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Leaving Lymon

(Finding Langston #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  368 ratings  ·  72 reviews
A companion novel to Finding Langston , recipient of a Coretta Scott King Writing Honor and winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

Behind every bad boy is a story worth hearing and at least one chance for redemption. It's 1946 and Lymon, uprooted from his life in the Deep South and moved up North, needs that chance.

Lymon's father is, for
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Holiday House
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  368 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, 2020-mg
These books are such little understated gems. I love the compassion for all the characters Cline-Ransome has for all her characters. She hits me in the heart every time.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This companion novel to "Finding Langston" gives us another perspective on the Great Migration. The behavior of Lymon, the bully, was appalling and we applauded when the school took action. Now we see, as the iconic Paul Harvey would say --"the rest of the story." Lymon's story begins in Mississippi with his daddy serving time on the Parchman Farm. Lesa Cline-Ransome shows us Lymon's family life and how his grandpop introduces him to the joys of music. Ma (grandma) is a steady presence throughou ...more
Ms. B
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Even more emotionally packed than its companion novel Finding Langston. Lymon's story of finding inner strength will break your heart. There's nothing easy about Lymon's life as he bounces from home to home and back again. ...more
Joanne Kelleher
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it
You might think you want to know how a bully becomes a bully, but, in this case, not really. Lymon, the mean kid from Finding Langston, has a heart-breaking backstory and he cannot catch a break. Your heart will go out to him.
Leonard Kim
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Listened to audiobook. I really liked Finding Langston, but couldn't put my finger on why it was so good. Same goes for this one. Previously I compared Clean Getaway favorably to Zoe Washington. This too has the setup of a Black father in prison, a close grandparent, etc. and may be even better than Clean Getaway, though it's so different to make direct comparison difficult. It may also be worth comparing to Anne Blankman's excellent The Blackbird Girls which depicts the exact same relationship ...more
Lindsey Stoddard
Loved loved loved this companion novel to Finding Langston. So beautifully done.
David Rough
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a sequel (or maybe a prequel I am not sure) to another young reader’s novel, Finding Langston by the same author. I have not read the first book, and so I may be at a disadvantage in my perspective. The story begins in 1939 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Lymon lives with his Grandmother and Grandfather. They are on their way to Parchman Farm where Lymon’s father is imprisoned. His mother left town many years before and moved to Chicago, so Ma and Grandpops are his family.

This sad story is f
Jillian Anderson
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was hard to read! I know that many kids face difficult times, but this story made me want to reach into the book and give Lymon a hug. Although this book is a companion to Finding Langston, you can read them independent of one another. I kept hoping the author would have Langston and Lymon meet up and settle their differences, but I believe Cline-Ransome's goal was to make the reader sympathetic to the villain. She achieved that goal! Well done, highly recommend! ...more
Phil Jensen
Jul 18, 2020 marked it as notes-on-unfinished-books
Read the first 20 or so pages.

I'm really impressed with this book and hope I get the chance to finish it. Cline-Ransome creates an excellent, believable voice for the main character. I was in suspense over how the family's story would develop. The author makes excellent showing vs. telling decisions, which really allowed me to experience the story.

This is the best Newbery 2021-eligible book I've looked at so far.
Donna Lewis
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This story traces the life of 4-year-old Lymon from 1939 to 1947, shuffled from Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Parchman Prison to Milwaukee and on to Chicago’s Audy Juvenile home for boys. Redemption or a downward slide for a youngster on the edge of manhood, and the importance of family support in developing self worth.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Deeply compassionate, insightful, and tender. I shed many tears and hated to finish. Absolutely beautiful.
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Both a wonderfully told story with memorable characters and an enlightening look at an aspect of Black history in the US, I highly recommend this book, along with Lesa Cline-Ransome's accompanying story Finding Langston. ...more
Tracey Walsh
I dragged this book out for far too long, but I wound up really enjoying it. It is a very emotional story, but a quick read and you will fall in love with Lymon.
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a moving book. I laughed, I cried, and I hurt for Lymon. He’s a bully who only wants to be loved. His loss, struggles, perseverance and love of music captured my heart.
Lymon is being raised by his grandparents but a time comes when they aren't able to take care of him and he is sent to live with relative after relative. Much of the book my heart hurt for Lymon due to the neglect he was experiencing. Playing the guitar was his salvation and a connection to his grandfather and father. ...more
Aug 25, 2020 rated it liked it
CW: child abuse, domestic violence, incarceration, grandparent death and illness, absent/negligent parents

First, as a fellow Mock Newbery reader put it: this book is a "little gem of heartbreak." Poor Lymon has a devastatingly sad experience, over and over again, and you really feel for him. Many kids will feel connected to his traumatic experiences despite the historical fiction label.

However, this book suffers from its lack of relevance or purpose. There isn't enough in this novel to justify i
Fans of the author's earlier Finding Langston will surely want to read this companion novel. In it, readers will learn more about Lyman Caldwell, whose brief appearance in the previous book results in a pivotal scene for its protagonist, Langston, the boy he dismissively calls Country Boy. As it turns out, the two boys have quite a lot in common although they never realize it. Lyman himself is from the country, born and reared in rural Vicksburg, Mississippi. The book opens in 1938 when Lyman an ...more
Josephine Sorrell
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-2021
Lymon, who has music in his bones, has too many strikes against him to make growing into young adulthood easy.

