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4.5 175
by Julie Anne Peters

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Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna


Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam's family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

Editorial Reviews

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.
Publishers Weekly
"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: S—Recommended for senior high school students. 2004, Little, Brown, 256p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Michele Winship
Children's Literature
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 secret—he 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.
—Rihoko Ueno
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.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
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File size:
582 KB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


By Julie Anne Peters

Little, Brown Childrens

Copyright © 2004 Julie Anne Peters
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-73369-5

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 wasn'tlaughing.

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.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

National Book Award Finalist Julie Anne Peters is the critically acclaimed author of Define "Normal," Between Mom and Jo, Far from Xanadu, and Between Mom and Jo.

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Luna 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 175 reviews.
beautifulnightmare More than 1 year ago
"I love her, she's my brother." Luna is a fantastic novel that touched my soul. After reading the story of a boy named Liam whose only wish is to have the body of a girl. I was filled with awe, respect and a unique kind of love for trans-gendered people. Luna is told from Regan's perspective, (Liam's sister) the only person that knows who Liam truly is on the inside. Regan shared her heart shattering experiences with Liam, or should I say Luna? Luna is the name Liam chose for the girl he really is. This book is one of the very few that brought tears to my eyes. I cried for sorrow, for joy, excitement, justice and so much more. It shows the depth, loneliness and depression transsexuals often go through. In a society full of closed minds, unacepting parents and peers, transsexual people are very likely to like a lie! Pretending to be somebody your not, is that living? To me its not. Its no wonder these people live in fear every single day. Even when they want to express themselves to their families, to the world by dressing the way they feel on the inside. A shadow of fear will follow them everywhere they go. A fear of not being accepted, being judged or even being physically and verbally harassed. Bruises will heal but words will leave a scar for life. This novel also got me thinking, what if I had a boy's body when I know Im a girl! How would I cope with that? How would you? People are always saying, "It's the inside that counts" If this is true, then what makes it so hard to accept somebody that's different from us? This book also made me realize a huge difference between gays and transsexuals that many people don't understand. Transsexuals are not attracted to their same sex; it only seems that way because we forget that they are stuck in the body of the opposite sex. They don't choose to be trans, just like we don't choose who our parents are or what our hair color is. On the other hand, gays are attracted to the same sex, and some people are even born being gay; others choose to be gay as a lifestyle but gays and trans have something in common; they both deserve respect, just like you and I. To conclude this, Luna is an intriguing masterpiece about a girl stuck in the body of a boy with a bittersweet ending. Luna leaves you satisfied, but craving for more at the same time. I believe that everybody should read this mind-opening novel.
Ashlee McGinnis More than 1 year ago
i loved almost everything about the book but the constant dramatic smashes to the face and abrupted ending stopped me from truely loving everything. I dont regret buying and reading this book, infact i have recommended it to friends, i just wish there was a sequel or something to give a little more to the story. 3-4 stars all in all.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
LUNA is the first book I've ever read that deals specifically with transgender issues. Although you get a feel for what the book is about by reading the back copy--in effect, that Regan's brother, Liam, is a woman trapped in a man's body--you don't get the full spectrum of what this actually means until you reach the end of chapter one.

"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."

Liam is the type of boy who, even as a small child, wanted to by the Mommy when he and Regan played house. For his ninth birthday, he asked for a Prom Barbie and a bra. Now, as a senior in high school, Liam is consumed with letting out Luna, the name he's taken for his female self. His dad, of course, is adamant that his son will finally play baseball. His mother, lost in a world of uppers and downers, pretends not to notice when her son offers to fix dinner or do the laundry. And Regan, the only one who knows her brother for who he is--a sister named Luna--is losing sleep and a chance for her own life by hiding the secret.

Something has to change, and it finally does when Luna decides to go all the way, to actually become Luna, the woman he knows he is. But what will it mean for his family, especially Regan, who has spent so long loving her brother, protecting his secrets, being a part of his life? It might just be time for Regan to have a childhood of her own, and for Luna to come out of the darkness, out of the shadow of the moon, and into the light.

