Friday, July 18, 2008

Lenny's Space by Kate Banks

"All of my friends, all one of them, died."

This is a book I ended up liking quite a bit. Lenny is a boy with mild autistic-like behaviors (he is never named or diagnosed with a condition in this book) who is super-smart and incredibly socially awkward. He's interesting though. The book is told from his point of view in short chapters that sometimes seem abrupt, mirroring Lenny's attention span. You really get inside his head, and see the logic in what to others seems like bizarre, spastic behavior.

Although Lenny can't really relate to the other kids in his class, he makes a friend in the playground. Van is another mechanically inclined kid who, we discover, has leukemia. Through his friendship with Van and his weekly visits to the school counsellor, Lenny comes closer to being able to express himself in ways others can understand. I found Lenny's journey convincing and memorable.

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