The Truth About Leo
by David Yelland
Leo used to love playing football with his dad in the garden. But since Leo's mum died, his dad has changed, and his drinking has become much worse. Leo must cope with the aftermath, as well as the pain of losing his mum, all on his own. Until
that is, he makes a friend in new girl Flora, and a surprising connection with the
This hard hitting story of a boy dealing with his father's alcoholism contains moments of real sadness, but is an ultimately uplifting read offering hope in even the bleakest of situations.
Publisher: Penguin Children's Books
They said Leo Rake was always in a world of his own, but he didn’t care. After all, what did the real world know about him?
Leo had a trick he played on the real world. He just shut it out. It was like he had his own private mute button, like the one on the TV remote. And sometimes, when he put the world on mute, he’d have a running commentary in his head.
A lot went on in Leo’s head. It was like having his own telly channel. Sometimes he’d be playing for England at Wembley, lobbing a goal over the German keeper. Other times he’d be talking to Mum, remembering how they chatted, wishing
things were different.
When the other kids complained about their mums not letting them stay up late or stupid stuff like that, Leo would hear his mum and wish she hadn’t had to die.
There was another good thing about the world inside his head. He didn’t have to lie. It was the only place he didn’t have to lie. Especially about the things that had been going on.
He never let anybody in, though. Not Dad. Not Nan. Not even Flora, his friend. His only friend, if truth be known.
And certainly not the teachers, especially Manders. No way Manders!
Like now. Here he was in class again with Manders banging on. There he stood at the front, his mouth opening and closing like a stupid fish.
Leo watched Manders, like he was watching some boring politician on the news with the sound turned down.
Then he was back inside his head. He was back at Wemberlee. He could hear the crowd’s roar.
And they were chanting his name:
‘There’s only one Leo Rake, one Leo Rake . . . There’s only one L-E-O R-A-A-A-K-E . . .!’
Leo was making his debut against Germany. He was in the tunnel, marching out. Frank Lampard was in front of him and as they walked on to the pitch one of the German players – was it Michael Ballack? – reached over and smacked his shoulder and smiled.
‘Hey, Rake. They send a boy to do a man’s job in England now?’ he bellowed, his German accent echoing in the tunnel.
‘Better leave the kid alone,’ a voice shouted over the noise of the crowd.
Leo felt another hand on his shoulder, looked round and saw a famous smile. ‘Thanks, JT,’ he whispered, catching a wink from John Terry as they neared the green of the Wembley pitch.
He felt JT’s hand on his shoulder again. Firm. Purposeful.
‘Do you know why he’s getting at you?’ the England captain whispered, looking up at the TV cameras in the tunnel, making sure he couldn’t be heard. ‘Because he knows how good you are.
‘Every place you go on that pitch, I’m with you. We’re all with you. Understand, son? Don’t fear him; don’t fear anybody. Out there – we look after each other. OK?’
JT was looking him firm in the eye. He winked again, then turned and walked to his captain’s place at the front of the team. By the time the players reached the pitch the noise of the crowd was so loud Leo couldn’t think.
In Leo’s head, he heard the television commentator. ‘And they are singing this young man’s name. What a dream this is for the young Leo Rake . . . who today
becomes the youngest Englishman to ever play for his country . . . a dream come true for the tragic young man whose mother passed away when he was just eight years old. How proud would she be today, Andy . . .?’
‘Well, Steve, I just couldn’t find the words for that one, you know. She’d be very proud, I know that much. I know I am. I think the whole country is . . . The whole country will be with this boy today. What was it John Terry called him the other day?’
‘JT said he could be the best player the country had ever produced, Andy, a hell of a compliment –’
Somebody was pushing his shoulder. But it wasn’t JT.
It was Manders.
Leo thought about speaking. But reckoned he could stay in his own world just a few minutes longer.
He looked up at Manders, red rollneck jumper in need of a wash, yellowed teeth and big squashy lips that concertina’d when he talked. And worst of all his black beard streaked with grey, which covered his face, like he had something to hide.
Leo wondered why Manders never cut his beard, or at least trimmed it. It seemed to be allowed to roam free on his face, setting up camp wherever it liked.
He could see the old buff er was jabbering on. Talking rubbish, as usual.
