Letters to Leonardo, by Dee White

Dear Leonardo
Talk about serendipity. Just found out it would have been your birthday today too.
And that’s not all we have in common.
Your dad took you away from your mum. How weird is that?
How did you deal with the missing bits in your life?

On his fifteenth birthday, Matt gets a book from his dad, and a card from his mother. The only problem with that is that he has long believed his mother is dead. Now he needs to find out why his dad has lied to him for the past ten years and why his mother hasn’t contacted him before now.

At the same time, Matt has been given a school assignment involving writing a series of letters to a historical character. Because of his love of art, he has chosen Leonardo da Vinci, but as he learns more about the artist he discovers they have more in common than a love of art. Writing letters to Leonardo gives him a chance to lay bare his feelings as he searches for sense and truth.

Letters to Leonardo is a stunning debut novel from Victorian author Dee White. The blend of first person narrative with letters gives the reader a wonderful insight into Matt’s thought processes and emotions. Matt’s journey is full of action, emotion and twists and turns which keep the reader riveted from chapter to chapter, wanting everything to turn out okay. In a story dealing with the effects of mental illness on a family, it is soon obvious that it won’t be all happy endings, but White manages to offer hope and understanding, as well as a wonderful dose of realism.

Aimed at teen readers, this is powerful tale.

Letters to Leonardo

Letters to Leonardo, by Dee White
Walker Books, 2009

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