Lenny's Book of Everything
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: 1st November 2018
Format Read: Uncorrected proof copy
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
Lenny, small and sharp, has a younger brother Davey who won't stop
growing - and at seven is as tall as a man. Raised by their mother, they
have food and a roof over their heads, but not much else.
The bright spot every week is the arrival of the latest issue of the Burrell's Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia.
Through the encyclopedia, Lenny and Davey experience the wonders of the
world - beetles, birds, quasars, quartz - and dream about a life of
freedom and adventure. But as Davey's health deteriorates, Lenny
realises that some wonders can't be named.
A big-hearted novel about loving and letting go by an award-winning author.
'A gorgeous, heartbreaking, and heartwarming book.' - R. J. PALACIO
'Such a big heart and not a beat out of place.' - MELINA MARCHETTA
'Tough, tender and beautiful.' - GLENDA MILLARD
'Unforgettable.' - ANNA FIENBERG
'Karen Foxlee, you're a genius.' - WENDY ORR
and uplifting – this book is everything every reviewer has said....and more.
Lenny’s Book of EverythingKaren
Foxlee wanted to convey love in all its forms, sibling love, motherly love,
neighbourly love and what it means to love someone who is different and the
emotions that go with it. What I find she has also conveyed was the feelings of
shame and self loathing when sometimes that love slips and you are left feeling
embarrassed, even annoyed by this person you are meant to love.
writing is reminiscent of Sofie Laguna’s The
Eye of the Sheep (one of my all time favourite reads) only it’s not as
complicated making it excellent for younger readers.
‘She was thin with worry our
mother. She was made almost entirely out of worries and magic.’ - Lenore Spink
story is narrated by Lenny as she worries about her mother, her brother and her
absent father. She tells the story of her brother’s ‘growing’ as it is at first
brushed off as tall family genes, then visits to the specialist, stays in
hospital and how a community comes together to give help.
has created a likeable and realistic cast of characters. Cynthia Spink with all
her worries, Mrs Gaspar, the Hungarian neighbour, and her strange dreams,
Lenore and her beetle mania and Davey, it was easy to see why everyone loved
Lenny’s Book of Everything Foxlee captures life in the early 70’s where man has
recently landed on the moon and knowledge comes from encyclopedias (not the
internet) via weekly instalments arriving through the mail. Lenny’s family won
their set of encyclopaedia which would have been akin to winning the lottery.
A set of encyclopedia on your bookshelf in the 70’s was like a status symbol
and I remember eagerly purchasing the new issue from the newsagent each week
and like Lenny and Davey poring over the facts and pictures in each book.
comes across as a bit of a tomboy, a deep thinker and a deep feeler. She bristled,
she felt ashamed, she took on a lot of her mother’s stoicism but mostly she
Lenny’s Book of Everything is a
heartbreaking and wonderful read full of the kindness of people everywhere.
Age : 10 - 14 years and older.
My Rating 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Lenny's Book of Everything is book #34 in the Australian Women Writers challenge
and part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie Author Challenge
|Photo courtesy of author website|
Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who writes for both kids and grown-ups. Her first novel The Anatomy of Wings
won numerous awards including the Dobbie Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy
, Karen's first novel for children, was published internationally to much acclaim while her second novel for younger readers, A Most Magical Girl
, won the Readings Children's Fiction Prize in 2017 and was CBCA shortlisted the same year.
lives in South East Queensland with her daughter and several animals,
including two wicked parrots, who frequently eat parts of her laptop
when she isn't looking. Her passions are her daughter, writing,
day-dreaming, baking, running and swimming in the sea.