Peta Lyre is far from typical but she tries hard to appear so by following a series of well-crafted rules and routines dictated by her psychologist to assist with blending in. Through Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal’s stream-of-consciousness narrative, we accompany Peta as she navigates life seeking to be ‘normal’. As readers, we explore what it means to be normal, who and what is normal and ultimately, whether being normal is all that it is made out to be. With empathy and compassion, Whateley unveils what life is like for Peta who has multiple diagnoses and has undertaken years of therapy in order to assist with managing her triggers and we are asked to challenge the typical ‘rules’ of behaviour. Why would we want to be ‘normal’ and at what cost? In this interview for YA Book Stack, Whateley elaborates on the anxieties and uncertainties of living in a world that doesn’t suit how Peta’s mind works and shares the reasons for her many inspirations – from Frankenstein, to Romantic poetry, and Icelandic instrumentalist music. Anna Whateley’s debut #ownvoices novel Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal is shortlisted for the CBCA book awards. She also has an essay titled ‘Noisy Silence’ in Growing Up Disabled in Australia, edited by Carly Findlay. Her next novel, Tearing Myself Together, will be released early 2022 with Allen & Unwin. When coronavirus spread, Anna founded the bookish chat show #AusChat just to keep the community together, and the YouTube channel is now funded in part by the Australian Arts Council. She uses her YouTube and Twitch presence to collaborate and connect with the writing community and more broadly with composers, gamers, and interesting folk all around the world. Anna has a PhD in young adult fiction (literary criticism) and has taught sociology and YA/children’s literature to preservice teachers. She loves to attend writer events, conferences, twitter storms, and book launches, and is also a strong advocate for the neurodivergent community.
Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal is the debut novel from Anna Whateley. Anna has a PhD in literature from Queensland University. She’s an own voices author of young adult fiction that engages with diversity and the depth of human experience.Peta Lyre lives in a world that isn’t made for her brain. She’s got an alphabet to contend with including ASD, ADHD and SPD. She’s also been brought up with a list of rules about what to do and what to avoid to help her seem ‘normal’ for whatever normal is worth.From the offset Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal engages with Peta’s diagnoses, or alphabet. We are given insight into her feelings about being on the Autism Spectrum, her challenges managing the range of sensory sensitivities that present in her life and her need for medication to manage her day. We understand that Peta’s neurodiversity is who she is but that it also presents challenges that she must face, in large part because the neurotypical world does not cut her much slack.The novel centers on friendship. Peta has her best friend Jeb. They’ve known each other for years and Jeb is the kind of person who cares enough to know when Peta needs him. Jeb is a study in masculinity that refuses to fit rigid definition. He’s strong enough to stand up for himself but does not let that make him hard. It was wonderful to see portrayed the ideal of men as supportive and present without needing to be dominant.When a new girl starts at school, Peta suddenly finds herself with two best friends and a whole lot of confusion. Sam wants to know if Peta and Jeb are a thing. Maybe she is a third wheel. Peta’s not great with idiosyncratic language and even less sure about the language of relationships. As Peta revels in having an expanding circle of friends she must also deal with exactly how she is feeling about Sam and their growing closeness.Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal shows us the journey Peta has to make to fit into a world that won’t shift for her. The story takes us into her family (her parents abandoned her with her aunt), the world of therapy (where it’s a mix-bag of individuals who both help but also patronise) and the world of just life.Peta has always been told she needs to follow the rules to be normal. But not why normal is so desirable. As we move with Peta we see the enormous cost constant vigilance takes on her and come to question whether a rigid notion of normalcy is really so great?I read because reading opens up windows on worlds that I could never hope to visit without books. Books take us outside ourselves and into other people's perspectives. In Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal we are given access to a world that is too often hidden behind labels and stereotypes.Loved this review?You can get more books, writing and literary culture every week on the Final Draft Great Conversations podcast. Hear interviews with authors and discover your next favourite read!
Great Conversations features interviews with authors and writers, exploring books, writing and literary culture from Australia and the world.Today's episode features Anna Whately discussing her debut novel Peta Lyre's Rating Normal.Peta Lyre lives in a world that isn’t made for her brain. She’s got an alphabet to contend with and a list of rules about what to do and what to avoid. But she’s also got her best friend Jeb and the school ski trip to look forward to.When a new girl starts at school, Peta suddenly finds herself with two best friends and a whole lot of confusion.Peta’s always been told she needs to follow the rules to be normal. But is normal really the best thing for her?
Anna Whateley’s debut #ownvoices novel Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal, Allen & Unwin, is out now. She also has an essay titled ‘Noisy Silence’ in Growing Up Disabled in Australia, Black Inc Books, edited by Carly Findlay, due out on Feb 2021. When coronovirus spread, Anna founded the bookish chat show #AusChat just to keep the community together, and the youtube channel is now funded in part by the Australian Arts Council.Anna has a PhD in young adult fiction (literary criticism) and has taught sociology and YA/children’s literature to preservice teachers. She loves to attend writer events, conferences, twitter storms, and book launches, and is also a strong advocate for the neurodivergent community.During her younger years, Anna traveled a lot, and has had more jobs than she can remember. Some include making pizzas, hotel cleaning, waitering, pharmacy assistant, data entry, publishing, advertising, payroll, and youth work. She is always busy with another hobby or project, from sewing to lego, or taking photos of mushrooms in a rainforest. She loves Minecraft and video editing, and coming up with new ideas for her youtube channel.
The Daily Booktopian 16/06/20 - The Writing Book, The Incendiaries, Peta Lyre's Rating Normal
The Booktopia Podcast
Welcome to 'The Daily Booktopian,' where our book team goes over the best books you should be reading right now in the time of social isolation and COVID-19.For our fifty-second episode, Mark hosts Olivia Fricot & Nick Wasiliev to discuss the books that have been grabbing their attention over this period of social distancing.Disclaimer: Apologies for the lower sound quality, we will be looking to improve it in subsequent podcasts.Books Mentioned in this podcast:R.O. Kwon - The Incendiaries: https://bit.ly/30IVEnSKate Grenville - The Writing Book: https://bit.ly/3d1xZBLAussie Author Shoutout:Anna Whateley - Peta Lyre's Rating Normal: https://bit.ly/3hDgyLoHost: Mark HardingGuests: Olivia Fricot & Nick Wasiliev Producer: Nick Wasiliev
“They expect a fish to climb a tree”: Anna Whateley on Peta Lyre and autism
Podcast – Dark Matter Zine
My guest today, Anna Whateley, has always worked in literature and education. She is an “own voices” author, proudly autistic, with ADHD and a sensory ... The post “They expect a fish to climb a tree”: Anna Whateley on Peta Lyre and autism appeared first on Dark Matter Zine.
WRITER 329: Meet Anna Whateley, author of 'Peta Lyre's Rating Normal'
So you want to be a writer
Meet Anna Whateley, author of 'Peta Lyre's Rating Normal'. Discover how to spark your kid's writing fire. New AWC online courses are in the works. Plus, we have 3 copies of 'Husband Replacement Therapy' by Kathy Lette to give away. Read the show notes Connect with Valerie, Allison and listeners in the podcast community on Facebook Visit WritersCentre.com.au | AllisonTait.com | ValerieKhoo.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.