Author(s): Karen Foxlee
Perfect for readers who love Liar and Spy, Counting by 7s, and Bridge to Terabithia, a heartwarming and transformative novel about family, loss, and never giving up from beloved author Karen Foxlee.
Lenny Spink is the sister of a giant. Her little brother, Davey, suffers from a rare form of gigantism and is taunted by other kids and turned away from school because of his size. To escape their cruel reality, Lenny and Davey obsess over the entries in their monthly installment of Burrell's Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia set. Lenny vows to become a beetle expert, while Davey decides he will run away to Canada and build a log cabin. But as Davey's disease progresses, the siblings' richly imagined world becomes harder to cling to in this deeply moving and original novel about grief, family, and wonder.
Lenny's younger brother Davey is a “giant”. Life is tough, with Father gone and Mother, who is made “almost entirely out of worries”, working two jobs and in denial over Davey’s abnormal growth. The bright spot in the kids' lives is the arrival each week of the free home encyclopedia instalments. As Lenny and Davey discover the wonders of the world from beetles and eagles to Canada and log cabins, they dream about adventure and running away to Great Bear Lake.
Lenny loves her brother dearly, but sometimes life can be too much to bear and it makes her spikier than usual. With Davey's health deteriorating and Mother’s “dark heart feelings” to contend with, it becomes harder for Lenny to find the good in the bad. But their community wants to help - if only they can get past Mother's prickly shell. As Lenny and Davey reach T for tumour, U for all the uniteds and V for vivisection, she wonders if they will ever get to Z.
Lenny’s story is so beautifully written, featuring wonderfully eccentric characters and containing so much heart. Although sad, there are many humorous scenes, especially in Mother's correspondence with the encyclopedia company as she battles for the extra items that she feels are their due.
An S is for stunning novel, for age 10+ in the vein of Wonder.
HONOUR BOOK: CBCA Book of the Year, Older Readers, 2019. Winner of the QLD Literary Award, Older Readers. Nominated for the 2020 Carnegie Medal.
'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
Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who writes for both kids and grown-ups. Her first novel The Anatomy of Wings won numerous awards including the Dobbie Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Karen's first novel for children, was published internationally to much acclaim while her second novel for younger readers, A Most Magical Girl, won the Readings Children's Fiction Prize in 2017 and was CBCA shortlisted the same year. Karen lives in South East Queensland with her daughter and several animals, including two wicked parrots, who frequently eat parts of her laptop when she isn't looking. Her passions are her daughter, writing, day-dreaming, baking, running and swimming in the sea.