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The Boy in the Dress

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  4,388 Ratings  ·  509 Reviews
Everybody needs friends- especially a boy in a dress Dennis' life is boring and lonely. His mother left two years ago, his truck driver father is depressed, his brother is a bully and, worst of all, "no hugging" is one of their household rules. But one thing Dennis does have is soccer-he's the leading scorer on his team. Oh, and did we mention his secret passion for fashio ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Razorbill (first published 2008)
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Stef Rozitis Who specifically do you mean? There was a mixture of characters that did and did not judge him in the book. Most of the motivations were pretty…moreWho specifically do you mean? There was a mixture of characters that did and did not judge him in the book. Most of the motivations were pretty clearly shown up (various insecurities/jealousies)(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Petra Eggs
Dressing up to look like a girl and trying to pass in school is probably not a good idea. Teasing, bullying, major embarrassment are inevitable. What brings people together and motivates males especially is sport and (view spoiler) if they can see victory is within their grasp, well then, anything becomes possible. Including a whole team of boys in tutus.

The book is wonderful on every level, it's a real 5 star read and will move you to
Dec 27, 2015 Kylan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dennis lives in an ordinary town, in an ordinary house, on an ordinary street. But Dennis, as we will come to discover, is a not so ordinary boy.

Bravo Mr. Walliams. Never have I read a children's book about a boy who shows an interest in wearing girl's clothing. I think it shows a lot of gumption to talk about these issues and I am happy that they're now starting at a younger level.

I know a lot of reviews speak about Dennis being a cross dresser but I love how Mr. Walliams tackles what I think
Liam Mernagh
Sep 14, 2011 Liam Mernagh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘The Boy in the Dress’ is a children’s book by David Walliams which details the adventures of twelve year old Dennis whose past times include cross-dressing and the reactions of his family and friends to this. When Dennis’ parents split up, he’s devastated and when forced to live with his father, the only comfort he finds is his mother’s left behind clothes. This sets off a series of comical transgender themes that allows the reader to light-heartedly enjoy his embarrassing explorations into the ...more
Matti Karjalainen
David Walliamsin "Poika ja mekko" (Tammi, 2015) kertoo 12-vuotiaasta englantilaispojasta Dennisistä, joka elää yhdessä rekkaa ajavan isänsä ja isoveljensä kanssa. Äiti on lähtenyt kävelemään, mikä on tehnyt perheen elämästä vähän ilotonta ja harmaata. Halaaminenkin on pannassa, mitä nyt futismatsien jälkeen voi toista rutistaa - tosin Dennisin joukkueen pelejä isä ei oikein koskaan ehdi katsomaan, vaikka poika on yksi parhaista pelaajista.

Dennisin maailma muuttuu kertaheitolla värikkäämmäksi, ku
Roberto Carrasco
Lovely short novel about being different (or is it about being a gay kid?). Anyway, you will love it. I read it in English because the spanish edition had a confusing and (in my opinion) homophobic title: "El Mago del Balón" (something like "The Magician of the Ball") clearly selling this book to a male audience and avoiding any reference to the main fact of the story: cross-dressing. I wonder how many Spanish boys who love soccer are now reading "El Mago del Balón" and thinking that cross-dress ...more
Kate Lee
Feb 18, 2012 Kate Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was such a FUNNY book! i loved the character denis! and i also loved raaj! and the descriptions of lisa was BRILLIANT i could see her in my head ! i love this book and i think- i know that David Williams is AWESOME! Cant wait to read his other books :D
On a trip to England, I saw this book prominently displayed along with Walliam's other books. I've never heard of that author before, but I was instantly hit with nostalgia, because when I was a young girl living in England, I LOVED Roald Dahl's books, and, at a first glance, Walliam's books reminded me of those (especially this book, having been illustrated by Quentin Blake).

I was also very intrigued by the premise... a book about cross-dressing for a middle-grade audience? I was very curious
Dec 15, 2009 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 5th grade and up
The boring and lonely life of 12-year-old Dennis, who still mourns his mom's leaving and his dad's depression, is lightened only by soccer playing and (a more recent discovery) a love of women's fashion. His dad forbids his reading of Vogue magazine, but new friend Lisa pushes him to play dress-up, and that is how Dennis ends up at school as "Denise," Lisa's French exchange student, in high heels, makeup, and a sequin dress. That is, until a passing soccer ball can't be resisted and his cover is ...more
Chris Mills
I’ve read mixed reviews of David Walliams as an author so I thought I’d read one of his books and decide for myself. Although mildly sceptical before reading the book, mainly due to not really being a fan of Little Britain and his comedy television, I think (I’m not totally convinced yet) I quite liked The Boy in the Dress.

