I know it's only March but I've just read my favourite book of 2019! Holy Batman it was just everything a book should be.
Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee tells the incredibly heartwarming story of Lenny Spink and her little brother Davey, who on his fifth birthday starts to grow and by the age of seven is as tall as a man. Davey's rare form of gigantism leaves Davey with constant outgrown clothes and split shoes, and their mother, Cindy, working hard to make ends meet. But then a beacon of light enters their lives in the form of Burrell's Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia - a monthly a-z instalment encyclopedia which Cindy wins in a competition. With this weekly gift of knowledge Lenny and Davey discover a whole new world of beetles, birds and log cabins, they learn of unknown places and sail across some of the mightiest seas. Each issue is a new adventure like no other, but all the while Davey's disease progresses, and the siblings' new richly, imagined world becomes harder to cling on to.
Set during the 1970's and compellingly narrated from the point of view of Lenny, Foxlee offers a remarkably original and honest take on the world around her. A deeper thinker and a deep feeler, Lenny's thoughts and worries are incredibly raw and real for the clarity of a child, and I came to care so deeply for Lenny that I longed to reach through the pages and hug her during both her weakest and strongest moments!
Not only is Lenny a well thought-out character but as is the unforgettable and loving Davey, the concerned yet anxious Cindy, the quirky Mrs Gaspar and the loving Nanny Flora. Foxlee is a master at characterisation. She breathed life into her characters so much so that I longed to be apart of the Spink family. Each character is undoubtedly one of a kind and through this and Foxlee's deep understanding of humanity comes a chorus of life lessons and wise words. I also adored the layout of the book as each chapter is effectively structured with the date, Davey's height and a letter of each encyclopedia volume - effortlessly adding to the inner beauty of the novel.
A heartbreaking, yet incredibly heartwarming tale of sibling love, illness and coming together as both a family and a neighborhood. Through the eyes of Lenny, and the heart of Davey and the worries of Cindy, Lenny's Book of Everything will make you discover the wonder of the world and the beauty of being alive all over again. This book will stay with me for a very long time, and it is one that I will endeavour to read over and over again.