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Leo and the Lesser Lion by [Forrester, Sandra]
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Leo and the Lesser Lion Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Length: 306 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 9 - 12 Grade Level: 4 - 7

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s a miracle that Mary Bayliss Pettigrew is alive. Everybody in Lenore, Alabama, says so. Why, she should have died in the swimming accident that killed her much-loved older brother Leo in that awful spring of 1932. With a little adult encouragement, 12-year-old Bayliss decides that God has spared her for a special purpose. But deciding to become a nun is her very own idea, and a startling one for the notorious tomboy prankster. And, sure enough, her vocation is soon tested when her parents take in two homeless little girls, give them Leo’s old bedroom, and make Bayliss their full-time babysitter. Set during the Great Depression, Forrester’s novel suffers a bit from its slow pace and some overly familiar characters and situations. Nevertheless, it offers a convincing picture of a time of privation in the American South (though one wonders why there seem to be no black people in Lenore) and Bayliss’s crises of conscience are believable and emotionally engaging. Grades 3-6. --Michael Cart

Review

Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December 2009:
“This is a friendly book of considerable likability and genuineness, and readers will find Bayliss lively company.”


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 512 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (July 23, 2009)
  • Publication Date: August 11, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002IPZBU4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,653,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Mary Bayliss Pettigrew is a spunky, prank-playing twelve-year-old who lives with her loving family in Alabama during the Depression. Even though Bayliss' father is the town doctor, the Depression has affected everyone and times are lean.

Early on in the story, Leo, Bayliss' older, beloved brother, drowns in Sweet Springs Lake during an unexpected storm. Bayliss nearly dies herself when she slips from a cliff and into the water below, breaking her back. Although her heart has stopped, Bayliss is resuscitated by a quick-thinking neighbor. She becomes known around town as the girl who was brought back from the dead. One of her nurses in the hospital tells Bayliss that she must have been given a second chance at life because she had some special purpose to fulfill. Bayliss eventually decides this purpose is to become a nun like her teachers at Sacred Heart--much to the dismay of everyone. Undeterred, Bayliss begins to read up on the lives of the Saints, especially the "ones who started out bad. The kind who ran wild when they were young and then, later in life, saw the light and turned holy."

When her back heals, Bayliss begins volunteering at the local mission, feeding "weary travelers" (homeless, out-of-work men). Just when she begins to enjoy the job, her father brings home two little girls from the orphanage due to overcrowding. Bayliss must give up her charitable work at the mission to help care for the sisters. She is angry about this, as well as the fact that the two strangers are given Leo's room.

Although Leo is constantly in her thoughts, Bayliss rarely has an opportunity to talk about him, or the accident. It seems that her family has decided that silence is the best way to deal with their grief.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mary Bayliss Pettigrew is one of the most endearing characters you're ever likely to meet, and the story she tells is one that will stay with you for a long time.

It's 1932, the height of the Great Depresssion. People all over the country are losing their jobs and homes, and many are wondering where their next meal will come from. The Pettigrew family faces hardships like everyone else, but 12-year-old Bayliss is too busy having fun with her big brother to worry about it. And then tragedy strikes. Bayliss and Leo are in a terrible accident, and Leo dies. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one will identify with Bayliss's feelings of grief and anger, and with her need to find meaning in Leo's death.

Sandra Forrester deals with serious issues in LEO AND THE LESSER LION, but her characters are so lovable and funny. I found myself smiling, and even laughing, throughout the book. I became so involved with Bayliss and her family, I didn't want their story to end. I can only hope there will be a sequel.
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Format: Hardcover
A great story about a girl when faced with tragedy finds that what she thought was service was only self serving and that family and the importance of it, no matter what form it may come, was what she was born for.
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Format: Hardcover
Sandra Forrester's LEO AND THE LESSER LION (9780375856167, $16.99) tells of the Depression and a girl who is used to having to go without. Her older brother helps her face poverty - but one day a terrible accident changes her place in the family and nothing will ever be the same. A fine, unusual story of a family in flux makes for an involving and different Depression-era tale.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I truly enjoyed this book! It features many twists and turns; yet, the ending is "just right". The main character faces, endures, and triumphs over many hardships and heartaches while describing her circumstance with great humor and hope. I recommend it for ALL ages as it offers insight to help with losing a loved one, friend or family member, as well as embracing change of all kinds.
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