An excellent young adult novel is an excellent novel. I am late coming to read this one (after all, it has been nominated for a number of awards since it’s appearance in 2006), but boy am I glad I found it.
Luna, by Julie Ann Peters, is the nuanced story of a trans girl, and her family. The author brilliantly tells the story from the point of the view of Liam/Luna’s younger sister, Regan, as she comes into her own. I loved how the story unfolded, changing my perception in particular of the parents as the story went along. The importance of friends and family in a trans person’s youthful experience is of course huge.
We see Luna through Regan’s eyes. Trans knowledgeable readers will treasure each new understand she comes to, and the less knowledgeable have the opportunity to learn in a very natural manner.
One of the situations that most struck home for me was an episode where Luna describes how her sister puts her ‘boy drag’ school pictures up on the wall, and takes pot shots at them. I had a true shiver of recognition at that. I loathed having my picture taken in my youth. I never looked right. This kid is a bit more direct in disgust.
I was a bit afraid of this novel early on. It puts the darkness of hiding and being trans right out there. I was afraid of Bad Things. But Luna constructs herself and her life with daring, so the reader (trans or not) needn’t be afraid. Go for it!
Not long after reading this, I heard of the YA novel I Am J. I have it on request at the library. Coincidentally, I just read a wonderful article by the author. I can’t wait to read the book!