The story is about a twelve-year-old boy called Dennis, who lives with his father and his older brother. After his Mother leaves, Dennis develops a fascination with a dress t
Lucy Young
Sep 18, 2013 Lucy Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The young boy Dennis who is the main character of the book comes from a single parent home (father is present) and he deeply misses his mother. Dennis is very talented at football which he plays with his best friend Darvesh, Dennis also enjoys watching “women’s” daytime TV, in particular Trisha and Loose Women. Throughout the book there are typical everyday experiences which happen to Dennis including detentions, trips to the shops and playing football.

Dennis then meets a young girl Lisa in det
Second in a Walliams trio I'm reading this year.

This one was worse than The Billionaire Boy. Badly written - "he said, mutely" Really? The characters in this book and those in Billionaire Boy are interchangeable. So is the plot to a certain extent. More or less the same father, shopkeeper, headmaster, teacher, boy, love interest, "ethnic" friend etc. There's a boring pattern emerging. Very basic and silly. For the first half of the book I almost had brain freeze, the writing was so dull.

As for
Mar 17, 2015 Mari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um dos livros mais divertidos que li esse ano, super ultra mega fofo! Me faz pensar em todos os livros legais i divertidos que li quando era criança, pelo simples prazer de ler. Vários momentos "Ownn!" no livro, e quero deixar registrado pelo menos um deles:

"Todos temos uma pessoa que, quando está perto, faz nosso coração disparar. Mas, mesmo quando se é adulto, às vezes é difícil dizer o que se sente."

Boa recomendação de leitura para pós ressaca literária, para leitores de todas as idades!

Dec 22, 2014 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Dennis’s life is rather lonely. His mother left two years ago when he was ten, and his father drives long distances as a truck driver. He and his brother don’t get along very well. He enjoys soccer, and is the star of his school’s team, and discovers from looking at a Vogue magazine that he also enjoys women’s fashion. When a chance meeting with his crush (the older, popular, and aspiring fashion designer Lisa) results in a friendship, Lisa convinces him to try on some of her designs. As a fun a ...more
A.m. Layet
Aug 24, 2013 A.m. Layet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The experts who review books at booksfc have a couple of rules. You need rules. They stop war, disaster and crumbs in the wrong places. But the experts don't like too many rules. So they have whittled them down to just these four fundamental rules.

Rule 1: All people have the right to release wind from their bottom in the place and at the time of their choosing.
Rule 2: Sharing is for girls.
Rule 3: Dresses are for girls.
Rule 4: Sharing dresses is for girls.

So, The Boy in the Dress was slightly pro
Stef Rozitis
My last read for 2016 and thoroughly enjoyable. Quentin Blake was an excellent choice to illustrate this book because it shows how in some ways the silliness and humour of it echoes Roald Dahl (who Blake also illustrated for). The book was full of stereotypes which at times I found irritating, but on the whole these were reframed or undermined in ways that made me chuckle and kept me reading. The best friend, Darvesh is an excellent character and in every way deserves to be in such a positive bo ...more
LH Johnson
When David Walliams first moved into writing children's literature I was, I'll admit, a frightful snob. I didn't really 'get' his television persona (and, as we all know, what we see on television is an exact truth), and so I stayed away from his books for a long time. I didn't really want to go there and frankly I had no inclination to.

And all that was a bit stupid of me, because it kept me away from some genuinely really good children's books. So if you're still harbouring similar sentiments -
Oct 13, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars
I was set to read this book as part of a challenge and wasn't expecting too much from it, but I have to say I was wrong! This was a very enjoyable book that I read in one session and it cleverly handled some sensitive issues in a way that would be very accessible to children. I say bravo on achieving this, and I do feel it is a book all children should read, so much scope for discussion from this in a classroom setting. There were two great lines in this book which will stay with me, 'D
Feb 17, 2016 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was... Well, I thought the story was cute and relevant. I thought it should be read by a younger audience and it'd be good for them to read. I thought the art was incredible. But I can't really get into David's writing style. It just made me sit there, staring at the page for a long while before actually moving onto the next page and I was, for lack of a better word, bored while reading it- I honestly wished I had enjoyed this but I didn't-
Markku Kesti
Feb 19, 2015 Markku Kesti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tämä on niin älyttömän hyvää settiä, että kustantaja jättää näiden suomentamisen varmasti kesken. Eihän tällaista kannata kääntää. Saa vielä faneja ja ihmiset tahtoo kenties jopa omaksi näitä. Parempi kun lopetatte kääntämisen nyt, niin ei tule kenellekään paha mieli ja kukaan ei ehdi vakavasti menettää sydäntään Walliamseille.
Mar 12, 2015 Arja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lapset
Ihan mun kirja!
En ehkä vinkkaa tätä koskaan lapsille (koska en vinkkaa lapsille) mutta kaikki aikuistutut kyllä aivopesen lukemaan tämän.
Such a beautifully written, intelligent and compassionate book. Very tender and kind...a touching story.
Jan 05, 2017 Malvika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's very important to teach kids that different is okay, even great. The Boy in the Dress does just that. The reviews says that it is a charming, comic tale. It is that, but it's also about a boy's loneliness after his mother's departure, his sadness, his desire to get out of the ordinary life in his ordinary home in his ordinary town.

