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Lenny's Book of Everything

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  1,873 ratings  ·  387 reviews
I knew my brother. I knew when he talked too much about Timothy his imaginary pet eagle. He was scared.
'Whatever you do,' I said to Davey on the walk to school, 'Do not tell people about your eagle. Do not tell Miss Schweitzer about your eagle.'
He looked crestfallen. His shoulders slumped. He looked to make sure Timothy hadn't fallen off.

Lenny, small and sharp, has a young
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,873 ratings  ·  387 reviews

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Kylie D
A wonderful book, both sad and uplifting at the same time. Lenny is a young girl who lives with her mother and younger brother Davey after her father has walked out of their lives. When Davey is born, a perfectly normal, healthy baby, Lenny's mother has a "dark heart feeling" and says that "Something's not right." Then, on Davey's fifth birthday, he starts to grow. He is four foot nine by the time he turns six, and he doesn't stop there. He keeps growing.

Then Lenny's mother enters a competition
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
Veronica ⭐️
Heartbreaking and uplifting – this book is everything every reviewer has said....and more.

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
Zanni Louise
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 -
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
4.5 stars
Lenny’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
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Allen and Unwin
"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,
Kate Forsyth
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Allyce Cameron
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
”Our mother had a dark heart feeling. It was as big as the sky kept inside a thimble. That’s how dark heart feelings 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 would know.”

This book destroyed me. I spent the last 30 or so pages sobbing like my heart was breaking. And it was breaking.

This is a such a special book and I just don’t know the right words to really do it justice. Karen Foxlee has made me fall in love
Megan Maurice
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just cried and cried and cried. What a beautiful book, but my god it’s so sad. You need to be mentally prepared before you read it, but if you are mentally prepared, I highly recommend it. Lenny is such an intricately written character who has all these feelings that we tend to squash down. I love all her imperfections and honesty.
My first book finished in 2019 and "Holy Batman" it 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
Jacqueline Harvey
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Karen Foxlee, you are a genius. This is one of the best books (if not THE best book) I have read in years. I was very glad to be reading the last few chapters on my own in bed this morning with tissues beside me. There were tears and sobs - it was wonderful. Such well drawn characters and your use of metaphors and similes - well I'll be using some examples in my next writing workshops to show how a true expert does it. Congratulations Karen - a truly beautiful story.
Update. I wrote some words about this book in a review on my blog, Trish Talks Texts.

It's amazing. And wonderful.
Tabitha Bird
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
A gorgeous book of everything! Lenny was divine and heartbreaking and did I mention she was divine? And Davey..oh, my heart. What a beautiful story of love in all its many forms and what it means to grieve. Loved it.
Allison Rushby
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, my. I'd been looking forward to reading Lenny's Book of Everything for so long and it certainly didn't disappoint. I always wait eagerly to read Karen's books, because her writing is so beautiful. I mean, just look at the first few lines... 'Our mother had a dark heart feeling. It was as big as the sky kept inside a thimble. That's how dark feelings 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'. Gorg ...more
Danielle {halfdesertedstreets}
Candidate for book of the year.
Seema Rao
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poignant ~ Beautiful ~ Affecting

tl: dr: Everything can be as big or as small as you make it, or sometimes the size is completely out of your hands.

In this story, Lenny shares the challenges of living with a single mom and a brother who has a rare condition in which he can't stop growing. This book, though, is one of those lovely sad/happy books where the central challenge is presented as a matter of course. Her brother is growing beyond the space of their house. The father has left. And, they w
Cass Moriarty
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Author Karen Foxlee invents amazing worlds and introduces us to fascinating characters through her absolutely beautiful writing – the words sing off the pages and into your heart. Her latest novel, Lenny’s Book of Everything (Allen & Unwin Books 2018) is a genre-shifter in that it is suitable and age-appropriate for middle readers and above, but it is definitely a story that adults and readers of all ages will connect with and find compelling.
The characters of Lenny and her little brother Davey
I'm calling it early - this is book of the year. Such an emotive, empathic and wonderful novel. Karen Foxlee handles issues with a gentle deftness and beautiful language that leaves you emotionally spent. Please read this - please have a box of tissues nearby - several if you are a sooky lala like me.

