Call Me Lion (Pre-order)


By Camilla Chester | Cover illustrations by Irina Avgustinovich
Published 16th June 2022 | ISBN 9781913102890

Ten-year-old Leo dreams of performing in the West End. His love of dancing is getting him through the Luton heatwave, but his selective mutism is putting his spot in the end-of-summer dance show on the line.

When chatty Richa moves in next door, Leo finds it easy to bond with her. She talks enough for the both of them … at least to begin with. But when he learns her secret it’s clear that Richa needs Leo’s support as much as he needs hers.

With Richa’s help, will Leo be able to follow his dreams? Or will Leo’s inability to talk cost him their friendship?

A heart-warming story of courage and determination in the face of adversity, perfect for fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Lisa Thompson, Stewart Foster and Elle McNicoll.

Available on backorder

2 reviews for Call Me Lion (Pre-order)

  1. EM Watson

    A delightful, inclusive, thoroughly absorbing story with a message that is far, far greater than its target age group. A must-read for all, that I am sure will please readers and listeners of all ages. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    When Leo, Lion to his family because of his bountiful orange hair, his life without friends, changes forever.
    Having SM, Selective Mutism, Leo plays alone. He desperately wants a friend. But he has no friends bar his dog, Patch. After all, as one of his classmates said, ‘you can’t be friends with someone who can’t talk — fact.’

    What people don’t see, don’t know or understand, is that his SM is not something he can control. It controls him, at least with people that he doesn’t know well and trust, like his family. Leo has a gift, a talent for dancing, and he practices every day in summer on his trampoline, and in the holidays at a dance club. He is a boy on a mission to one day dance in The Lion King theatre show.

    When a new family moves in next door, their daughter, Richa, bounces quite literally on her own trampoline into his life. Brash, bold and talkative enough for them both, she seems everything Leo isn’t. And yet she is also everything he hopes for — a possible friend. At least until she realises he can’t talk and that the girls at school are more fun and abandons him. But him not being able to respond doesn’t put her off, and together they begin a journey borne out of a common passion for dance that culminates in a local dance competition.

    I really can not praise this story enough. Written in Leo’s own voice, and spread over a few weeks of school holidays and during a heatwave. It follows Leo and Richa, their families and schoolmates as they deal with life, friendships, ignorance, prejudices and most of all, the very real challenges that their own unique situations pose.
    A plot twist partway through the story left me stunned, and completely in awe of the writer’s skill. As I mentioned at the beginning, this book is far, far greater than it might appear at face value, and we thoroughly enjoyed it, had tears in our eyes, and would wholeheartedly recommend it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Don’t forget! Come back to your Review on the pub date, 16 Jun 2022, to post to these retailers.

  2. Liam James

    I absolutely adored Call Me Lion. A gorgeous book full of love and empathy and understanding. I learned a lot from its representation of selective mutism, and other difficulties people experience and I’m sure it’ll really help some children. It’s also a beautiful story, and at times quite an emotional one too. Leo and Richa are wonderful and I really liked the supporting cast, especially Leo’s supportive, protective, bickering siblings Ryan and Brianne. There’s another element of representation that I was thrilled to see, and that was a boy dancing, being good at dancing, loving dancing, coming alive through dancing. As a man who loves to waltz, salsa and tango, let’s keep normalising this please! This is such a sensory book too! It came alive with sounds and smells, from Ryan’s overpowering spray to the smell of sun cream, from the jangling of bracelets to the pumping disco beat. And the feel of a sweltering heatwave was palpable throughout! With Call Me Lion, Camilla Chester has produced a powerful hit of a book with a beautiful tale.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *