Book Review: The Art of Being Normal – by Lisa Williamson

こどもたち My Kids

I am not transgender and do not personally know of anyone that is transgender. This book is the first book I have read involving LGBTQ+.

私はトランスジェンダーではなく、トランスジェンダーである人を個人的に知りません。この本は私がLGBTQ +について読んだ最初の本です。

Outline of Book 【本の概要】

I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Art of Being Normal has 2 protagonists – Kate (whose birthname is David and is referred to in the book mostly as David) and Leo. David feels that he was born in the wrong body and was meant to be a girl. Leo joins the same school, Eden Park, as Kate and their friendship begins after Leo punches Kate’s bully in the face. Leo has a secret that will come out near the end of the book.


The Art of Being Normalには2人の主人公-Kate(本名ではDavidで、本の中でDavidと呼ばれることが多いです)とLeoがあります。デビッドは自分が間違った体で生まれたと感じています。レオはケイトと同じ学校、エデンパークに入学します。レオとケイトの友情は、レオがケイトをいじめていた子の顔をパンチしたところから始まります。レオには秘密を抱えています。

Negative Points


There were some major things that stood out to me while reading The Art of Being Normal.

Firstly, in this book there are references that link Kate LONGING to be a girl which makes it seem like Kate is NOT actually a GIRL. Being transgender is not a decision people make. ‘David longs to be a girl’ may appear like she gets to choose if she is a boy or girl. Transgender means that you feel that your gender is different from the sex by birth. You do not just decide that you are transgender. Therefore, I feel as though it is unfair to say ‘longs to be a girl’ when he is in fact a girl in the wrong body.

In the beginning of the book, Leo uses male pronouns (he/his) for Kate and continues to use male pronouns after Kate comes out as a trans girl. Leo only acknowledges Kate with female pronouns (she/ her) when she dresses in ‘girly’ clothing.

*Contains spoilers*

Another point is that when Leo comes out as being a transgender male to Kate, he shows her his binder. To me this feels unrealistic because he is showing a part of his body that he believes, doesn’t belong to him. Why does he feel the need to show his binder to a fairly new friend instead of telling Kate straight up? I feel that it is insensitive to transgender people.


The Art of Being Normalを読んでいるときに気付いた点がいくつかあります。





Positive Points


Apart from the things I have stated above, I thought some parts were enjoyable and entertaining to read. I also liked how there were 2 protagonist because this made the book more effective. There were highs and lows throughout the book. I thought this was great because life isn’t always sad and gloomy while it’s also not always great.

Who would I recommend this book to?

I think this book is best for readers that are new to reading about LGBTQ+ ( like me) but would not recommend it to individuals that are finding books that give more information about LGBTQ+.

Riley x



この本は、私のようにLGBTQ +について初めて読む読者には良いと思いますが、LGBTQ +についてもっと詳しい情報を提供する本を探している方にはお勧めしません。