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Book Review: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

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Joanna Shaw

David, a secondary school pupil wanting to be a girl and Leo, a boy trapped in a mysteriously tough life, meet by chance before certain secrets are revealed and a special friendship begins.

Lovingly written, Williamson expressed the issues of transgender bullying and discrimination within the school environment. Desperately wishing he was able to walk into school wearing a dress and make-up, David relates to those going through a similar experience within society. Struggling with the issues all teenage lives are targeted with, Leo struggles with falling in love for the first time and being victimized by heartless bullies. Additionally, when his classmates discover a secret of his, we witness his past return to haunt him…

The boys’ relationship illustrates the importance of friendship and the fact although we all have our own struggles, we must be there for one another.

Likely to connect with a young adult audience, I feel the book would work well on the English curriculum, enabling trans issues to be discussed more openly in schools and thus, the home environment.

A must-read for both teens and parents; I give it 4 out of 5.

Joanna Shaw is a second year English and Film Student and loves nothing more than a good book. Follow her on twitter @booklifereads and on Goodreads 

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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