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  • My Name Is Leon

  • By: Kit de Waal
  • Narrated by: Lenny Henry
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (681 ratings)

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My Name Is Leon cover art

My Name Is Leon

By: Kit de Waal
Narrated by: Lenny Henry
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Summary

A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you'd least expect to find one.

Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers.

Since Jake is white and Leon is not. Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how - just when we least expect it - we manage to find our way home.

©2016 Kit de Waal (P)2016 Penguin Random House UK

What listeners say about My Name Is Leon

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Loved it

What an aazing performance from Lenny Henry.. One of my favourite audio books to date.

7 people found this helpful

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exceptional

Such a wonderful poignant, heartbreaking and touching read with being hilarious too, told with the innocent voice of the protagonist. The setting location is perfect and should be used in modern fiction more often.... A must read.... beautiful. Also for audio book listeners Lenny Henry does a thoroughly excellent job I was pleasantly surprised. He immerses one into each and every character giving them all a unique voice.

6 people found this helpful

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excellent narration

an interesting story well written from the child's perspective. very well narrated by Lenny Henry.

4 people found this helpful

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excellent

this was a lovely story that i would widely reccomend. it is emotive but its strength is not being realustic rather than sensationalist or syrupy sweet. whist it is set in the 80's i think the experience of children in care has not changed signifigantly. the themes of identdy, belonging and human relationships are all explored artfully making for a good if at times emotional listern. Lenny Henry is one of my favourire narrator's and he has done an excellent job here with his characterisations, a subtle proformance which enhances the story

4 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

This book has really surprised me at just how I couldn't stop listening.
I remember the riots and Princess Diana getting married and all that. And it was true portrayal.
What was special was the relationships in the book, between Leon and all around him. But the way those characters were with each other. And I was gripped, by the last bit I was totally gripped.
Thoroughly recommend it. And Lenny of course was the most fantastic reader.
Sorry I've finished it.

3 people found this helpful

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Heartfelt and insightful

This book trips along enticing the reader to live each moment alongside Leon. Brilliant.

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A heartfelt journey brilliantly told.

I have just finished this wonderful book and I am moved to tears. Lenny Henry narrates each character so vividly and sympathetically. It’s so heart warming to know such kind souls like Maureen give so much hope to the lives of young children like Leon.

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Superb

The reader is given the realistic viewpoint of Leon - I laughed and cried and loved it

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Loved this so much

A beautiful and harrowing story about kindness, love and the failings of the care system. Lenny Henry is the perfect narrator. There should be more stories like this.

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Just wonderful

Narration - perfect
Story - powerful, empathetic, real
Characters - completely human with flaws and faults plus so much love, empathy and humanity

2 people found this helpful

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  • K. Brum
  • 12-09-22

Exquisite child's perspective

Time and place are evoked beautifully, with a backdrop of real places and events in early 80s' Birmingham.
There's a devastating simplicity to the language and writing, conveying young Leon's understanding of the world. His love and care for his baby brother are heartbreakingly tender. The author's understanding of the well-meaning structural violence of the care system is also clear.
Though some of the situations are grim beyond Leon's comprehension, there is a strand of hope and a sense of (some people's) fundamental goodness; also, humour. Loved the narration.