Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee: Your Preview Verdict

Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee: Your Preview Verdict

Our fourth Preview title was Lenny’s Book of Everything – an outstanding novel about heartbreak and healing by award-winning author, Karen Foxlee. We’ve collected all of your Preview reviews to see what readers thought of the book, and the results are clear – this book touched the hearts of Preview reviewers all across Australia! People described the book as heartwarming, emotional and captivating, with free-flowing prose and loveable characters. For adults, the book is a great trip down memory lane and a return to the freedom, wonder, and imagination that childhood offers. You may want to prepare a box of tissues before sitting down to read this stunning novel – a handful of Preview reviewers said that ‘tears were flowing freely’ by the end of the novel. Any novel that can bring a tear to your eye must  be magical – but don’t just take our word for it! Have a look at  these glowing reviews:

Thank you to Better Reading for an advanced copy of Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee due out November this year. I truly do not know how to do this book justice with my review, how do I convince you all that you must read this book, that it will break your heart yet at the same time make you laugh out loud. Lenny the protagonist of the book is a smart, kind & courageous little girl who now has a baby brother that won’t stop growing with a rare form of gigantism. They are raised by their single proud mother who does her best to provided for them & the greatest gift she gave them was winning a monthly edition of Burrell build it at home encyclopaedia that in their world of worry is a shining light & something to escape to. Davey is like any normal 6 year old except in a grown mans body that everyone loves (thank god because I couldn’t have handled anyone being cruel to him). This book is about compassion, love, community and strength. When I try to tell people about this book I get a lump in my throat and while I think a novel like this can transcend every age with something to take away for everyone & what to be grateful for, I wouldn’t give it to a child under 12 to read only because of the heart wrenching moments. This book will be up there with other modern greats like The Book Thief that stole your heart. Thank you Better Reading and Karen Foxlee for this amazing literature that will stay with me forever, I know everyone will fall in love with the Spink family. – Penne, NSW

‘Lenny’s Book of Everything’ by Karen Foster is heartbreaking, yet at the same time, uplifting story. This book made me laugh and cry over and over. A beautiful simple read that will appeal on different levels to older children and adults alike. Karen Foxlee weaves a tale of a family who loves fiercely through a time of growing realisation of the sad goodbye to come. Imperfect characters, all with their own story, make this a rich and rewarding novel that will be loved by many. Skillfully constructed there were moments whilst immersed in the story that one just needs to pause and take in the beautifully written phrases that describe the depth of feeling the characters have. ‘Lenny’s Book of Everything’ will make you sad but it will also make you see love in the hard times. – Jennifer, NSW

What a gorgeous book. I loved the way book followed with such a purity and innocence. I read this book as an adult and I really felt for Lenny and Davey. The world seemed so big and yet so small. I loved the way the author took us through the encyclopedia and wove it into the story so beautifully… it only gave the book more depth. I also loved the portrayal of the Hungarian neighbour. She too had such a innocence about her and led the children through her dreams. Yet despite her dream like state, she was a solid character and member of the family. She was solid and supportive. I thought of her as almost the fairy godmother. The other conversations that I enjoyed reading was between Lenny and her grandmother. True to form I have been present when the child has divulged some important information and the adult has said ‘hand me the phone’. So true!! This book is amazing and I would definitely recommend it to any family or friends who have children who are touched by cancer. I truly loved this book and it what I loved most was the transcendence that I felt going back to my childhood years. – Katarzyna, VIC

I was lucky to receive a preview copy to review of ‘Lenny’s Book of Everything’. Thank you Better Reading #BRPreview When I received it 2 days ago, I thought that it might not be my cup of tea…. but I was so wrong! This is my introduction to Karen Foxlee, and I’m now going to seek out her other works. I read this in around 6 hours and by the end was tearing up. Easy to be caught up in Lenny and Davey’s life, hoping for a different outcome, despite knowing that it had to be. I highly recommend this, just remember your tissues. #lennysbookofeverything. – Tracy, VIC

Have you ever reached the last page of a book and immediately wanted to go back to page one to revisit the story? This was my experience reading Lenny’s Book Of Everything. I read it so quickly that I wanted to take more time to get lost in the beautifully written words. It is a wonderful story that is tragic and heart warming, a tale of love and loss that touches the soul. The prose is so descriptive that you can see the surroundings and feel you know the characters. From the asthmatic Mrs. Gaspar to the annoying greengrocer Mr. King who “had a little round belly like he’d swallowed a baby” and “sparkly black eyes” that “danced all over Mother”. The story is told in Lenny’s voice and you can see her yearnings for a more traditional family such as that of her friend CJ Bartholomew. She craves knowledge of her absent father and as the “dark heart feelings” grow she becomes disobedient and rebellious. Get your tissues ready as Davey and the Burrell’s Build-It-At-Home Encyclopedia grow and you reach the inevitable conclusion. – Janelle, NSW

Read all Preview reviews of Lenny’s Book of Everything here

Purchase a copy of Lenny’s Book of Everything here


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Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee: Your Preview Verdict


Our mother had a dark heart feeling. Lenny's younger brother has a rare form of gigantism and while Lenny's fiercely protective, it isn't always easy being the sister of 'the giant'. A book about finding good in the bad that will break your heart while raising your spirits in the way that only a classic novel can.

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.A big-hearted novel about loving and letting go by an award-winning author.'Such a big heart and not a beat out of place.' - MELINA MARCHETTA'Tough, tender and beautiful.' - GLENDA MILLARD'Unforgettable.' - ANNA FIENBERG'Karen Foxlee, you're a genius.' - WENDY ORR#23 in the Top 50 Kids' Books 2019 - Older Readers 


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