Review: Lenny’s Book of Everything – Karen Foxlee

“Lenny, small and sharp, has a younger brother Davey who won’t stop growing – and at seven is as tall as a man. Raised by their mother, they have food and a roof over their heads, but not much else. 

The bright spot every week is the arrival of the latest issue of the Burrell’s Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia. Through the encyclopedia, Lenny and Davey experience the wonders of the world – beetles, birds, quasars, quartz – and dream about a life of freedom and adventure. But as Davey’s health deteriorates, Lenny realises that some wonders can’t be named.”

I first heard of this wonderful book at the YA FanFest event Allen & Unwin put on earlier in the year. I immediately fell in love with it – already, 2 months before its release, I was in love.

Thankfully, the actual reading of the book did nothing to diminish the love I had for it. Lenny’s narrative voice is perfect for the book, and though it doesn’t always feel like a 10-year-old is narrating, it is still so perfectly in character. I can’t be sure because I was too ‘in-the-zone’ while reading to check, but I think Foxlee has written this so that all the ‘big’ words Lenny uses are from the letters of the encyclopedia they’ve already received.

Lenny’s Book of Everything is an incredibly visceral read. You absolutely feel all the emotions that 10-year-old Lenny does – the confusion at words behind closed doors, the betrayal of a broken promise, and the swelling of love she has for her brother Davey. If nothing else, this is a BIG-HEARTED book and you feel it off every page.

But there was goodness in those moments. Each of them was bright and deep. We swam in those moments.

Rating: I simply adored this book. It was an easy read both in language and heart – you can’t help but keep turning the pages. I’d recommend this one even if you aren’t a YA reader, it truly does feel like a book for everyone.

AU Release date: 24 October 2018

Publisher: Allen & Unwin


Have you read any books that are bigger than a single age-bracket reader?

Until next time,
M xx

Buy Lenny’s Book of Everything here

Thanks go to Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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