Kit de Waal: My Name is Leon



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A tender beautifully rendered narrative that captures the voice and erspective of a vulnerable child with intelligence and clarity Leon is nine the son of Carol a broken young white woman and a disappeared West Indies man He is also a doting and careful big brother to baby Jake stepping into the role of caregiver as his mother slides into catatonia After Carol has a mental breakdown brought on by drugs Superman/Doomsday prostitution and the massive weight ofoverty Leon and Jake are Summers Family Affair placed in foster care Jake cuddly white Leon and Jake share a mother but have different fathers is easily adopted Leon heartbroken must navigate the world alone But the beauty of this lovely and loving novel is the hope Kit de Waal offers Resilience and human kindness are recurring themes even if those humans who extend a hand are deeply flawed Despite being caught up in an overburdened social service system Leon is lifted by the warm embrace of his foster mother Maureen and her crusty sister Sylvia and by the gentle instruction of Tufty a West Indies man who gardens at aublic allotment and his rival Mr Devlin de Waal maintains a taut thread of tension that shadows the story in wobbly dread and I won t relieve that tension here but ultimately this novel shines with redemptionSet against the backdrop of Britain in the early 80s when Irish republican hunger strikes and the olice brutality against eople of color sparked riots My Name is Leon is also in intensely Women on the Hill political book The reader sees this world through Leon s eyes a child who is a keen observer of things he doesn t understand but works diligently to sort out Gentle intelligent thoughtful and compassionate this novel was a joy to read Highly recommended It s the 1980 s as this debut novel begins Leon is 8 years old nearly nine a mixed race child whose mother has just given birth to his brother Jake Leon s father is Jamaican and Jake s father is white so Jake hasale skin and Waiting for Aphrodite pale hair like his mother Leon adores his new baby brother from the start from his tinyerfect toes to his soft Pirateship Down (Sentinels of New Orleans perfect hairerfect tiny fingers After Leon his mother and Jake go home Leon helps his mother with Jake trying to The Sand-Reckoner prove how responsible a big brother he is how he can change his diapers even remembering the cream torevent diaper ras Was a sad read Thought was going to come of the end Loved the characters Heartbreaking at times Leon has a baby brother a mum who can t cope and a dad who has walked out The story is set in the 1980 s and gives you a taste of social history of the time Aztlan poverty racismolice brutality and social services just not getting it right Leon is a lovely kind boy and during the story you really want things to work out for him he is wonderful to his baby brother despite the awful circumstances there are some wonderful eople who help him Leon has some erceptive observations of Paris Encore (Zion Covenant, peoples facial expressions how true some adults underestimate a child s ability to see through false gestures Some lovely references to cheese triangles curly wurlys and toffos and other 80 s delicacies An enthusiastic 4 stars My Name Is Leon hit just the right emotionalunch Set in the late 1970s in England this book is told from 9 year old Leon s Boyfriends from Hell perspective He is half black living with his single mum and 1 year old brother His mum is not up to the task of looking after her kids so Leon looks after his brother and eventually they move into foster care with Maureen And the rest of the book focuses on Leon s longing for his imperfect lost family and his actual life in foster care I loved Leon and hiserspective on what was going on alternating between disbelief anger wisdom na vet hope and sadness I loved all the other characters de Waal has created many were far from Battered Not Broken perfect but none were all bad I loved de Waal s depiction of the timeeriod the effects of racism intermingled with fascination over Charles and Di s upcoming wedding There s something about the way Leon s story is told that had me completely emotionally invested and satisfied I cried a lot but in the end I wasn t left sad or feeling bruised because de Waal ultimately suggests that amongst all the muck that can befall a What Ive Become (The Humanity Within Book 1) personeople find ways to cope and form alternative bonds and families It s all a tad tidy. A brother chosen A brother left behind And a family where you'd least expect to find oneLeon is nine and has a erfect baby brother called Jake They have gone to live with Maureen who has fuzzy red hair like a halo and a belly like Father Christmas But the adults are speaking in low voices and wearing Preten.

