My Name Is Leon (Paperback)Kit de Waal (author)
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2017
It's 1981, a year of riots and royal weddings. The Dukes of Hazzard is on TV. Curly Wurlys are in the shops. And trying to find a place in it all is nine-year-old Leon. He and his little brother Jake have gone to live with Maureen. They've lost one home, but have they found another? Maureen feeds and looks after them. She has wild red hair and mutters swearwords under her breath when she thinks they can't hear. She claims everything will be okay. But will they ever see their mother again? Who are the couple who secretly visit Jake? Between the street violence and the street parties, Leon must find a way to reunite his family...
'Startlingly funny. Balances the gritty with the feel good.' - The Observer
'Vivid and endearing - a very powerful book.' - Emma Healey, bestselling author of Elizabeth is Missing
'Authentic and beautiful, urgent and honest, this novel makes room in your heart.' - Chris Cleave, bestselling author of The Other Hand
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 202 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 17 mm
A beautiful story told with compassion, urgency and wit -- Stephen Kelman, author of the Booker-shortlisted 'Pigeon English'
Vivid and endearing - a very powerful book -- Emma Healey, bestselling author of 'Elizabeth is Missing'
Leon is pure goodwill in a wicked world, and he won't leave you when you put this unique book down. Authentic and beautiful, urgent and honest, this novel does what only the best do: it quietly makes room in your heart. At the end of the story I couldn't bear to close the book on Leon. I felt I was abandoning him. I wanted to talk about it straight away with someone else who'd read it, and I know a great many readers will feel the same. -- Chris Cleave, bestselling author of 'The Other Hand'
Beautiful and heartbreaking - I cried buckets of tears for Leon and his family -- Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of 'The Last Act of Love'
The unforgettable story of a boy struggling to belong, and the author captures both his mindset and the period impeccably. Heartbreaking and uplifting - just read it * Daily Mail *
Everything in My Name Is Leon rings true. It's an everyday story and this actually makes it more powerful: these are the lows and joys of real life. Someone will be living them as you read * Emerald Street *
Beguiling, tender, funny, compassionate ... entirely heartbreaking without being bleak * Sunday Express *
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“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
“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
“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
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