It is a book about love. Sibling love, motherly love, unconditional love for someone who works their way into you heart with their guilelessness, innocence and gentleness.

Davey kept growing - in si
Trigger warnings: medical procedures, (view spoiler)

Okay, so here's the thing: this is a very enjoyable middle grade book as an adult reader. But at the same time, there isn't a HUGE amount of plot involved. It's basically the story of Lenny's younger brother growing much faster than he should, but the whole thing is framed against the kids collecting weekly instalments of a build-it-at-home encyclopaedia. And, like, I'm not sure that kids will be particularly
Brona's Books
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the PR on the inside covers suggested that this would be Foxlee's 'break-out book', the one that would finally tip her over into the big time (where I've always thought she belonged, by the by).

The opening sentence told me they were correct.

Our mother had a dark heart feeling.

Straight away I had that lovely goosebumpy shiver of anticipation feeling that happens oh-so rarely these days. I knew this book was going to break my heart yet I couldn't stop myself. Even when that breaking my heart f
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-reading
Goodreads NEEDS to put in a 6th star because this book so deserves one!

Lenny lives with her mother, her father, Peter Lenard Spink, left them and Davey, her younger brother, has a condition that was made up by the author based on pituitary gigantism which mean he grows and grows. By the time he is 6 he is as tall as a fully grown man. They enter a competition to win the Burrells Build it at Home Encyclopedia. Lenny's book of everything is set in the 1970's around an encyclopedia set and they ge
Nic Ayson
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth, family, feelings
"Our mother hard a dark heart feeling. It was as big as the sky kept inside a thimble. That's how dark heart feelings 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."

First five lines and I was hooked and remained that way, from cover to cover.

What an intensely beautiful read. It touched my heart and had me weeping, never once skipping a beat.

The author writes that she wanted to write about what it means
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be a wonderful book full of heart. It presents the pains of growing up, having a sibling who is "different", and being abandoned by a parent in a way that made me feel all of the emotions right along with Lenny. I can't recommend it enough.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.
Dimity Powell
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-lit
I remember, when I was still a pre-schooler, the day our World Book Encyclopedia and Childcraft How and Why Library sets were delivered. They lived in their own custom-built bookshelf and went with us whenever we moved house. I was contemplating selling them this year to free up space or failing that, surrendering them to the compost heap. Now, after spending time with Lenny and Davey, I'm not so sure. Like their Burrell's Build-It-At-Home Encyclopedia, each lettered volume holds countless child ...more
Pam Tickner
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you Better Reading and A & U for my ARC. This is a beautifully written book and, surprisingly, is a great read for all ages as it cater for a broad age of readers without compromising plot and language . Younger readers will enjoy Lenny's story of a young girl growing up too quickly as she helps to look after her brother battling a rare illness. As an adult reader I loved Lenny's prickly relationships with those around her, especially that with her Great-Aunt Em as she tries to find some f ...more
Jo Cleveland
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm still reading this marvelous book. Karen Foxlee tells a wonderful story.
Christine Bongers
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From her very first novel The Anatomy of Wings, Karen Foxlee has been one of my favourite writers, and every book since has consolidated her standing. This latest offering made me laugh, made me cry and made me think about everything that I value in stories and in life. It has all the makings of a children's classic. Just beautiful.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One million stars to Karen Foxlee for this utter treasure. Thank you.
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NZ Intermediate S...: Lenny's Book of Everything 1 13 Jan 09, 2019 01:35PM  

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Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who lives and writes in Queensland. Her young adult novels The Anatomy of Wings (UQP/Knopf/Atlantic) and The Midnight Dress (Knopf/UQP/Hot Key Books) have been published internationally to much acclaim. The Anatomy of Wings won the Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book 2008 (South Asia/Pacific), the Dobbie Award 2008, and a Parent’s Choice Gold Award in th ...more

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“But now we knew. It was a good thing. All of Davey, in all his time upon the earth, was good.” 0 likes
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