The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake: Dennis lives in an "ordinary house on an ordinary street in an ordinary town." His mother has deserted the family, leaving Dennis with only Dad, his truck-driving father, and John, his older brother. Dennis misses his mother, her hugs and her pretty clothes, and the only really joy in his life is playing soccer. His other interest is fashion, but how is a twelve-year-old boy to express that interest in his blue-collar town with his repressed family?
I loved this book. It was laugh out loud funny in many places, and also very moving, especially when everyone seems to turn against Dennis. The books avoids coming across as a "very special episode", though, because it is so hilarious. Dennis likes sports (he's the star of his team), he likes dresses, and he likes girls. The fact that this bothers the adults around him says much more about them than it does about Dennis.
There's no reason to keep this book out of the classroom, except for one or two bits of British schoolboy humor that have nothing to do with boys in dresses. I will probably keep it on my desk for a bit and see what happens.
The Boy in the Dress was a Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Honor Book in 2011.