Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Luna

Little, Brown 2006. 250 pages
First published: 2004
ISBN: 9780316011273 (paperback)
9780316039895 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, conflict, dialogue, language conventions, point of view

Awards

National Book Award Finalist – 2004
Stonewall Honor Book – 2005

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Super smart 17-Year-old Liam was born in the wrong body; he secretly renames himself Luna and only dresses as his true self at night. His sister Regan takes on the burden of his pain at not being able to live as Luna and helps him hide his transsexual identity from their parents and friends. Regan struggles as the main confidante and witness to her brother’s suffering, while coming to terms with her own first romance and fears of being judged.

This nuanced and deeply felt work of realism is told in the first person, from Regan’s point of view. Readers are let in on her own conflicted feelings: wanting to love and support her brother as Luna, terrified of the consequences when people realize who Liam really is. “Like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, I thought. An exquisite, delicate creature, unfolding her wings and flying away. Except in Luna’s case, the butterfly is forced to rein in her wings and reinsert herself in her cocoon every day. Every single day, she has to become this shell of a person.”

Characterizations are deeply drawn and the text is highly readable and accessible, while navigating deep emotions with incredible sensitivity and poignancy. Regan’s voice is strong and funny, filled with sarcasm and teenage affliction. Flashbacks serve to balance out the story, adding insight into the reality of living a dual existence and trying to appear “normal.”

  •  

    The narrative is told from the point of view of a secondary character and uses flashbacks to childhood to construct the evolution of Liam/Luna and to explain issues of gender. The narrative offers a starting point for reflection and discussions around issues of gender and identity.

  •  

    In small groups, discuss the way Liam/Luna is characterized. How is Liam constructed as a character? Luna?

  •  

    Consider how adolescents are portrayed in this and other realistic LGBTQ texts. Using an inquiry approach in a small group, formulate a research question, plan the inquiry and delve into the representations of teens in these texts. Share your findings with peers.

  •  

    Listen to the italicized passage about the birthday memory on pages 12-14. Jot down predictions about possible conflicts and note information you have gleaned about the family dynamics. Share with a partner, then discuss as a group.

  •  

    Observe the author’s choice of font and writing style. Notice that in the italicized texts, the author separates words at the end of sentences without using hyphens. Explain how these choices impact your reading and understanding.

  •  

    The author makes frequent cultural references to songs, musicals, movies, television shows and games. Create a cultural timeline of Luna’s journey and explain the significance of the references. Use your timeline in small group discussions about whether Luna’s journey might be representative of others in the LGBTQ community.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development