But Leo wasn’t listening. Wembley was heating up now. It was time for the national anthems . . . The Germans would be first. He heard the music in his
About the author
David YellandDavid Yelland was born in Yorkshire in 1963. As a child, he loved to write poetry and throughout his life he has always enjoyed writing. Pursuing a career in journalism, he was made Deputy Editor of the New York Post at the age of 32, and at 35 was Editor...
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I love this book and a lot of people can relate to it.
although this book is very good, surprisingly my friend said it can worry people about going into social services . Tthe rest of my class just LLLOOOVVVEEE the book! WELL DONE DAVID YELLAND IT IS A VERY LIFE CHANGING AND EMOTIONAL BOOK
This book the truth about Leo is very emotional for Leo trying to cope with his father on the other hand his mothers death but this book is very hooking.
'The Truth About Leo' is a gripping book about a young boy whose dad isn't coping well after losing his wife, Leo tries to get what is left of the family back on track. However some parts of the book could be improved or made more interesting. The book is a rollercoaster of emotions, so I would recommend it to boys or girls aged 9-12.
The Truth about Leo is a book realising real life things that can happen in a book. It was very interesting and I liked the emotional roller coaster. I would recommend this book to boys and girls from the ages of 10+
This book is realistic and true to life story. The author's style consists of Leo's dad not coping of losing his wife and Leo's mum. The story is good but makes you upset. The story is about Leo seeing changes in his dad and Leo feels he needs to get the family back on track. The best bit is at the end...
it is quite emotional at times but a really good book. i would recommend it to a girl.
i would recommend this book to boys and girls age 9 to 12 because it is about a boy who has problems with his family and it could help you if you were going through that situation. just because it's about a boy it doesn't mean that girls can't read it so you should choose this book! it is a very good book and it is about everyday life and stuff that happens in it. that's why i have rated it 4 stars.
I think that this book is amazing it is a great story and has a very good moral. This is a book for people with a strong imagination as it is a very sad book.
This book is about a boy named Leo who loses his mum and his dad gets out of control and starts to drink, Leo's friend named Flora comes to comfort Leo. I found this book quite boring and takes a while to get into it.
I find that this book is very good and that i couldn't actually put the thing down. I couldn't wait to start reading it again and again. I felt really upset when the boy lost his mum and his dad kept drinking and smoking so much.
this was a very good and exciting book, it grabbed me in and got me interested. it was sad at times but had a great story background. i enjoyed this book and anyone that will read it will really like it. david yelland described the characters well and is a very good writer, i can not wait till i read another one of his books!!!!
I felt sorry for Leo when his mum dies and his dad becomes worse with his drinking, very well written 5/5 x
I loved this book and it was really moving its an excellent book because it's really sad but every thing is happy in the end and you just don't want to stop reading it.
The book was extremely good, and I'm hard to please! The emotions in the book were high but fortunately wasn't enough to not like it and to put the book down. 5 stars for this!!
I like this book because it could be a real life story that's something I like.If there is a another book of it I would read it. I like how it goes back to the past then refers to the present. Plus it starts bad then turns into a good ending. Because I liked this book so much I recommend this book to a friend and they are doing there review on it. This book is different to any of the other real life story books because this is more what would happen now a days . I love this book so much I would recommend it to anyone if they asked, I give it a five star.
I think that the Truth About Leo is an amazing book and is like its really happened. I think that Leo's dad drank so much and was addicted to drink because Leo's mum had died. Leo just wanted them to be a normal and happy family again. I would certainly recommend this book to a friend.
AMAZING:::::::::::::::::::::)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))):D I so loved it I recommend it to every one loved it
I Think this is an amazing book but i feel really sorry for Leo <3 If there was a truth about Leo 2 I would definitely read it. <3
I'm not really sure if it was for 11 to 12 year olds because it was confusing and that's why I didn't enjoy it but I would recommend this book to older kids because they would enjoy it .
I think this book was ok there was a rollacoaster of emotions .But some times there was some boring parts mostly because I didn't understand it, but I now know what children go through because this book has taught me a lot of things that go on in the world. But apart from that it was ok.
I thought the book was a good book but the end was a bit boring for me however I liked the book it was very dramatic and if there was a truth about leo 2 I would definitely read it.
When I had this book called The Truth About Leo it sad and some parts funny
I think it was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but could have been better
This book is sad but great to read and by looking at the cover It makes you read the book.
I really enjoyed the truth about Leo! Part of the time you would feel happy and the next second you will want to cry. I recommend this book to people who like gripping stories!
it sounds really good and it sounds sad as well
I liked it were the author(David Yelland) left the book on a cliff hanger and the suspension he made with it.I couldn't put the book down I thought it was a good read!
