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Not long after David Davey was born his mother, Cynthia Spink s Cindy knew there was something not quite right about him It shortly became clear that he was growing faster than he should something that never happened with her first born, Lenore Lenny Once Davey turned five Cindy s husband Peter got on a greyhound bus and never came back Cindy was left a single parent to raise her two children on her own Raising two children on your own didn t come cheap, so Cindy had no other option th Not long after David Davey was born his mother, Cynthia Spink s Cindy knew there was something not quite right about him It shortly became clear that he was growing faster than he should something that never happened with her first born, Lenore Lenny Once Davey turned five Cindy s husband Peter got on a greyhound bus and never came back Cindy was left a single parent to raise her two children on her own Raising two children on your own didn t come cheap, so Cindy had no other option than to go to work each day to keep the wolf from the door It was soon realized that Davey had a rare condition where he couldn t stop growing, but with that came new clothes and shoes as he was growing out of his old ones quicker than you could blink your eyes Cindy is always worrying about how she will cope with the never ending bills and she worries about her children especially, Davey When Cindy enters a competition to win the Burrell s Build it at Home Encyclopedia set she didn t imagine she would win, but she did Each week the latest issues arrives and it s here where Lenny and Davey discover a whole new world of birds, beetles and many other creatures and places they had never heard of With each new issue came new adventures and once again, Lenny and Davey were taken on a journey like no other With each passing month Davey continues to grow, only doctors are at a loss as to how to manage his condition I have to say how surprised I was about this book as it truly was a pleasure to read and one in which I thoroughly enjoyed I ve had this book sitting on my bookshelf for quite some time and as soon as I finished reading it, I asked myself why didn t I read this one sooner This book is listed as Young Adult or for children from the age of ten, but in my opinion, it s suitable and would be enjoyed by all ages Highly recommended With thanks to the publishers Allen Unwin for my uncorrected proof copy to read and review starsLenny s Book of Everything is a 2018 release written by Australian author Karen Foxlee, published by Allen and Unwin It has been classified as a middle grade ages 10 book, but it is a story that I feel has such widespread appeal that it can be enjoyed both young and adult readers alike The promotional material slotted inside my copy of Lenny s Book of Everything stated, discover the wonder of the world and the beauty of being alive This is a starsLenny s Book of Everything is a 2018 release written by Australian author Karen Foxlee, published by Allen and Unwin It has been classified as a middle grade ages 10 book, but it is a story that I feel has such widespread appeal that it can be enjoyed both young and adult readers alike The promotional material slotted inside my copy of Lenny s Book of Everything stated, discover the wonder of the world and the beauty of being alive This is a perfect description of a brilliant novel Lenny s Book of Everything is a story that quietly surprised me with its understated, but sheer beauty.Lenny short for Lenore Spink is the young narrator of Karen Foxlee s latest tale She and her brother Davey live with their mother, who has been left to care for her children single handedly and hold down a job at the local retirement home Davey is a very different young boy, he has a rare form of gigantism, which causes him to continually grow Life is fairly simple for the Spink family The beacon of light in their lives is the weekly delivery of Burrell s Build It at Home Encyclopedias, a prize that Cindy won Each week the encyclopedia collection allows Lenny and her brother s knowledge to expand From the comfort of their home, they are introduced to new places, concepts, key figures and creatures It also inspires the duo to seek a life of adventure, far away from their current existence However, when Davey s gigantism takes over, Lenny must rise above her family s challenges Lenny s Book of Everything is a touching, heartbreaking and introspective novel It provides a solid sketch of family life, love, sacrifice and acceptance.Lenny s Book of Everything immediately caught my eye due to a couple of factors It has been endorsed very widely by some of my fellow reviewers, bloggers and major booksellers With so much buzz around a middle grade children s novel, I was intrigued I was lucky to receive a copy of this book via the publisher, Allen and Unwin I have to admit that my first impressions of the book were set high The cover is red, very bold and absolutely stunning It features an eagle in full flight, with the inside of this majestic creature filled in by a colourful map of well known locales When I opened the front cover, inside I was greeted by a stunning map of the world, which also extended to the back cover.I couldn t wait to delve into this story Immediately the sense of intrigue is established by Foxlee and we receive a big hint that something epic is about to begin Our mother has a dark heart feeling It was as big as the sky kept inside a thimble That s how dark heart feeling are They have great volume but can hide in small places You can swallow them with a blink and carry them inside you so no one will know.Little did I know how I would be changed by this deceptively simple children s book.I did come into my reading of Lenny s Book of Everything with some trepidation I knew that this book was narrated by a child, and I wasn t entirely sure if I was ready for another child narrator story, after reading a few over the last year However, my worries were soon abated and I was