Where is that 6th star? I need it to rate this book! I’ve bought a copy for myself and two copies for school, this is one of the most beautiful, sobbing into my nightie in the middle of the night sad, can’t stop reading books I’ve ever read. What a treasure this is. From the moment you meet Lennie and Davey you will be swept up in their hilarious imaginations and you’ll want to keep them with you as you go about your days until you head to bed early so that you can get back to them.
Lenny’s little brother Davey was born normal even though his Mum had a weird feeling that something was going to happen. Lenny and Davey’s Dad has gone off and nobody has seen or heard from him, their Mum works hard to try and make ends meet. They don’t have much but they are happy in their world with their neighbours who care and the excitement that their Mum winning a set of encyclopaedias brings. Both Davey and Lenny are desperate for knowledge about the world and about everything in it and they pour over the encyclopaedia entries for hours. Lenny is particularly fond of the bug entries, she intends to study beetles when she grows up, Davey is keen on rivers and log cabins and exploring the wilds of Canada. During the times when their mum is at work the children are cared for by Mrs Gaspar their neighbour, she who smokes too much, gasps for breath often and who has very entertaining dreams which she tells them about in great detail. It is a simple and happy life.
One day when Davey is 5 he starts to grow, at an extraordinary rate, he shoots up and up at amazing speed, an inch a night sometimes. On the outside he becomes as tall as a man but on the inside he is just a small child. It is weird. Eventually he is taken to a specialist and I cannot say more here.
I see that lots of people consider this a book for children. I don’t believe that this is so. This is a book for everyone, it is so full of heart and comfort. The writing is stellar and the way that the author has made a world with few characters and places but which feels so big and real is perfect. I was so drawn into this book that I was sobbing those big messy sobs with the catch in them, the ones where you need 3 breaths to complete the sob, the ones where your partner comes rushing in to see what is wrong and then goes “oh, sad book huh?”, and leaves you to it. This is now officially my book of the year. I might have to go back and read it again.