor toward my desk - where she'd unveiled her makeup caddy in all its glory - a sigh of resignation escaped my lips. Yeah, I loved her. I couldn't help it. She was my brother.
Excerpted from Luna by Julie Anne Peters Copyright © 2004 by Julie Anne Peters. Excerpted by permission.
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