LUNA is an emotional, heartfelt read that deftly deals with the issue of transgenderism in a way that makes it believable and important. I had never really thought of what it must be like for someone who believes they were born with the wrong body, but after reading LUNA, my heart and support goes out to anyone who has ever suffered with this issue. This is a book not to be missed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished Luna. I spent a couple of weeks reading a chapter at a time. Then, I spent 10 hours reading that last 2/3 of the book! POWERFUL. As a TRANSGENDERED PERSON, I can Relate! Emotional, Personal, Real-life story & Wonderful-Sacrifice of Regan, Sister-Supporting in a world that DONESN'T- UNDERSTAND what's it's like to live in a body that doesn't match your True-Inner-Self! I am a mid-age adult, male body that felt like a girl since 12 and everything I've tried to 'Get-rid-of-it'...it keeps comming up. Why?? Societal-Pressures! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK from teenage- thru Adult! Powerful Loving Story of a Sister that 'Sacrifices-her-life' for her-brother to be 'Herself!' I Honer-her-for-that!!!! Once you start to read, you just CAN'T PUT THE BOOK DOWN!! A~MUST~READ!! It's SOOOOOOO AWESOME, Sensitive & Human!
Juggalocoroni More than 1 year ago
Before I started reading Luna, I was unsure of how I would react to the plot. I had never read about transgenders, but I was opened minded. As I read Luna, I started to become a little attached to her because I felt really bad for her. Liam was shy and embarrassed, but Luna was exotic and bright. They were battling inside one body. Luna was winning, thankfully. This book wasn't the best, but it was an interesting story about a transgender trying to find themself.
Pamela_loves_her_nook More than 1 year ago
This book was so good, I felt a different range of emotions for each character and I just couldn't put it down. It explores Regan's relationship with her brother/sister to her love life (or lack there of) to even how unconnected she is with her own parents. I found myself dabbing at my eyes from time to time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Luna is an amazing novel and a very easy read. It is one of those books you just do not want to put down. I would not recommend this novel for audiences younger than a high school student because I think the book was written for a mature audience. I enjoyed reading Luna because it was about a topic that is very rarely written or talked about, transgender. Before reading this novel, I knew basically nothing about transgender. I think lots of people are uneducated about it. Lots of people confuse transgender with homosexuality, which is a completely different thing. Transgender people are trapped in the wrong body, whereas, homosexuals are happy with the gender they were born with, but they just happen to be attracted to the same sex. I like how Luna is written from the point of view of Regan, the sister of a transgender boy. I like how the novel showed not only the struggles of Liam/Luna, the transgender boy, but also of the struggles that Regan went through being the only one Liam/Luna could go to when he/she needed help. Regan being there for Liam/Luna made Luna feel like she was not alone in this world. Regan saved Luna many times from doing some drastic things, like committing suicide. One struggle that Regan deals with is finding her own identity. She is always concerned about Liam/Luna and his problems, so she does not have a life of her own. Everything she does revolves around Liam/Luna and his/her plans. By the end of the novel, Regan realizes that she needs to start living her own life. I think this book is very inspirational for other transgender people. I feel like it might help them to have the courage to finally become the person they truly are, or at least tell another person about their struggles, so they do not have to go through it alone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Luna written by Julie Ann Peters is a book with a subject that most teen have never read about, transgender. The book focuses around Regan a fifteen year old girl who has a lot on her plate, she has a mean chemistry teacher who holds her up to her genus brother, trying not to act stupid around her oh so cute chemistry partner, her popping pills mom, and her macho man dad. But on top of all this her brother wakes her up almost every night to transform into Luna 'his chosen name' by putting on wigs and women¿s clothing from thrift stores. Since his mother is never home to notice and his dad is always pushing him to be more of a man Luna remains secret only to Regan and Liam. Regan does her best to be supportive even putting her own life on hold to take care of Liam/ Luna. But now Luna is growing restless and is ready to break out. Everyday it becomes harder and harder to keep Luna a secret from the world. And the outing of this secret is enough to wreck both of their lives. Luna is a book