Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Leo and the Lesser Lion” as Want to Read:
Leo and the Lesser Lion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Leo and the Lesser Lion

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  91 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
A heartwarming family story set during the Depression that reads like a classic.

Everyone's been down on their luck since the Depression hit. But as long as Mary Bayliss Pettigrew has her beloved older brother, Leo, to pull pranks with, even the hardest times can be fun. Then one day, there’s a terrible accident, and when Bayliss wakes up afterward, she must face the heartb
...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Leo and the Lesser Lion, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Leo and the Lesser Lion

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Maria
Personal Reflection:
This book was really amazing. I loved it! This book serves as a perfect outlet in trying to figure out your purpose in life and how to move through hardships. Young Bayliss deals with the loss of her brother after trying to save him and failing. Bayliss lives on trying to overcome a feeling that can be very easily understood and a feeling that many readers will become captivated by. The language and tone of this book is wonderful; personal and journal-like since it is written
...more
Carla
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Dwyer
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally rated G+ by Lori Hoag
When Bayliss’s brother Leo drowns and she survives a fall from a cliff, her life is changed forever. Not only does Bayliss need to recover physically from the trauma, but she and her whole family need to become reconciled to the loss of her brother. The loss of a young family member is very, very hard for all concerned, and the author writes about a very traumatic event with sympathy and a clear knowledge of the results and consequences for all concerned. Set duri
...more
Rebecca
Writing this review weeks after reading so review might be a little sketchy. This was disappointing because when I first started reading this I loved it and was recommending it. Then I finished. Plot summary: Bayliss, a girl growing up in the Depression, is as content as could be until a tragic accident involving her and her beloved brother turns her world inside out. The accident affects everyone in the family but, eventually, a rhythm of sorts is established. Then Bayliss' father announces the ...more
Mr. Steve
This book surprised me quite a bit. When I started reading it, I didn't know quite what to expect. The prologue already mentions that Leo, Mary's brother, has died and Mary Bayliss miraculously survived. Then we learn the story, slowly, of what happened that afternoon. The power of this story, set during the Great Depression, is in the aftermath of Leo's death - as Mary recovers physically and the family attempts to come to grips with Leo's death.

It is a very emotional story, especially a famil
...more
Elly
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
296 Pages
Historical Fiction
Sandra Forrester
Leo and the Lesser Lion
This book is about the relationship between a brother and a sister. One day the brother, Leo, brought his sister, Bayliss, to her rowboat. When an unexpected storm comes, Leo ends up drowning. Bayliss slipped on a cliff and broke her back. They both died but God brought Bayliss back. She wants to find her purpose. So, Bayliss decides she wants to be a nun. When her dad comes home with 2 girl orphans Bayliss' purpose in life chang
...more
Cinnamon
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, family story lovers, teachers for a good read-aloud
Mary Bayliss has worshiped her older brother, Leo, ever since she could toddle after him. The two were well known in their community for all the pranks they have pulled. They were the best of friends. Then tragedy struck, Leo died and Bayliss was severely injured. Now no one will talk about Leo anymore and the whole family treats Bayliss like she might break. It's like everyone wants to forget about Leo.
And didn't Bayliss die as well? The nurses and doctors call her a miracle. The nuns say that
...more
Erin Sterling
A sad, beautiful book set in small-town Alabama during the Depression. 12-year-old Bayliss is spunky and headstrong and loves hanging out with her older brother Leo, whether it's sneaking out of the house at night with him to pull pranks like putting their grandmother's underwear on a neighbor's scarecrow or tagging along to help at their outspoken grandmother's farm. So when Leo drowns in a freak accident and Bayliss breaks her back trying to save him, putting their family's life back together ...more
Doni
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
"Then I twisted the napkins into bunny faces like I'd seen in the Easter issue of Miz Burdeshaw's Ladies' Home Journal, but for some reason, all the bunnies ended up with just one ear, a real long one. Still, I thought they turned out pretty good for my first try.

Then Daddy sat down and reached for his napkin. He gave it an odd look and said, 'Helen, why is this napkin tied up in knots?'

'Heaven only knows,' Mother said, pinning me down with her eyes. 'I guess it's just one of life's great myster
...more
Miss Amanda
gr 4-7 296 pgs


Great Depression Alabama. After her brother drowns, 12 year old Bayliss feels lost without him. Together she and Leo loved to pull pranks. People were still talking about the time someone put underwear on one of the neighbor's scarecrows. When her family takes in two sisters Gwen and Isabel, Bayliss wants nothing to do with them. Left at the orphanage by their unemployed father, Gwen and Isabel want nothing to do with Bayliss.

A great story about healing with interesting characters
...more
carissa
Recommended Ages: grades 5-8

Everyone's been down on their luck since the Depression hit. But as long as Mary Bayliss Pettigrew has her beloved older brother, Leo, to pull pranks with, even the hardest times can be fun. Then one day, there’s a terrible accident, and when Bayliss wakes up afterward, she must face the heartbreaking prospect of life without Leo.

And that’s when her parents break the news: they’re going to be fostering two homeless little girls, and Bayliss can’t bear the thought of
...more
Susan  Dunn
Feb 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fiction
I liked this. It's historical fiction and also good story about the death of a sibling. Mary Bayliss's beloved older brother Leo has recently died and Bayliss herself was severely injured. During her recovery, no one in her family talks about Leo - they think it will make her too upset. But really, it's what she needs most. The book takes place during the depression, and since they now have an empty bedroom, Bayliss's parents volunteer to take in two young sisters who are homeless. It's hard for ...more
Tanja
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set during the Depression era in the United States, a family has to deal with a tragic loss of a son, everyone reacting and dealing with it in a different way. Very touching - keep the tissue box nearby!
Leisy
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. It's a juvenile fiction book- but it was wonderful. About a little girl named Bayliss who is dealing with losing her brother. It was pretty sad at parts- but had a great message and I really loved the characters!
Valeria Martinez
I really liked this book. It was sad and had alot of meaning in it.it was the so good it made me cry of sadness and hapiness. i couldnt stop reading until i finished at 12:36 P.M! but it was worth it. this book talked about a story that could happen to you in real life. i loved this book!
Heather
Absolutely wonderful.
Melissa
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent book - well written and such a touching story. I recommend it to everyone!
InYourFaceNewYorker
Very well written. A tender yet unsentimental story about a girl's coming of age and self-discovery after her brother's death.
Kari
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book; a story of loss and moving forward.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Set in Alabama AND written by an Alabama librarian!
Kerri
Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heartwarming, tear-jerking story about coping with the loss of a loved one, set in a small town during the Depression.
Amyjo
Awesome story---deals with family loss and foster care!
Crystal
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very moving and realistic story about a girl recovering from the death of her brother.
PWRL
Jan 16, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-new
A
Katie Jane
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Alabama and written by an Alabama librarian.
Dan Boontam
rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2012
Nicole
rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2010
Connie
rated it liked it
Oct 23, 2009
Whisper Poet
rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2012
Zhee
rated it liked it
Apr 01, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »