Teaching the book “Luna”

Julie Anne Peters‘ book Luna is a perfect book to use as a teaching tool.  (Luna Lesson Plan)

Book Info

In the book, Perters explores family dynamic and gender roles in this book about a transgendered teen ~ Liam/Luna ~ and their sister, Regan.  The book is told through Liam’s sister’s point of view and has a series of flashbacks.  As the book progresses, we see how Liam’s wanting to transition and other things like Liam not wanting to conform to their father’s expectations of being a male effects Regan and how she handles this.

Book Reviews

One blogger who runs the site “Brusk Up On Your Reading” posted a review that states:

I loved that it discussed something as hugely misunderstood as transgender, and that the author did not shrink from laying the truth bare about these individuals

Jack Radish of “YA Book Review” stated:

While I’m a huge advocate of incidentally trans characters in teen literature, I was still a little bothered by this story.

On “The Uncustomary Book Review,” Kat Kiddles stated:

Usually, I am not a huge fan of books that are assigned to me. However, once I started reading Luna, I could not put it down.

As you can see, there are some mixed views on the book, yet for the most part, there are more positive reviews for it.  Which, I believe, is very encouraging for a good reason why this book that can be taught.

Possible Reading Schedule

There are two different ways that this book can be taught with a teaching schedule:

  • If class meets one day a week, then the whole book can be read for one week
  • If the class meets two days a week, have half of the book read for each class period.
  • If the class meets three days a week ~ or more than that if it’s a high school class ~ figure out how many chapters you want to assign for reading taking into account enough time for discussing.  A possible way is to do so would be to divide the number of chapters by the how many days you want to discuss the book
Discussion Questions

There are many different questions that can be clearly be brought up, which you’ll notice once you’ve read the book.  Here is a good starting list:

  1. What is the different between being Transgender and being Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual?
  2. What are some of the gender roles that are shown in this book and why do they play a role in the book?
  3. The parent’s reactions to Liam are both different when Liam comes out to them about how he’s transgendered.  We see this through the book ~ not just about Liam coming out ~ about how Liam prefers more feminine things than masculine.  How does this effect Liam’s transition to Luna?

These three questions, along with the ones that the students should have, should be enough to start a lengthy discussion.

Resources for Questions

For the first question on the difference between Transgender and being Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual, the following websites are helpful teaching aids:

With the Gender Roles question, these links should be helpful:

  • faq.org has a page about gender roles.
  • There is a one post blog that gender roles.  This blog post breaks down several different things that go into gender roles, such as cultural aspects that go into gender roles.
  • Keep Safe Stay Cool (a website from Australia) has a page about Gender Roles & Stereotypes.
Paper

The paper that you will require from the students should be focused on Gender Roles and how they play a role in the book with Transgender identity or something along those lines while using examples from the book.  The reason why this topic ~ or something along those lines ~ should involved gender issues for a book that deals with a transgender character is because of how gender roles are extra confusing for someone who is confusing.

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