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Pupils and Families


Our read for this Term is……

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

Recommended reading age: 12+

David Piper has always been an outsider, labelled a freak by the school bully. Only his two best friends know the real truth - David wants to be a girl.

Meanwhile, Leo Denton, the new boy in Year 11, is trying to keep a low profile. The two of them couldn't have less in common, but when Leo ends up standing up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship begins to develop. But things take a difficult turn when the secrets that both Leo and David are struggling to keep buried start coming to light.

This impressive debut from Lisa Williamson is a sensitive, funny and moving story about two very different teenagers who discover they have more in common than either of them could ever have expected. Challenging assumptions about what it means to grow up transgender, this is a life-affirming, powerful and heart-warming coming of age story that will show young adult readers that 'being normal' is not always all it's cracked up to be. (Good Reads, 2024)

This book is available on our digital library ePlatorm...if you’re quick you might be the first to borrow it! Click the link to access the school’s ePlatform platform:

Alternatively, you might like to buy your own copy of the book. Here's a link to Amazon to help you:

Discussion Questions:
  1. How do David and Leo explore who they really are throughout the story?
  2.  What does the book teach us about breaking away from what society expects us to be, especially when it comes to gender?
  3. Why is friendship so important in "The Art of Being Normal," especially between David and Leo?
  4. How does the book show the ups and downs of being transgender in families?
  5. What do you think about how people react to David's and Leo's true selves? How does this show what society thinks about LGBTQ+ people?
  6. Why do you think some characters keep secrets, and how does that affect their relationships?
  7. How do David and Leo learn to accept themselves despite what others think?
  8. What can we learn from how David and Leo handle tough times because of who they are?
  9. How do David and Leo struggle with fitting in and feeling left out?
  10. What does the title "The Art of Being Normal" mean in the story, and how do David and Leo change its meaning for themselves?

You are welcome to send any of your responses to these questions to any of your English teachers – we would love to hear your ideas!

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The Pilgrim School, Carrington Drive,
Lincoln, LN6 ODE

01522 682319