Quentin Blake's drawings and the very Dahlian flow of the story makes this a must-read, for both children and adults.
Bistra Ivanova
Jan 20, 2012 Bistra Ivanova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Dunne
Aug 12, 2012 Emily Dunne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junior-fiction
The Boy in the Dress was an extremely enjoyable read, following an awkward yet ordinary boy called Dennis who always felt "different" and was struggling to find acceptance in the world when things were not going his way. I feel children may relate to this story as sometimes they may feel they do not fit in, and I believe this book teaches that in the end, you are accepted no matter who you are once you stay true to yourself. To be honest I was intrigued to find out that David Walliams is just as ...more
Megan Wiffen
Dec 08, 2012 Megan Wiffen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boy in the dress follows a young boy called John; he lives with his overweight dad and older brother who both like to tease him. His mum left a few years earlier and he finds comfort in the memories of his mother’s dresses. He also finds enjoyment looking at pretty dresses and models in magazines. All of which, he hides from his dad and brother.

John finds friendship with the popular girl at school, Lisa. He finds out she makes dresses. With her help and persuasion, he tries on one of her dr
Jul 23, 2012 Eccentrika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, comedy
"Campione in gonnella" è un libro per ragazzi simpaticissimo, che mostra come alcune piccole scelte personali possano fare le differenza davanti agli occhi degli altri e dare adito a spiacevoli pettegolezzi.
Il protagonista di questo libro si chiama Dennis e, anche se ha parecchi interessi in comune ai suoi coetanei, tipo giocare a calcio, o prendere le cotte per delle ragazze, in parte si sente anche un po' speciale. Gli piace guardare i vestiti e sfogliare le riviste di moda e in cuor suo sente
Selin G
David Walliams is an aspiring author, actor, and activist, who is also in one of my
favourite films, Stardust. His writing style towards children's fictional books are written
as if he is a child himself, which makes the book more relatable. Although this is an
easy read, it's better to read something, than nothing at all, and just because it might be
an easy read, doesn't mean it isn't powerfully written.

The Boy in the Dress, is a book about this boy, who had parents that were
continuously fightin
Simon Aldous
Nov 06, 2012 Simon Aldous rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was wary of reading a book by David Walliams, suspicious that it had been published because of his celebrity status rather than his literary abilities. But, not being a fan of Little Britain myself, I'd conclude that in writing children's books he has found his true calling. His stories combine the down-to-earth contemporary settings of Jacqueline Wilson novels with inventive plots and plenty of humour.

In "The Boy in the Dress" he tackles what might seem the slightly tricky subject of cross-dr
May 28, 2014 Arthur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Escreva o que achou do livro / o que aprendeu com ele"

Eu. Aprendi. A. Não. Bater. Nos. Coleguinhas. Que. Usam. Vestido.

[Sorry por isso. Só achei meio tosco o modo do Skoob indicar onde a gente escreve sobre nossas impressões. Sim, copiei o que escrevi no Skoob: deal with it! Acho mais massa o "What did you think?" do Goodreads; acho mais honesto não precisar APRENDER nada com um livro. Acho que é por isso que me sinto mais à vontade de escrever de vez em quando essas impressões de leitura (~~~~
Kirsty Grant
Mar 31, 2015 Kirsty Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I was sceptical due to the author already being established and thought perhaps his celebrity status helped him sell book but I'll take my hat of to Walliams. This is an enjoyable little read. The language is simple and I enjoyed how current the book is. The book really demonstrates the difference between black and white and colour (colour being different and standing out from the norm).
Uniform is also a main theme in the book and very obviously gender and social acc
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David Walliams is an actor and writer best known for his work with Matt Lucas in the multi-award-winning sketch show Little Britain. His debut children's novel, The Boy in the Dress, was published in 2008 to unanimous critical acclaim and he has since developed a reputation as a natural successor to Roald Dahl.
More about David Walliams...

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“I think all those rules are boring. About what people can and can't wear. Surely everyone should be able to wear whatever they like?” 11 likes
“No more watching that show Small England or whatever it's called where those two idiots dress up as 'laydees'. It's a bad influence.” 8 likes
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