I think this is a good book, because it tells you who the characters are, and it tells you about them.
I'm only on chapter 5 at the moment and I already love this book so far its been quite emotional and some shocking things have happened but I recommend this book to people who don't mind emotional books
Wow this book is amazing and is very emotional. I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):) It was so hard to put down I was up to eleven pm still reading it
I think this is a really great book however i wouldn't read it if I was younger than 10 or 11 as it has some quite advanced content. The story is about a young boy called leo who goes through quite traumatic things. Emily
When you read the blurb it pulls you in to read the book.
I think that the front cover is very good and it is not a boring cover
I think it is a very real life book and it makes you think!!!!!!!!
I thought this book was very moving with a few shocks now and then. It was very good and it makes you think how lucky we are, and what life is like for some other kids in the world. It is a brilliant book. xxx
I have read the blurb and it sounds really good! I might read it! I have got it free from my school. Can't wait to read it!
This is a gripping and amazing book. It is interesting and uses a good variety of amazing language
Fantastic, the best book ever, only just finished reading it
The Truth About Leo is a great book, very interesting and makes you think do people really live like this in the world. I would give this book a 4 star
I read the book ''The Truth About Leo'' and I don't think it was very good. In the first paragraph it talks about his world named planet Leo and it was talking about fifa and football and I am not that much in to football so I did not find it a good book but that is my opinion.
This is a tale of a boy who has to deal with things that no child should have to endure. Most people forget what some children have to go through and that no one should suffer on their own. This is a gripping tale that I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn about real ordeals.
I think this book is a very grown-up book. And I love it, I can't put it down. I like this book soooo much. :)
Like the book, really interesting
I found this book very interesting, but I felt a bit sorry for Leo. When things get really bad Leo blocks the world out and starts pretending everything's alright in his head. Leo doesn't know what to do. No one understands apart from maybe Flora. My favourite character is Flora because she is actually really nice to Leo and does understand what Leo is going through even though he doesn't think she will. My least favourite charactor in this book is their horrible teacher Mr.Manders. I don't like Mr.Manders because is is really mean to Leo and encourages his class to be mean, too. I would recommend this book to anyone aged nine and up wards because it's realistic, sad but very hooking.
A shocking, family trauma. Very interesting. Very hooking. A very good book.
I'm not sure whether to read it...... :,(
I am wondering if it is a good book for a 12 year old boy who is very mature, is it good or bad?
This book looks COOOL :)
The Truth About Leo is an awesome novel about friendship,hopes and dreams. A good read.
This book is really cool but also really sad. The poor boy, most people would understand. Most people his age would of done the same. I real feel for him. This book is really cool.
OMG ... I am just looking at the extract and I am already drawn to buy it. Gosh I never knew a book could be so gripping !!!!! :)
The Truth About Leo sounds really really good!!!! I might get it!!!!!
omg awesome got to read, but what about The Ghost Box?
I have read the blurb of this book and it looks very good, I hope it is a good book when i read it
This book is really amazing and i would rate it 5 stars! if you like books with a bit of a twist then this is the book for you! thank you DavidYelland for writing this AMAZING book!!!! i hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
i havent read this story but from reading the blurb and a couple of first pages this seems like a good story to read for confident readers who feel like they can connect with the book. I am looking forward to reading this book and will promise to tell you how good it is. if you see this book PICK IT UP! :)
This book is about a boy whose mum dies and his dad starts drinking a lot and forgets that he has a son to look after. Leo’s friend at school, Flora, understands what he is going through - everyone in his class apart from Flora thinks he is stupid. Leo has the great idea of writing to the Prime Minister to open the new school library because he used to go to that school. The twist is so surprising and you might have a good cry.
I recommend it to girls and boys aged 11 and upwards.
The Truth About Leo deals with how alcoholism can tear apart a family. Although a very bleak subject, the author shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel. A deeply moving book that you will want to share with your friends.
I absolutely loved The Truth about Leo – it took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. This is a carefully and skilfully written book which deals with serious issues and makes you warm instantly to Leo, a boy who trying to pretend everything is fine with his life, when the truth is sadly the opposite. I could not put this book down and was in tears at points, but ultimately felt like cheering at the end. Watch out for the special guest who visits Leo’s school – you’ll never believe who it is!