by Julie Anne Peters

Publishing Information: Little, Brown: New York, 2003
ISBN: 0316733696
Pages: 256 p.
Ages: 14 & Up

Fifteen-year-old Regan's life, which has always revolved around keeping her older brother Liam's transsexuality a secret, changes when Liam decides to start the process of "transitioning" by first telling his family and friends that he is a girl who was born in a boy's body.

Subject Headings & Major Themes:

Brothers and Sisters
Family Problems
Fifteen-year-old Girls
Gender Identity
Gender Roles
Social Acceptance in Teenagers

Awards & Reviews:
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2005

BookList, July 1, 2004, p.1834
School Library Journal, May 2004, p. 156

Discussion Questions and Ideas:

  1. Think about gender roles. As a group, make a list of male and female stereotypes. Talk about how awareness of these roles/expectations might affect someone who does not fit them.
  2. How do the expectations of family members affect people? How do the expectations of your family affect who you are and what you do?
  3. How do you think people should balance family expectations with individual needs?* Talk about how Luna/Liam did this throughout the book. List examples of the main character responding to his family's expectations and examples of fulfilling her own needs.
  4. Have you ever had anyone share a secret with you that no one else knew? How did it make you feel? Special? Scared? Excited? Describe some of the ways it affects Regan to keep her brother's secret.
  5. Imagine yourself the opposite gender. What would be the most challenging aspect? What would be the advantages and disadvantages?*
  6. What responsibility do you think friends and family members have when a loved one comes out to them as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person?*
  7. When Regan discovers that her mother knew about Liam's desire to be a girl from a young age, she is shocked and very distressed.   On page 228, she says "My God.  My mother was a monster. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  8. Liam tells Regan about Christine Jorgensen, who had the first well-publicized sex-change operation, and Teri Lynn who she meets online. Talk about Liam's role models in this book and the effect they have on him.
  9. How tolerant do you feel your community is of differences? Are LBGTQ people accepted and welcomed? Do you think they feel they are?*
  10. Describe the significance of Liam's chosen female name, Luna. Discuss the metaphor of metamorphosing into a butterfly in relation to Luna's situation.

Related Websites:
Author Homepage for Julie Anne Peters -

If You Are Concerned About Your Child's Gender Behaviors: A Parent's Guide -
This "guide is a resource for parents who want information and advice on a child with gender-varient behaviors", including a definition of gender-variant behavior, a description of commonly seen behaviors, tips for supporting a gender-variant child, and advice on when to seek professional help.

Luna Teacher's Guide -
Download the teacher's guide created by the publisher - includes discussion questions, resources, recommended reading and more.

National Youth Advocacy Coalition -
NYAC is a social justice organization that advocates for and with young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning.

Safe Schools Coalition -
Resources for educators and youth about teaching tolerance; extensive resources

Youth Pride, Inc. -
Local Rhode Island nonprofit organization offering support, advocacy, and education for youth and young adults impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression

YouthResource: A Project of Advocates for Youth -
Support, community, resources and peer-to-peer education for LGBTQ youth, 13-24

Young Adult
Boy2Girl by Terrance Blackner, 2005
Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology edited by Amy Sonnie, 2000

Conundrum by Jan Morris. 1974
Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman by Leslie Feinberg, 1996

Other Books by the Author:
The Stinky Sneakers Contest, 1992
B.J.'s Billion Dollar Bet, 1994
How Do You Spell Geek?, 1996
Revenge of the Snob Squad, 1998
Love Me, Love My Broccoli, 1999
Romance of the Snob Squad, 1999
Define "Normal", 2000
Snitch in the Snow Squad, 2001
Keeping You a Secret, 2003

About the Author:
Julie Anne Peters was born in Jamestown, New York. She currently resides in Colorado with her partner of 30 years. Before becoming a writer, Ms. Peters worked as a computer systems engineer, a 5th grade teacher, and a concessionaire at a zoo.

For this book, the author conducted in-depth interviews of numerous transgender people who faced similar situations as Liam. She researched the available literature online and in her local libraries, and attended support groups to learn more about the transgender population and their journeys toward transition.*

Find out more about the author by visiting her website,, where she also gives her e-mail address, Speaking engagements may be arranged through her publicist:

Jennifer Abbots
  Publicity and Marketing Department
Little, Brown and Company
(212) 522-7359

* from Luna Teacher's Guide at