My Name Is Leon

Kit De Waal

Literary Fiction · Great for: Anyone who enjoys both the feel-good and gritty moments in life, who remembers early-80s Britain, or who has experienced or worked in foster care

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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…

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What we think of this book & ideas for gifting

Richly evoking a vision of Britain in the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a story of love, the fierce bond between siblings and learning to overcome unbearable loss. And how – just when we least expect it – we somehow manage to find our way home.