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This Much Huxley Knows

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4.87  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  28 reviews
I’m seven years old and I’ve never had a best mate. Trouble is, no one gets my jokes. And Breaks-it isn’t helping. Ha! You get it, don’t you? Brexit means everyone’s falling out and breaking up.

Huxley is growing up in the suburbs of London at a time of community tensions. To make matters worse, a gang of youths is targeting isolated residents. When Leonard, an elderly newc
...more
ebook, 223 pages
Expected publication: July 8th 2021
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Joanne Kukanza Easley
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. In this novel. the author perfectly captures the workings of a very special seven-year-old boy’s mind. Any Anglophile will enjoy this uplifting friendship novel. This cleverly told story is funny and heart-warming while touching on sensitive, contemporary issues. Told from the perspective of a child who sees what adults can’t or won’t, the behaviors of the adults in his life are revealed in a humorous way. I recommend hig ...more
Madeleine White
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Through A Child’s Eyes…

Seven-year-old Huxley tells the truth about the world around him. He is blithely unaware of the connotations of his friendship with Leonard, the awkward looking outsider on a mobility scooter, yet we worry for him.

Gail Aldwin’s stylish prose builds tension by offering us bird’s eye perspective, without the satisfaction of a reliable explanation. Instead, we are left to piece together meanings and motives and so, challenged to confront our own worldview. After all, ‘Pick
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FrancesColville
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have been lucky enough to read this novel prior to the publication date of 8 July. Having read and very much enjoyed Gail's first novel The String Games I knew I was in for a treat and I wasn't disappointed. The voice of 7 year old Huxley is spot on: while I was reading I constantly had in my head a picture of a 7 year old I know well and whom Huxley absolutely reminded me of. Seeing life through the eyes of an intelligent little boy makes for a very interesting and original read; sometimes hu ...more
Barbara Conrey
Apr 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This Much Huxley Knows by Gail Aldwin is refreshing, sweet, and oh, so clever.

Looking through Huxley's seven-year-old eyes, we discover a British family with all the time constraints, fears, biases, and confusions of most families, no matter where they are located. But learning about them through Huxley, a lovely, precocious boy with a sense of humor that few people appreciate, a good understanding of right and wrong, a compassionate heart, and a need to see justice served, well, it's simply a j
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Jim Bates
Mar 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully entertaining novel. The talented Gail Aldwin has chosen to address some tough universal issues, like political differences, racial prejudice and bullying, as seen by the delightfully aware and always entertaining seven-year-old Huxley. He and his middle-class parents live in a suburb of London and the author does a superb job letting us experience their world. The reader is introduced to a wide-ranging cast of characters: teachers, students, friends, family, old and new acq ...more
David Aldwinckle
May 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Huxley is an endearing character whose joy in life and his desire to have fun and do what seems like the right thing reminds me of what being seven ought to be all about. The characters around him are very familiar making the sort of mistakes we all hope to avoid but too easily fall into. This Much Huxley Knows will bring you a smile and a heart uplifted, enjoy.
Karen Cole
May 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
This warm, compassionate book captures the voice of seven-year-old Huxley perfectly. Funny, poignant and thought-provoking, it's a timely reminder that perhaps we should all try to see the world through the eyes of a child from time to time.
Full review to follow closer to publication day.
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Alicia Toovey
Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
First of all, I would like to thank Gail Aldwin for sharing her wonderful novel, This Much Huxley Knows, with me. What an uplifting and memorable story this turned out to be. This Much Huxley Knows is a unique and heartwarming story that exceeded my expectations. Seven-year-old Huxley knows a thing or two about life, and we would be wise to listen to what he has to share with us.

Huxley is a seven-year-old boy that lives with his mom Kristy, and dad, Jed. We are taken on a journey through his day
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Sasha Lauren
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book surprised me. It's an innovative, delightful, and insightful story told in first person by a child. The narrator, Huxley, is an innocent, playful, provocative seven-year-old, an "only lonely," (no siblings), who is achingly searching for a true friend and pushing those around him to be caring and reasonable. What is so extraordinary is that Gail Aldwin beautifully transports the reader inside Huxley's head and heart.

