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My Name Is Leon

My Name Is Leon

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2582079,574 (4.15)20
Set in the 1970s, a young black boy's quest to reunite with his beloved white half-brother after they are separated in foster care.
Título:My Name Is Leon
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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My Name Is Leon de Kit de Waal

  1. 00
    The Girl Who Fell From the Sky de Heidi W. Durrow (JooniperD)
    JooniperD: Both novels feature coming-of-age stories of biracial children uprooted from their families and trying to understand how to belong, while working through trauma.

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Mostrando 1-5 de 20 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
My Name is Leon is a heartbreaking, beautiful, and all too real story, about a young boy forced by his mother's decisions to grow up too fast and shoulder responsibility no child should ever have to carry.

It's a story about the foster care system and how families can be separated, even when they want to stay together.

It's a story about parents who shouldn't be parents and children who make the best of the situations they find themselves navigating alone.

But above all, it's a story about family - the one we're born into and the one we choose for ourselves. It doesn't necessarily have a happy ending, but it does have a hopeful ending, and sometimes, that's better. ( )
  kiaweathersby | Sep 16, 2020 |
I cried through this entire book—really devastating and nuanced depiction of grief and loss, dealing frankly and compellingly with race and class. Left me wanting a sequel about Leon as an adult. ( )
  jostie13 | May 14, 2020 |
It is 1981 and Leon has just acquired a baby brother, Jake. They are living with their mother, Carol, who is struggling as the father of Jake has shown no interest at all in his son. Just how much she is struggling is made very apparent when Leon turns up at a friend of hers asking for money for sweets. Tina goes back home with him to find Carol a nervous wreck and in need of help. As she gets the medical attention that she desperately needs Leon and Jake are placed into care.

Their new 'mum' is Maureen, a red-haired older woman with a heart of gold, but as good as a job as she does with them both, Leon knows that it is not the same as having your mum there. Life is about to change again; Leon is half-cast and Jake is white so social services decide that Jake will be suitable for adoption. Jake is adopted fairly quickly and Leon loses his final family member and feels very alone.

Just when he is at his lowest ebb and doesn't think it can get any worse, Maureen is taken seriously ill and admitted to hospital. Leon moves to her sister Sylvia's house and has another bedroom and routine to get used to. He is now a little older and gets given a bike that means that he can travel and explore the local area. It is on these jaunts out that he discovers the local allotments and the men that frequent this place, Me Devlin and Tufty and the wonders that exist in their sheds. As exciting as these places are, what he really wants is to find Jake and bring them both back to his mum so they can be a family once again.

This heartwarming story deals in a beautiful way with a whole raft of issues from race to identity, belonging and the care systems in the 1980's. It is full of happy and sad moments, as Leon comes up against a care system that didn't want to keep families together at that time. Whilst de Waal has written this story of Leon with passion and care, it is not a sugar-coated tale either. The 1980's references of events and objects are tempered by the visible racial tension in the prose between the police and the local residents. Would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a story from the perspective of most people's lives back in those days. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
This book should come with a packet of tissues; I felt so emotionally invested in this book and completely engrossed in Leon's story that I kept thinking about it long after I had turned the final page.

Leon is almost 9 years old and already he is acting as a carer for his baby brother, Jake, and his mother, Carol. As it becomes clear that his mother cannot look after Leon and Jake, or even herself, Leon and Jake are taken into care. So they pack their meagre belongings and go to live with Maureen, their foster carer. Maureen has fostered lots of children and she welcomes each and every one of them into her home and loves them as if they were her own children. With Maureen opening her heart to Leon and Jake so unconditionally, I immediately knew that they were in good and safe hands.

I thought my heart would break when Leon kept wondering when his mother would come back for them but as Carol shows no signs of getting back on her feet, it is not long before Jake is adopted and Leon is left feeling understandably bereft. When Maureen is suddenly taken ill it is her sister, Sylvia, who steps in to look after Leon. As Leon struggles to fit in to his ever-changing environment he rides his bike to the local allotments and makes some unlikely friends - a strange bunch of people who are all struggling to fit in and find that, in the end, they just might all fit together perfectly like the missing pieces of a jigsaw.

My Name is Leon is a wonderful advert for foster caring; it's a beautiful story that reminds us that 'family' can come in all guises, not just those we are related to by blood. We hear so many horror stories on the news that it is so refreshing to read a heartwarming, lovely story like this. I cried at the beginning, middle and end as Leon's plight is an all too common occurrence. Kit de Waal, in her astonishing debut, has done an amazing job of giving each of her characters a strong and completely unique voice; from Leon's hilarious innocence to Maureen's inexhaustible love. Such varied and unique characters who inevitably managed to set up house and make a little home in my heart.

Written with such breathtaking tenderness, My Name is Leon is an emotional, poignant, heartwarming story filled with innocent humour and, above all, hope.

I received this book from the publisher, Penguin, in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Michelle.Ryles | Mar 9, 2020 |
This book is written from the point of view of 9 year old Leon, so the language is simple and readable, but the situation is complex beyond his understanding. It works well as a way to tell his story - the reader can read between the lines a bit when necessary. It feels a little neat in places, there is a kind of resolution and vaguely happy ending which I suspect might not happen in real life. But I enjoyed it and the insight into the difficulties of the fostering and adoption system for everyone involved. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Oct 18, 2018 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 20 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
She worked in family and criminal law for many years, and wrote training manuals on fostering and adoption; she also grew up with a mother who fostered children. This helps explain the level of insight and authenticity evident in My Name Is Leon, her moving and thought-provoking debut novel....De Waal skilfully brings her adult characters to life through the perspective of her child protagonist and she bestows great compassion on all her protagonists. Carol is unable to help herself, let alone the two sons she clearly loves.
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Set in the 1970s, a young black boy's quest to reunite with his beloved white half-brother after they are separated in foster care.

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