best saved for 13-16 year old girls since the subject matter is a little much or too hard to comprehend. The story is told in many flashbacks that give us insights to how Liam was always trying to be a girl, while also telling how their family fell apart. In my opinion is a engrossing read that is new and exciting, many times you take a pause a think about the characters and the decisions they made. The book preaches understanding along with acceptance that many readers will be able to relate to. That is why I give it five out of five stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a teenaged transgendered male to female, I think that Julie Anne Peters did a phenomenal job portraying the struggle of the transgendered teenager. I found myself relating to Luna's character immensely and was so moved that I cried at different times in the story. This book is perfect for anyone who doesn't understand transsexuality and wants to know more about it, or anyone who needs a great book to laugh and cry to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
K. What the email address that your nook account is connected to? You can check by going to settings and going to nook info nd see the email. Then tell it to me but put random spaces so you don't get locked out. Make sure it has at least 4 spaces ~Luna
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was nighttime in pineclan and a cream colored shecat walked to the dirtplace and slipped through the dirtplace tunnel . The queen padded along a stream and sat by a pine tree to rest. She heard a rustle of leaves and saw a black tom with bright green eyes. She gasped with delight as she entwined her tail around his and said, " my love i have something to tell you.." "what is it lillyshine?" Said the tom with a concerned look across his face. Lillyshine's brilliant purplish blue sparkled as she replied " im going to have your kits in a half moon!" The tom's eyes widened in satisfied shock as he mewed "our kits will be beautiful!" The tom's warm gaze didn't last long as he whispered "oh no..." when he saw a band of rogues burst into the clearing. "There you are dragon! We've been looking for you!" Smirked the dusty brown tom with amber in the lead of the group. A small old misty grey shecat with angry blue eyes padded up beside the brown tom and exclaimed "dragon your brain must be made of thistledown if you thought we wouldn't have noticed your little nighttime trips.." " venom! Viper! Leave lillyshine and i alone!" Said dragon as he shielded lillyshine from the intruders. " you can redeem our trust if your mate serves us after she has her kits." Venom sneered. " no! I couldn't do that!" Screeched dragon. " dragon, let me do this for you." Mewed lillyshine quietly. " why!!?" Meowed dragon. "Because... because i love you." Mewed lillyshine with tears streaming down her face. "Looks like this is settled. Lillyshine, you're coming with us." Said venom triumphantly. (Thanks for reading this! If you have any character applications feel free to suggest them!) -obibunkenobi11
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She froze the ground and Kai walked in and sliped
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fight if you must.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*A dark silver tabby with black stripes pads in.* Hello. Can I join your Clan. I hope to help it never fade.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dipped her head and bounded into the night.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The golden eyes blink calmly. "I am Goldthunder. I am the omen which announces evil intentions." The cat steps out of the shadows. "But this time, I warn not of a raid. I warn you of evil within. A certain cat within this Clan wishes to corrupt you all by taking leadership tonight and turning Iceclan into an evil clan. This cat, Blueheart, was conspiring with Ethereal about such matters. Do not allow your Clan to follow in Ethereal's footsteps. Good luck." Goldthunder vanishes once again into the shadows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A small bobcat-like cat approached the camp, her pelt littered with herbs. "Hello," she meowed, dipping her head. "I am Junebug, medicine cat of Thunderclan. I wanted to offer my assistance with your injured." She meowed, her emerald eyes scanning the clearing. Many thoughts rinning through her head, but she refused to let them ashen her mood. ``Junebug
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads out to go hunting." Be back later." He mews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What clan is this?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He pins a golden leaf to the ground.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sorry guys I won't be on for the weekend I have a fever or the flu and I don't feel like moving. So i wont be on much srry)) tell silverclaw i give her make-up lessons when Im better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are dead.