But it did really strike all the right emotional chords for me Thank you to Netgalley and the ublisher for giving me an opportunity to read an advance copy 35 Stars An uplifting and UML Weekend Crash Course [With CDROM] poignant read My name is Leon is a story told by a nine year old boy called Leon and while I am not a fan of child narrators the book was engaging and a worthwhile readA short debut novel that I felt had a YA feel to it but I think it is a novel that will resonate with all age levels and readersSet in Britain in the early 1980s Leon is nine years old and brother to Jake who is 9 months old They have gone to live with Maureen after their mother Carol s breakdown Maureen has fuzzy red hair like a halo and a belly like Father Christmas Jake is uickly adopted and Leon is left in the foster care of Maureen and we start to see the and understand the world through Leon eyes and what life has in store for him and MaureenThis book had so many emotions for me It is sad upliftingainful funny and sensitive I Steampunk Erotica preferred the first half really well written and fastaced and the author really knows how to tug the readers heartstrings The main characters are interesting well drawn and believable The author really conveys working class Britain of the time very accurately and I really enjoyed some of the throwbacks and all things 80s throughout the storyA well written thought Poker Slave provoking novel that I think many will enjoy This is a heartbreaking story told from theerspective of a young child Leon and his experience of his family falling apart social services and foster care in London It begins with Carol Leon s mother giving birth to baby Jake Leon is captivated and enthralled by JakeLeon is a bright intelligent and mature child who finds himself taking care of Carol and Jake by himself Carol is unwell and experiencing mental health issues Leon s bond with Jake is incredibly strong he is acutely observant of the baby s features mannerisms and behaviour However Carol is hospitalised and the boys are laced in foster care Baby Jake is adopted and Leon is left with Maureen his foster mum Despite Maureen understanding his grief Leon s world fractures leaving deep gaping emotional wounds that he is unable to articulate Events take a turn for the worse as Maureen falls sick and Leon finds himself residing with her sister SylviaLeon finds himself cracking under the stress as he is still understandably inconsolable about his mum and Jake He is determined to bring his family back together whatever it takes In the meantime he is gifted a bike which begins to open up the world for him He finds himself befriended by Tufty and Mr Devlin who work on allotments They encourage his interest in gardening and growing vegetables which bring Leon some level of solace Upon running away to find his family Leon finds himself caught up in the London riots Finding himself in danger Tufty and Mr Devlin help him at great cost to themselves With Maureen s help Leon comes to understand his mother is beyond his help and that there is no way she could care for him and JakeWhat Leon finds instead is an alternate family and friends who love and care for him Maureen is rock solid in her love and support of Leon In spite of his sorrows and heartbreak Leon is revented from a worse fate by the fact that the world has within it Indulge (Warm Delicacy, people who arerepared to love help and support him Writing this novel from a child s Tabloid City point of view could not have been easy yet the author gives us an authentic voice in Leon There is a social andolitical commentary that takes in the issues of race of the time in the book This is a brilliant read even though the issues made me angry and broke my heart Highly recommended read Thanks to Penguin Viking for an ARC A moving insightful book about two brothers one with black skin one with white skin and their movement through the foster care system in England during the 1980s Leon the title character in Kit de Waal s latest book has shouldered responsibility than any 10 year old should Try as he might to be the best caretaker for his infant brother and his mentally unstable mother social services soon splits up the family Leon learns the hard truth that while there are families willing to adopt a white baby like his brother he wil. D faces They are threatening to give Jake to strangers Since Jake is white and Leon is notAs Leon struggles to cope with his anger certain things can still make him smile like Curly Wurlys riding his bike fast downhill burying his hands deep in the soil hanging out with Tufty who reminds him of his dad and

Review Ì eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ð Kit de Waal

L likely live out his childhood and teen years in the foster care systemThis book is a Kirkland Revels poignant look at the fragile nature of kids in unstable situations their desperation to just belong and hope that maybe if they can just be good enough their family can get back together It also shows theower of love and how family isn t necessarily the group we were born intoThank you to NetGalley and Viking for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review I was hooked again Another book where the narrative is from a child s To Him Who Sits on the Throne perspective and I couldn t resist the opportunity to get an advance copy Leon though is a little different from therecocious narrators I ve fallen in love with who are sometimes wiser than the adults This one is about a kid who really isn t uite sure what s happening around him and it s just so sad watching him try to make sense of it all He may not understand but Leon is smart enough to try and take care of his baby brother Jake when his mother is unable to do so It starts out happily enough with the birth of Jake but it doesn t take long for things to go terribly wrong It wasn t long before I had that same ain in my gut as I did for Easter and Ruby in This Dark Road to Mercy These are different stories and Ruby and Easter are kept together and not separated as Leon and Jake are Separated because it s easier to lace a white baby than it is to Youth, Beautiful Youth place an eight year old biracial half white half black boy As adults we know that life isn t fair but how do you explain to an eight year old boy who has been abandoned by his father endured what no child should endure with his mother s mental illness and drug addiction why he can t go with his baby brother to be adopted Maureen a foster care giver who takes Leon in is a favorite character who genuinely cares about what happens to him and the impact of his separation from his mother and brother have on him When she becomes ill her sister Sylvia cares for Leon Timeasses and Leon turns ten with no clear lans for his future on the art of Social Services Leon on the other hand is very clear about what he wants to do He will find his brother and his mother and take care of them both He finds his way to the allotments learns to Fault Lines plant a garden and makes friends with Devlin a former IRA member and Tufty a West Indian man and activist and things go terribly wrong again as Leon finds himself in the middle of race riots This is a commentary on a number of issues the racism and the riots in Britain in the 1980 s the short comings of the child welfare system but at its heart it is the sad story of a boy who will steal your heart The reader shouldn t let the simple language and style and the fact that it reads uickly fool them into thinking that this is not a story of substance Kit de Waal describes in an interview which appears at the end of the book The most challenging aspect was thinking all the time about what is important to a child versus what we as adults noticeI tried to simplify the language of the book as much asossibleThe author has intimate knowledge of the story she tells She s mixed race herself has two adopted children of mixed race and has worked in the foster care system for a number of years I highly recommend this book which most of the time time is heartbreaking but yet offers us some hope for a little boy named Leon I can t imagine anyone reading this book and not falling in love with himThanks to VikingSimon Schuster and Edelweiss This book could not have landed in my hands at a better time I have a young friend who is 13 years old She lives on the other side of the world from me For Hunt for 901 privacyurposesI m not going to mention her name but she will knowI dedicate this review to her My young friend has had a challenging life but is soooo inspiring of a young girlno words are the right words to express how exceptional she is I read My Name is Leon on the edge of tears much of the time I must find a way to say this freshly newas being heard for the first time not through numb jaded ears as if heard beforeITS SAD Really really SAD Damn itI need to say it againSAD There is much to feel sad about in this story I was angry tooOMGas soon as we begin separating siblingswe might as well ull their guts out toobecau. Tealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mumEvoking a Britain of the early eighties My Name is Leon is a heart breaking story of love identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss Of the fierce bond between siblings And how just when we least expect it we manage to find our way hom.