Review: The Art of Being Normal, by Roberta at Copthall School

The Art of Being NormalA journey exploring transgender and bullying for what you are or want to be. This is shown from two points of view, David and Leo. Leo transferred to Eden Park School due to bullying and meets David after saving him from utter humiliation. Davis helps Leo all the time and Leo returns the favour by tutoring David for Maths. Also David offers to accompany Leo in an adventure to find his biological father. But things don’t go according to Leo’s plan.

One of the most interesting characters in Alicia Baker because we get an insight into her feelings and what she truly feels. The most exciting part of the story for me was when Leo and Alicia have their ‘ten minutes in heaven’ because the way Lisa Williamson wrote that scene seemed like she was very ‘chilled’.

Overall my opinion of the book is that it was written in an unusual way because she touched the topic of transgender and bullying in such a way that keeps you engaged and you fly through the book quickly.




Review: The Art of Being Normal, by Krish at Queen Elizabeth’s School

The Art of Being NormalThe Art of Being Normal is mainly about two people, David Piper and Leo Denton, who are different to everyone else and have two secrets of their own. It has an interesting storyline: one wants to be a transgender, but at the same time the other is a transgender.

A few years back in the story, David wrote that he wanted to be a girl when he grew up and ever since then problems have arisen for him – especially problems with the school bully, Harry Beaumont, only making matters worse for David. He had only two friends whom he could trust, Essie and Felix, but soon an unexpected friendship between him and Leo formed when Leo joined David’s school and stood up for him in a fight, someone whom David also began to confide in later on.

It makes me feel for the transgender people out there, because David and Leo were being bullied just because they were different to everyone else, when there was nothing they could really do about their current situation. This book is undoubtedly one of my favourites, as it made me feel very sorry for all transgender people who are treated like David and Leo were during the story, being bullied by people who didn’t understand the depth of their situation. I would say it is aimed for teenagers aged 13-15 years old, and I think it would appeal to teenagers who are having transgender issues or people interested in knowing how these ‘abnormal’ (however unfortunate) people cope with being made fun of about something that isn’t their fault, something that they could not easily change for the better.


Review: The Art of Being Normal, by Leanne at Copthall School

The Art of Being NormalLeo has switched gender and that’s the reason why he went to Eden Park school. David and Leo’s friendship starts when Leo stands up for David during lunch, when Harry was reading out David’s diary. They both share an adventure by running away from home for two days in order to search for Leo’s dad, Jonathan.

Jonathan-Leo’s Dad-is an interesting character because he left Leo, his sister Amber and Leo’s mum. When Leo and David go to see him he calls him a ‘freak’ and we don’t know if he remembers them or not.

Leo’s sister mentions ‘February’ when they talk to each other. February is when Leo turned up to school as a boy and was tricked by someone in his school in Cloverdale to go to the forest. Then he almost got beaten up by a gang – a teacher came and saved the day. That was the most fascinating part of the story in my opinion.

Overall, I think it is a really good and stimulating book because it shows two different points of view and I have learnt that transgender people are no different to normal people.

I rate the book a 10/10!

Review: The Art of Being Normal, by Matty at Wren Academy

The Art of Being NormalThis book is about a two boys who are outsiders. One is wanting to be transgender and the other is transgender.

This book was thought provoking and made my heart reach out to transgender people. This was because they are bullied for being different, but it is not their fault. It is also sad that David does not want to tell his parents. As the reader, I wanted him to tell them so he can be happy and become what he has always wanted to be.

Another theme in the book explores teenagers and the journey as they change form a child to an adult, and this is a hard time. My favourite part was at the end where they were in the swimming pool and David had realised his dream and everyone was happy.

I thought it was a great book and could help teenagers who are having problems with bullying or transgender issues.


Review: The Art of Being Normal, by Shems at Copthall School

The Art of Being NormalThis book was very different for me because it showed how people hide a lot of feelings from others and how you think you know someone but then it turns out you know hardly anything about them. I enjoyed the part in the story when Leo stood up for David by punching Harry, forming an unexpected friendship which then revealed a lot of other secrets. Things changed instantly when [SPOILER ALERT!]…………….

Leo admitted to Alicia he was a girl but is transgender and when Leo told David the real reason why he left Cloverdale High. I really enjoyed this book. 9/10


Review: The Art of Being Normal, by Sofia at Wren Academy

The Art of Being Normal

This is a book for older readers because it centres around the concept of transgender. It is a captivating read, depicting their struggle to be accepted in society. The plot follows two teenage boys: one longing to be the opposite sex and the other, we later learn [spoiler omitted!]

This book has many sad aspects, yet this only makes you more emotional at the happy ones. I would recommend this book to 14-15 year olds as it touches on sensitive subjects.

Review: The Art of Being Normal, by Melis at Wren Academy

The Art of Being NormalThis book marks the first story which I have read in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender) category. I was amazed by this story, and so pleased that it was on the list this year. Having read this story before, I knew already of the engaging plot, the likeable characters and the witty humour, and I was very happy to read it again. This story is about David, a young boy who feels like he is trapped in the wrong body, and Leo, the quiet, handsome boy who moves to David’s school.

Both boys were labelled by most of society as the “weird kids” due to their inability to just fit in with everyone else. Therefore it was a triumphant moment for me, the reader, when both boys discover the other is, or wants to be, transgender – it meant they were not alone, as originally thought.

This story covers an incredibly sensitive issue (that is finally getting more attention in the media), which for me was very impressive. This story was able to highlight the struggles transgender kids have in everyday life, just because they identify more with the opposite gender.

The rest of the characters were mostly likable, such as David’s two friends, who provided a lot of the much-needed comic relief, and Harry Beaumont was suitably detestable as the transphobic school bully. In conclusion, I really, really liked this book and would recommend it to both girls and boys aged 12 and up.