Young Lymon Is an African American boy living in 1940s Mississippi with his loving, guitar-playing grandpops and ever disgruntled grandmother, called Ma. Lymon’s has a mother in Chicago, but he’s told she is flighty and when Lymon was born to his teenaged mother, Daisy, she abandoned him.

After moving to Chicago, Daisy started herself another family;

Grady is Lymon’s father, and is inc
Ms. Yingling
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Public library copy

It's 1938 in Mississippi, and young Lymon lives with Grandpops and Ma because his father is in prison at Parchman Farms, and his mother has started a new life in Chicago after struggling with parenting at a very young age. Things are okay, and Lymon's favorite thing is playing music with his grandfather and his friends on Friday nights. In 1941, Lymon starts school, which has its ups and downs, and Grandpops' health starts to fail. After his death, Lymon's aunt Vera decides th
Stephanie Bange
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A stand-alone companion book to Cline Ransome's Finding Langston, the action in Lymon actually takes place around the events told in Langston and explains the how Lymon came to be a bully.

With a father who was always on the road playing in honky-tonks and a mother who lacked any parenting skills, Lymon is being raised by his grandparents in Vicksburg. When Grandpops passes away, he and Ma first move to Milwaukee to be close to his aunt and then to Chicago to live with his mother. To add to the i
Mary Louise Sanchez
The setting is the Great Depression and the 1940s migration to the north by African Americans.

Young Lymon lives with his grandparents in the rural area of Vicksburg, Mississippi because his father is incarcerated at Farchman Farm--the Mississippi State Penitentiary (most likely for a petty crime) and his mother has moved north. Lymon has a community who cares about him and his grandfather, Pops, is teaching him to play guitar by ear. When Pops dies, Lymon and his diabetic grandmother move north
Full of heart, honest internal and external struggle, and info woven in about the historical time period. I read this aloud with my kids, and we loved hearing (and needed to hear) about Lymon's back story and feeling his feelings and seeing his growth and changes. My kids are really hoping for another companion book on Clem in the future!

-"...I tried to think 'bout what was next for me, outside of the Audy Home. Couldn't go back to my momma's. Milwaukee seemed so far away, didn't see how
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very worthy companion book to Finding Langston. I love that Leaving Lymon answers the question of why Lymon was so awful to Langston in the other story. It's a poignant reminder that people who treat us badly are fighting demons and facing struggles of their own. This is something I like to tell my own children - the people who bully you or annoy you aren't necessarily acting that way because they are just awful humans, but because something is going on in their world, so be kind.

While Langst
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another winner! Lymon is a tender-hearted boy with a down on his luck life. Raised by his grandparents in Vicksburg. Mississippi while is father is doing time at Parchman Farm State Penitentiary, Lymon helps around the house and learns to play guitar from his grandfather, Grandpops. A strange turn of events leads Lymon to have to move north with his father's sister. Dad is released from Parchman, but is a musician needing work, so Lymon is left behind. He enters new schools, tries to make friend ...more
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I really loved Finding Langston so I was super excited to read this companion novel. I think I had expectations that were too high. It was a good book but it wasn't as good as Finding Langston.
Where Langston had poetry to help him find meaning in his life, Lymon had music. That could have been the reason why I didn't like this book as much (although, I don't love poetry, I do love to read. I like to listen to music but not create it).
This was a little bit like the Wonder story that gave the bul
Misty  Miller
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Leaving Lymon is a heartwarming story of a young boy finding out who he is while undertaking the hurdles that life places in his path. Life for an African American male in the South was not easy in the 1940’s. This fact is only made more difficult when his life drastically changes. His relocation up North brings with it a new set of challenges and struggles. While being angry is understandable, Lymon must learn how to grow into a man without allowing his angry to control and ultimately ruin his ...more
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have not yet read Finding Langston. This is a companion.

As I began this book, I found it to be a fine, if purposeful, historical fiction about the Great Migration.

As I continued, I realized that Cline-Ransome had done such a masterful job of explaining the history of mass incarceration and generational trauma, complex ideas that adults struggle with, in a package for elementary school children.

It will be impossible not to root for Lymon. It will make you furious at uncaring teachers, and gi
Lymon Caldwell has lived most of his life with his grandparents in Mississippi. He rarely gets to see his father-who's an inmate at the Parchman Farm-and has never met his mother. After his grandfather's death, he and his grandmother move north to live with his aunt. Lymon is moved around again and again, feeling like neither of his parents love or support him. When he is sent to the Audy Home for boys, he re-discovers his love for music...which gets him through the four months before his father ...more
Rachael Bookfairs
In her follow up to the middle grade novel Finding Langston Lisa Cline - Ransome again explores the great migration this time through the eyes and experiences of Lymon throughout his elementary school years first in Mississippi with his grandparents then in Milwaukee where he lives with his aging grandma near his aunts and then in Chicago where he joins his estranged mom when his grandmother is hospitalized.

In finding Langston we see Lymon as the bully who torments Langston in Chicago but in th
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A companion book to Finding Langston, Leaving Lymon focuses on the Langston's school tormentor, Lymon. The book follows Lymon as he moves from living with his grandparents in Vicksburg, Mississippi, to Milwaukee with his grandmother following his grandfather's death. From there, Lymon moves to Chicago with his mother (where his story overlaps with Langston's) then finally back to Milwaukee. Through Lymon's story, Cline-Ransome explores the impact of Jim Crow laws on men like Lymon's father and s ...more
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