Full Title: Luna: A Novel
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2004)
Number of Pages: 248
How long it took me to read: 2 days
Where I bought this book: I bought this book at Bowling Green State University’s campus bookstore.
Like a Moth to a Flame
Luna was brought to my attention as an assignment for a class. Usually, I am not a huge fan of books that are assigned to me. However, once I started reading Luna, I could not put it down. It is full of descriptions and story lines that opened my eyes to a world that is not familiar to me.
I propose that the top 5 quotes from this book are:
5. “The whole gender role expectation thing was too confusing to me. Why couldn’t people just be accepted for who they were?” (p.51)
4. “Her smile warmed the room. She loved hearing that, that she could pass. Most girls spend hours and hours working on themselves so they’ll be striking, eye-catching, desirable. Liam would give everything to live one day as a plain, ordinary girl.” (p.54)
3. “Her medicine cabinet was crammed with uppers and downers and equalizers and mood stabilizers. I think she was going through the change—mental pause. I just wish she’d lock up all her pills.” (p.11)
2. “But I watched him pretty close. I think he’d gotten to a new place, a better place. Having the freedom to dress in my room had cured him—I thought.” (p.68)
…and my pick for the No.1 quote is…
1. “Luna lowered her head and spoke directly to me, only to me, when she added, ‘Don’t you know, you’re the girl I always wanted to be.’” (p.246)
Conversation with the Reader
While I read, I write, and as I write, I read. Here’s some of what I wrote while I read this book:
“Liam and Regan have a different type of bond than most brothers and sisters. Most siblings share toys, gadgets, and maybe a car. But Liam and Regan share clothes, make-up, and wigs. Regan is able to support her older brother and be the person that he needs the most. She can support him in ways that most other people cannot. Regan is an example of a sister that goes above and beyond the expectations of any sister. Regan has unconditional love for her brother Liam, and she is able to convey that as a child. Regan teaches us a valuable story about the importance of love and support. We often forget to show the ones we love the most just how much we love them. The bond between Regan and Liam stuck with me because they show each other how much they support each other. Liam is able to make his transformation to Luna because of the support from Regan.”
“On page 17, Regan rehashes a story of when she and Liam were younger. She says, “I already have a sister.” Regan is aware that her brother is trapped in the wrong body when she is very young. She is accepting of her brother wanting to be a girl, and although the entire process is hard on Regan, she is still Luna’s number one supporter. This point in the story resonated strongly with me because Regan is so young when she is able to identify that Liam is stuck in the wrong body. Getting to know someone is important because people are connected in all sorts of ways. While Liam/Luna are brother and sister/sisters, it is still important to get to know other people. When you are connected to someone, it is easier to support and understand them. Regan is able to connect to Liam/Luna because she has taken time to get to really know him/her.”
“Regan begins to think about expectations of friends when she says, “I had lots of friends when I was little, in preschool. First grade. Second. Before friendship got complicated. Before it came with expectations.” (p.47) This passage is important because all of Regan’s friends act a certain way. In addition, they expect Liam to act a certain way. Why do people place expectations on others? Expecting a person to act a certain way because of the way you see them on the outside is unfair. Regan’s ability to recognize the expectations people place on her and Liam is important because it shows that Regan is capable of understanding the way people react to her and Liam. Regan also seems like the type of girl who is able to cast aside expectations and judgments when she is with other people.
“I am a future high school English teacher and I think that being able to cast aside judgments and expectations will be an important factor to being a successful teacher. Luna taught me several different things that I wish to bring into my classroom, the most important being that it is necessary to come from a place of understanding. I have never been exposed to a transgendered person, and I do not know much about the subject. However, after reading Luna I feel that I can better understand students or people who are faced with any issues of being different, whether it is about sexual orientation, race, hair color, or gender. While Luna is about the transition of a transgendered adolescent, it teaches us that dealing with anything that peers feel is not “normal” is not an easy process. It is imperative that parents, teachers, and adults are able to understand the hardships of being different, and more than just understand, but encourage children and adolescents to be different.”