My Name is Leon (Hardback)Kit De Waal
- In stock
‘I’m your brother,’ says Leon. ‘Big brother.’
The baby doesn’t say anything back.
‘Big. Brother.’ Says Leon. ‘My. Name. Is. Leon. I am eight and three quarters. I am a boy.’
The baby stretches himself out to say he understands.
A brother chosen.
A brother left behind.
And a family where you'd least expect to find one.
Leon is nine, and has a perfect 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 Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not.
As 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 stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.
Brilliantly evoking the 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 home.
Already noted as a writer of short fiction, Kit de Waal was inspired by her own mother’s work as a foster carer as well as a career working in family and criminal law to write this heartfelt and moving first novel. Told from the point of view of a child My Name is Leon is a moving story about families; the ones we’re born to and those we choose.
‘A moving and thought-provoking debut novel’ – The Guardian
'Unforgettable, heartbreaking and uplifting - just read it' Daily Mail 'My debut of the year so far...heartbreaking and warm at the same time' - Stylist
'Authentic and beautiful, urgent and honest, this novel does what only the best do: it quietly makes room in your heart' - Chris Cleave, bestselling author of The Other Hand
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
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“Heartbreaking but lovely ”
If I could do half ratings, this would be more of a 3.5 than a solid 4. I did have a good old cry in the early stages of the book, Leon's situation was absolutely terrible and it felt so much harder knowing that... More
“Poignant and Insightful”
My Name is Leon is a brilliant debut from Kit De Waal that masterfully crafts the naïve yet nuanced internalisations of a young boy, whilst illustrating the complex backdrop of 1980s Britain.
To write from the... More
“A lion-hearted book”
The central character in Kit de Waal's My Name is Leon is a child who finds himself in the care system in the early 1980s. His mother seems to suffer from serious post-natal mental health problems after his... More