for Lenny's Space by Kate Banks
Lenny Brewster is more intelligent than other students in his fourth grade class. He’s also more disruptive—until he meets Muriel, the school counselor. Additionally, he makes a friend, his first real friend, who isn’t overwhelmed by his encyclopedic knowledge and curiosity. The problem is that Van, Lenny’s new friend, has leukemia and dies during a bone marrow transplant. The angry energy Lenny experiences is redirected when he cre ates a tower in Van’s memory. Muriel tells him, “People continue to live on in . . . things we’ve done with them and for them” (150). Banks doesn’t dwell on Van’s death but allows readers to feel the family’s pain and Lenny’s loss. Kate Banks has received the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the Charlotte Zolotow Award. lmp
Written with incisive prose, smart humor, and profound wisdom, Lenny's Space is not only about recognizing the possibilities life affords us and the challenge of coming to grips with its sometimes difficult realities, but also about the triumphant, undying power of true friendship.