The Art of Being Normal

Written by Lisa Williamson

David Piper has always been an outsider. Aside from his two best friends, he doesn’t really fit in anywhere at school and is often bullied. While most people think David is gay, he has a secret that not even his parents know – he wants to be a girl.
The students at David’s school are abuzz about a mysterious new student named Leo. Leo doesn’t seem to want the attention. When David sees him sitting alone at lunch, he gets up the courage to ask Leo to join him and his friends at their lunch table. Leo declines the invitation, but steps in in a few days later to help David when he is bullied in the lunchroom. The two form a unique friendship and their connection only grows deeper as secrets start to unfold.
David’s and Leo’s characters are richly developed and win over your heart. Though this story focuses on transgender youth, the struggle to be and become one’s true self is something anyone can relate to. I recommend it to anyone struggling with or who would like to better understand gender issues, or anyone who wants to enjoy a powerful and moving story.

Review by Jennifer Peirce, Kearns High School Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 9-12

The Art of Being Normal
Written by Lisa Williamson
Farrar Straus Giroux
344 pages
Release Date: May 31, 2016
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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