Huxley is a busy guy: he avoids football but longs for his turn on th
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Sophy Layzell
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Huxley is growing up in the suburbs of London at a time of community tensions. To make matters worse, a gang of youths is targeting isolated residents. When Leonard, an elderly newcomer chats with Huxley, his parents are suspicious. But Huxley is lonely and thinks Leonard is too. Can they become friends?
Funny and compassionate, This Much Huxley Knows explores issues of belonging, friendship and what it means to trust.


Clever, funny, poignant and so well observed, this is a fantastic book. Huxley
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Amanda Huggins
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This Much Huxley Knows examines important contemporary issues through the eyes of a perceptive seven-year-old boy. It is heartwarming and humorous, and Huxley’s take on the world reveals as much about the behaviour of the adult characters in the book as it does about his friends. Aldwin writes engagingly, exploring friendship and trust, prejudice and bullying, loneliness and acceptance. Huxley’s voice is authentic and pitch perfect; he is an engaging and likeable character, older and wiser than ...more
Barbara
May 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this warm and spirited book. Huxley stayed with me for some time after finishing the novel, although a chapter or two in, I had been wondering whether I would stay the course: the claustrophobic feeling of being stuck inside a seven-year-old's head was challenging. Nonetheless, Huxley won me over - his exuberant energy and refreshing, quick-witted, clear-eyed perspective on our flawed world were engaging and memorable. Gail Aldwin's keen eye for the telling details of family and school l ...more
Simon Henry
Mar 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Gail Aldwin takes the reader on a gentle, insightful fly-on-the-wall viewing of a period in Huxley’s life. The realism is so sharp, the book could be called ‘What Gail Knows’, especially for her handling of Huxley’s ‘voice’. She shows EXACTLY how some children on the autistic spectrum see the world. As she takes us through Huxley’s 1st person narrative of home, school, church and park, Gail skilfully lets the reader puzzle out what he means and how he understands things.
There is a controversial
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Jean Roberts
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Gail Aldwin for letting me read and review the delightful, This Much Huxley Knows. Huxley is a sweet but challenging child who longs for a best friend. He’s different and he knows it and he recognize this same quality in his new friend, Leonard. Huxley is a keen observer of the world around him even if he can’t clearly articulate all he sees and the adults in his life misunderstand him. Aldwin gives Huxley a voice which resonates in our complex modern world and reminds us of the sim ...more
Ninette Hartley
Apr 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely character Huxley is, and beautifully drawn by Gail. I really felt for him. Children can misconstrue situations or indeed have more understanding than adults when it comes to certain aspects of life. A story of a young boy's innocent friendship with an old man. Huxley shows compassion and loyalty way beyond his seven years. If only we could all remember the innocence of childhood and fight off the need to be judgemental of others. A beautiful story that lingered in my head long afte ...more
Dawn Knox
Apr 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A charming story, realistically told through the eyes of Huxley, a seven-year-old boy. The author skilfully describes the baffling adult world and various relationships as viewed and interpreted by a young boy, recreating the days of simplicity of childhood. The vocabulary used by the child is age-appropriate and content-appropriate as Huxley tries to make sense of his home life and school. He's an engaging, if boisterous boy, and the author cleverly weaves into the story a thread of threat. Or ...more
Valerie Griffin
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This Much Huxley Knows is delightful, I couldn't put it down. We are immediately drawn into seven-year old Huxley's life and Gail brilliantly shows us Huxley's world as he sees it in his interactions with his family, the church, at school and with the other schoolchildren. Life isn't always easy for Huxley and we are expertly guided through his thoughts and rationale. He has no prejudices or pre-formed opinions on the people he meets and he becomes torn between someone he wants to befriend and t ...more
V.P. Morris
May 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book as it was a much needed break from the darker fiction I tend to read. I've always liked books told from a child's perspective who picks up on things around him that adults miss or misinterpret. This Much Huxley Knows is sweet and heart-warming while still addressing deeper modern issues. A good read for anyone who likes contemporary fiction and stories that help you see from a different point of view. ...more
Allison Symes
May 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This Much Huxley Knows is a charming story with a child narrator, Huxley, whose bubbly personality shines through this book.

The author has captured a child’s voice exceedingly well, which is not easy to do, and you are caught up effortlessly in Huxley’s world. You root for him, you fear for him, you laugh with him, you rejoice when he does well. And there is an important lesson about not judging by appearances either.

