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THE BOY IN THE DRESS by David Walliams


by David Walliams and illustrated by Quentin Blake

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59514-299-3
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

British comedian Walliams tells the story of Dennis, who lives in a dreary house with his depressed, working-class dad and older brother. He’s the star of his soccer team, but the thing that really gives Dennis’s life magic is his penchant for women’s fashion. An unlikely friendship with an older fashionista at school, the beautiful and popular Lisa, causes Dennis to impersonate a French exchange student—a female one, complete with dress, high heels and makeup, all of which he simply adores wearing. Readers may think he’s about to come out, but it turns out he’s just a boy who loves to wear ladies’ clothing. Comic complications ensue; Dennis is found out and expelled, which puts his school soccer team in jeopardy. Brits may find cross-dressing hilarious, but even with the snappy writing and Blake’s clever illustrations, it may be a harder sell on this side of the Atlantic. The message, however—we’re all a bit different, and we should follow our own bliss and accept others—is solid. (Fiction. 12 & up)