Leon loves chocolate bars, Saturday morning cartoons, and his beautiful, golden-haired baby brother. When Jake is born, Leon pokes his head in the crib and says, âIâm your brother. Big brother. My. Name. Is. Leon. I am eight and three quarters. I am a boy.â Jake will play with no one but Leon, and Leon is determined to save him from any pain and earn that sparkling baby laugh every chance he can.
But Leon isnât in control of this world where adults say one thing and mean another, and try as he might he canât protect his little family from everything. When their mother falls victim to her inner demons, strangers suddenly take Jake away; after all, a white baby is easy to adopt, while a half-black nine-year-old faces a less certain fate. Vowing to get Jake back by any means necessary, Leonâs own journeyâon his brand-new BMX bikeâwill carry him through the lives of a doting but ailing foster mother, Maureen; Maureenâs cranky and hilarious sister, Sylvia; a social worker Leon knows only as âThe Zebraâ; and a colorful community of local gardeners and West Indian political activists.
Told through the perspective of nine-year-old Leon, too innocent to entirely understand what has happened to him and baby Jake, but determined to do what he can to make things right, he stubbornly, endearingly struggles his way through a system much larger than he can tackle on his own. My Name Is Leon is a vivid, gorgeous, and uplifting story about the power of love, the unbreakable bond between brothers, and the truth about what, in the end, ultimately makes a family.
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