rewarded with a story that I consumed in a sitting I could not stop reading this book and I soon found that I was very much attached to Lenny, her brother Davey, their mother and the other full bodied characters that fill the pages of this novel Lenny s narration is remarkable She offers an original and wide eyed take on the world around her I enjoyed her world view very much and I felt that Foxlee fully embedded herself in Lenny s life.Foxlee is a master at characterisation, not only is Lenny incredibly well rendered, her family are equally fully realised by the author I felt like I was a member of their family for the time I spent with them, watching on as the Spinks went through so many testing moments These life sequences are enriched by the supporting players that come in the lives of the Spinks family From the cantankerous Mrs Gaspar, to the creepy Mr King, the scatty great aunt Em, caring Nanny Flora, Lenny s loyal friends CJ and Matthew and Martha King, an employee of Burrell s Encyclopedias who corresponds with Cindy Spinks There are also the fleeting moments attached to Peter Spinks as we get to know this absent father figure from afar There is a strong sense of yearning attached this character through Lenny, which Foxlee absolutely nails.What I also adored about Lenny s Book of Everything was the structure The book is compellingly told from Lenny s point of view, which is very effective Combined with this is a linear and routine narrative arc Each new chapter chronicles both Davey s height and is punctuated by the date, as well as the letter of each encyclopedia volume received by the Spinks children In addition, there is a side epistolary focus with the letters that bounce back and forth between Cindy Spinks and Martha, the representative from Burrell s Encyclopedias I came to appreciate this framework very much, along with the beetle and eagle motifs that appear between the page breaks It adds to the inner beauty of this novel.For me, Lenny s Book of Everything was quite the trip down memory lane Set in the years 1969 to 1977, Foxlee recreates a world from our not too distant past I felt a strong sense of nostalgia, as like Lenny and Davey, an encyclopedia collection named Childcraft was a big fixture in my world during my childhood I would spend hours pouring over this family collection and I credit this encyclopedia collection for increasing my thirst for knowledge Through the placement of the encyclopedias in this book, I was able to relive some fond memories from my childhood.Lenny s Book of Everything delivers a dichotomy of sadness and hope There are smiles and to be had and tears to be shed, but it is an unforgettable journey It is a rare occasion when I think about where the characters ended up after the last page of the book, but I will say this was the case with Lenny s Book of Everything Even now I am wondering about the fate of the characters, long after I closed this striking book.Rousing, intuitive and life affirming, Lenny s Book of Everything is a book I recommend to everyone, everywhere I wish to thank Allen Unwin for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.Lenny s Book of Everything is book 1 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge Book Bingo 2019, Round 1 A book with a red cover and uplifting this book is everything every reviewer has said.and.In 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 annoy and uplifting this book is everything every reviewer has said.and.In 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.Foxlee s 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 SpinkThe 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.Foxlee 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 him.In 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 encyclopaedias not the internet via weekly instalments arriving through the mail Lenny s family won their set of encyclopaedias which would have been akin to winning the lottery A set of encyclopaedias 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.Lenny 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 loved.Lenny s Book of Everything is a heartbreaking and wonderful read full of the kindness of people everywhereI received an uncorrected proof copy from the publisher. Note to self Do not leave the last two chapters of a stunningly moving book like LENNY S BOOK OF EVERYTHING to read on the plane to Sydney, without packing tissues and dark glasses Holy Batman, as one of the main characters, Davey, would say this is quite a read One of my favourite Australian authors, Karen Foxlee, has created a beautiful story about sibling love, family, longing, illness, neighbourhood, beetles, eagles and, well, just about everything This is not just a kid s book Note to self Do not leave the last two chapters of a stunningly moving book like LENNY S BOOK OF EVERYTHING to read on the plane to Sydney, without packing tissues and dark glasses Holy Batman, as one of the main characters, Davey, would say this is quite a read One of my favourite Australian authors, Karen Foxlee, has created a beautiful story about sibling love, family, longing, illness, neighbourhood, beetles, eagles and, well, just about everything This is not just a kid s book it s an everyone book It s along the vein of The Book Thief and God of Small Things two of my favourite books.I was lucky enough to be sent the advanced reading copy When this stunning read becomes available later in the year through Allen Unwin, you need to buy a copy and read it, and re read it, and keep it on your bookshelf to lend to friends And buy tissues And dark glasses, if reading on a plane Where is that 6th star I need it to rate this book I ve bought a copy for myself and two copies for school, this is one of the most beautiful, sobbing into my nightie in the middle of the night sad, can t stop reading books I ve ever read What a treasure this is From the moment you meet Lennie and Davey you will be swept up in their hilarious imaginations and you ll want to keep