Lisa Williamson

REVIEW: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

the art of being normalFourteen-year-old David Piper has always been an outsider. The school bully thinks he’s a freak and his parents think he’s gay. Only David’s two best friends know the truth – David wants to be a girl. When Leo Denton starts his new school, he wants to be invisible but attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven doesn’t really help matters. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, things start to get out of hand as an unlikely friendship forms, because nothing stays secret for long at Eden Park School.

While celebrities who are coming out as transgender have become more common over the past few years and transgender issues are getting covered by the media, it is still something very rarely talked about in young adult literature. The Art of Being Normal shines a light on what it’s like being a young person struggling with their identity and being transgender.

When he was eight and was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, David said he wanted to be a girl. Since then he struggled with who he is, is envious of his younger sister and doesn’t know how to talk to his parents. It’s tough being a teenager anyway but when you’re a teenager in the wrong body life is even more difficult for David.