A wonderful story and I hope it does well.
Linda Benjamin
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This Much Huxley Knows by Gail Aldwin is magical. The author transforms herself into a seven-year old only child. Huxley is a creative, intuitive boy, filled with questions about parents, relationships, appropriate behaviors and how to make friends. I love this book and its characters. I’m hoping for a Huxley II, so I can see what happens next to Huxley and the lives he touches.
Elizabeth Allison
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I am an educator, and when I first heard Huxley's voice as the narrator, I could picture and hear any number of my second-grade boys saying his words. Huxley's trusting nature rang very true for me. He is at the perfect age to not question a friendship and the authenticity of his character made his unlikely friendship with Leonard seem natural and sweet. I felt his disappointment when his parents did not approve.

The story offers sadness and also catharsis. The themes reflect the time and place
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Gail Olmsted
May 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Huxley Really Knows!

This Much Huxley Knows is a delightful read by a new-to-me author Gail Aldwin. The narrator is Huxley, a precocious 7 year old boy who lives in the London suburbs with his parents. We get to see the world through his eyes and it quite a tumultuous journey for the young boy as he tries to avoid the schoolyard bullies, find a best mate, convince his parents to provide him with a sibling and forge a friendship with an equally lonely older gentleman in a wheelchair. Huxley’s thou
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Nina MacRae
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have nothing but praise for Gail Aldwin's book "This Much Huxley Knows". What a refreshingly funny and sensitive tale of the trials and tribulations of Huxley, an infant at St. Michael's. His disarming honesty and uncanny adult wisdom kept me captivated. The story incorporates all topical issues of today. The characters fired up my emotions, screaming at the injustice of so many ignorant people but with a humour over riding the drama.

The story starts with an auction at the school from which en
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MR JULIAN M ARNEY
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It was clear from reading this recent book from Gail Aldwin that Huxley knows a great deal. The story, told simply in Huxley`s own voice, reveals the complex issues that young children face on a daily basis. Despite his parents wish to protect him (whether deliberately or due to their own blinkers), he confronts prejudice, bullying, loneliness, the desire to conform while standing up for what is right and an appreciation of difference. His sharp, intelligent, compassionate observations often lea ...more
Christina
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
THIS MUCH HUXLEY KNOWS is a delightful story told by a seven-year-old narrator, Huxley. I was instantly taken in by Huxley’s voice as he observes everything that happens around him. He introduces us to a cast of memorable characters, from his parents to his teachers to old acquaintances and new, and he rewards the reader with his unique perspective. Aldwin does a fantastic job weaving in Huxley’s mispronunciations and showing us just how complex children can be and are. Furthermore, the book tac ...more
Shirley Chappell
Apr 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An enchanting story of a young, sensitive boy. Many of his antics are familiar to me as I was a teacher of young children. It is a well written book which flows seamlessly from one event to the next in Huxley’s life. One feels happier for reading Huxley’s adventures many of which caused me to laugh out loud.
Laurel Lindström
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful novel. The narrator is seven year old Huxley and he tells his story in the first person and present tense throughout the book. It’s quite tough for an author to maintain such a voice throughout an entire novel, but Aldwin rises admirably to the challenge. Huxley is a sensitive and insightful little boy, and his witty linguistic games, his way of processing what he gets told to do and told off for, and his judgements about the behaviour of his parents and other adults, are conci ...more
Linda Sheehan
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’ve long heard that “out of the mouths of babes comes the truth” and young Huxley is proof of that. Told through the eyes of a seven-year-old child who is sometimes far wiser and more honest than the adults in his world, This Much Huxley Knows was a different type of read for me, and I was pleasantly surprised by the emotions it ignited. The book drew me into a culture I knew a little about and I enjoyed spending time with the various characters and sharing their issues such as loneliness, fear ...more
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A writer of novels, poems and short fiction, Gail Aldwin is also a member of 3-She a comedy sketch writing trio. When she's not busy at her computer, Gail reads contemporary fiction, women's fiction and literary novels. She tries to emulate the writing of authors she admires, such as Helen Dunmore and Anne Tyler.

'The String Games', Gail's debut coming-of-age novel was a finalist in The People’s B
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