them with you as you go about your days until you head to bed early so that you can get back to them.Lenny s littl Where is that 6th star I need it to rate this book I ve bought a copy for myself and two copies for school, this is one of the most beautiful, sobbing into my nightie in the middle of the night sad, can t stop reading books I ve ever read What a treasure this is From the moment you meet Lennie and Davey you will be swept up in their hilarious imaginations and you ll want to keep them with you as you go about your days until you head to bed early so that you can get back to them.Lenny s little brother Davey was born normal even though his Mum had a weird feeling that something was going to happen Lenny and Davey s Dad has gone off and nobody has seen or heard from him, their Mum works hard to try and make ends meet They don t have much but they are happy in their world with their neighbours who care and the excitement that their Mum winning a set of encyclopedias brings Both Davey and Lenny are desperate for knowledge about the world and about everything in it and they pour over the encyclopedia entries for hours Lenny is particularly fond of the bug entries, she intends to study beetles when she grows up, Davey is keen on rivers and log cabins and exploring the wilds of Canada During the times when their mum is at work the children are cared for by Mrs Gaspar their neighbour, she who smokes too much, gasps for breath often and who has very entertaining dreams which she tells them about in great detail It is a simple and happy life One day when Davey is 5 he starts to grow, at an extraordinary rate, he shoots up and up at amazing speed, an inch a night sometimes On the outside he becomes as tall as a man but on the inside he is just a small child It is weird Eventually he is taken to a specialist and I cannot sayhere.I see that lots of people consider this a book for children I don t believe that this is so This is a book for everyone, it is so full of heart and comfort The writing is stellar and the way that the author has made a world with few characters and places but which feels so big and real is perfect I was so drawn into this book that I was sobbing those big messy sobs with the catch in them, the ones where you need 3 breaths to complete the sob, the ones where your partner comes rushing in to see what is wrong and then goes oh, sad book huh , and leaves you to it This is now officially my book of the year I might have to go back and read it again Sometimes I felt like Charlie the Walking Stick insect, completely stuck in the bug catcher of my family Lenny s Book of Everything is a book for young readers 10 but any age will enjoy this by award winning Australian author, Karen Foxlee There are only three people in Lenore Lenny Spink s family now her mother Cynthia Cindy Lenny and her big little brother David Davey her father, Peter Lenard Spink left on a Greyhound bus the day before Davey turned five, and hasn t come back Sometimes I felt like Charlie the Walking Stick insect, completely stuck in the bug catcher of my family Lenny s Book of Everything is a book for young readers 10 but any age will enjoy this by award winning Australian author, Karen Foxlee There are only three people in Lenore Lenny Spink s family now her mother Cynthia Cindy Lenny and her big little brother David Davey her father, Peter Lenard Spink left on a Greyhound bus the day before Davey turned five, and hasn t come back It was about then, too, that Davey began to grow, too fast Nanna Flora lives far way but rings once a month Cindy works hard as a nursing aide to support the family It s not easy because Davey grows so fast he always needs new clothes and shoes She entered and won a competition for a full set of Burrell s Build It At Home Encyclopedia, so every week, almost like punctuation of their lives, Lenny and Davey look forward to what the next issue will bring Lenny s a bit hung up on Beetles Davey loves the Golden Eagle one day they will go to the Great Bear Lake together and Davey will build a log cabin When Cindy is at work, Lenny and Davey are looked after by Mrs Gaspar, the Hungarian lady in number 17 Despite his size, everyone at school loves Davey, and of course Lenny does too, although I was ashamed of him sometimes Everyone loved him but I was ashamed of how big he was and how he needed a grown up chair and how much he leaned and how he was so loud and happy when he talked about tractors And the shame of being ashamed was even worse than the shame The shame of being ashamed made me feel hot and sweaty and wild, like I was growing fur, like I was a werewolf I was a monster for thinking such things That s what it felt like to be ashamed of being ashamed of Davey Foxlee gives the reader a cast of wonderful characters some appealing, some a bit nasty, some quirky Cindy seems fiercely determined to maintain her independence and manage without help, but Davey s sweetness brings caring folk into their lives just the same The correspondence between Cindy and Burrell s Publishing Company graduates from indignant complaint Cindy and stiffly officious form letters Burrell s , to warmly caring and personal notes She gives her characters many wise words Loneliness was like a town You found yourself there you didn t even know how it happened And there were no buses out No trains People had to come in Like loneliness rescue teams is just one example.In Lenny s narrative, Foxlee easily captures the mind, the thoughts and feelings, the essence of being a kid in the seventies Lenny worries about Cindy s dark heart feeling about Davey s excessive growth about the reason Peter left about having a clean pressed hankie for school about the beetles she s got hidden in her room about Davey s operation about Mr King King of Fruit s interest in her mom about her secret Great Aunt Em being alone.These are characters that get under the reader s skin, get into the heart and, despite the sad ending being apparent from the blurb, there will be few readers who don t find a lump in the throat or tears welling by the last few chapters The comparison to The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas This one is much better than that A moving and heart warming read.This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by AllenUnwin .Pdf ☩ Lenny's Book of Everything ♷ Knopf has acquired a middle grade book by Karen Foxlee Beetles of the Yukon tells the story of the relationship between Lenore Spink and her younger brother Davey, who suffers from a rare form of gigantism The book is slated for fall A beautiful read I savoured every word and loved every character such a big heart and not a beat out of place Melina Marchetta, author of Looking for Alibrandi Lenny s Book of Everything is a tough, tender and beautiful piece of work that left me aching Glenda Millard, author of The Stars at Oktober Bend and A Small Free Kiss in the Dark You come to care so deeply for the characters that you want to move into their little flat and look after them They are so alive, so full of heart, A beautiful read I savoured every word and loved every character such a big heart and not a beat out of place Melina Marchetta, author of Looking for Alibrandi Lenny s Book of Everything is a tough, tender and beautiful piece of work that left me aching Glenda Millard, author of The Stars at Oktober Bend and A Small Free Kiss in the Dark You come to care so deeply for the characters that you want to move into their little flat and look after them They are so alive, so full of heart, curiosity and imagination, that even when tragedy comes to stay, their relationships are illuminated by joy Told with the piercing honesty and clarity of a child, this story holds life lessons for everyone W is for Wonderful, and that is Lenny s Book Unforgettable Anna Fienberg, author of Tashi The story of Lenore s younger brother dying of a rare form of gigantism, intertwined with her own longing to find her father, could have been heartrendingly grim Though I defy you to read it without tears, Lenny s Book of Everything is warm, humorous, absolutely real, and above all, uplifting It s also the best book I ve read this year Karen Foxlee, you re a genius Wendy Orr, author of Dragonfly SongStaff reviews This is a story with a huge heart, and a writer with a deep understanding of humanity Beautifully conceived and brilliantly executed, I think Lenny s Book of Everything is a masterpiece Move aside The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Move aside Wonder Lenny s Book of Everything is here Lenny is rare and incredibly special A story full of love and sadness, optimism, curiosity, kindness, humour, generosity, friendship, yearnings, day to day heroism, innocence and imagination It deserves to become a classic Readof our staff reviews here I adore Karen Foxlee s books Her writing is so delicate and yet so powerful Lenny s Book of Everything is the story of a small, vulnerable family living together in a small American town in the 1970s Lenny and her brother Davey are being raised by their mother Cynthia, their father having left and never come back They are very poor, and Cynthia works two jobs to support them Lenny is a prickly little girl, wary of being hurt, longing for something she cannot articulate One day they win a s I adore Karen Foxlee s books Her writing is so delicate and yet so powerful Lenny s Book of Everything is the story of a small, vulnerable family living together in a small American town in the 1970s Lenny and her brother Davey are being raised by their mother Cynthia, their father having left and never come back They are very poor, and Cynthia works two jobs to support them Lenny is a prickly little girl, wary of being hurt, longing for something she cannot articulate One day they win a set of encyclopaedias, with one book arriving every few weeks And so they begin at A, and work their way on through the alphabet The encyclopaedias enchant them, and give them a taste for the wonder of the world, and as Davey grows and grows and grows turns into a source of comfort for them For Davey has a type of pituitary gigantism, and soon Lenny will need all her strength to endure his loss Such a beautiful, sad book Even thinking about it brings a lump into my throat And I ve been thinking about it a lot since I finished it A truly unique creation My first book finished in 2019 andHoly Batmanit was everything.I had read excerpts and blurbs about Lenny s Book of Everything, but not one of them lived up to how emotionally charged and meaningful this book felt to me I became so invested in not only Lenny, Davey and Cyn thi a, but also the cast of characters surrounding them, even the repugnant Mr King yes exited the book in an endearing fashion These people were real and beautiful, from the school Principal surreptitiously washing t My first book finished in 2019 andHoly Batmanit was everything.I had read excerpts and blurbs about Lenny s Book of Everything, but not one of them lived up to how emotionally charged and meaningful this book felt to me I became so invested in not only Lenny, Davey and Cyn thi a, but also the cast of characters surrounding them, even the repugnant Mr King yes exited the book in an endearing fashion These people were real and beautiful, from the school Principal surreptitiously washing their dishes to the lonely impostor, Great Aunt Em.I knew, not long in, that I would be crying by the time I reached the end but often I was also left in hysterical fits of mirth from a simple throw away comment or scenario Interactions such as this Be a good girl, said Mother to me I will be, I said.She meant, Don t go and find a weird lady and pretend she is your family.Lenny s Book of Everything is about grief and loss but also about family and friendships, communities supporting each other and how people love and show their love I read this book to judge if it would be an appropriate inclusion in my library for my Years Five and Six students, but now I want to recommended it to everyone from 12