The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke

The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke

By Author / Illustrator

Kirsty Applebaum


Fairy Tales & Folk Tales

Age range(s)



Nosy Crow Ltd




Paperback / softback




Q&A with Kirsty Applebaum

Lonny is a lifeling. He has the power to heal any living creature and bring it back from the dead. But he pays a price for this gift - by lengthening the creature's life, he shortens his own. So Lonny has to be careful, has to stay hidden in the forest. Because if people knew what he could do, Lonny would be left with no life at all... A brilliant novel from the author of The Middler about family, secrets and a terrible power.



Lonny lives in the forest, away from the town of Farstoke. He lives with his little brother Midge, his father and grandfather and is home-schooled. The reason is because he is a lifeling; someone who can literally give life to others, to animals or people. The cost of this, however, is at the expense of his own lifespan - each time he saves someone he gets older. The premise of the book is would you give your lifespan to save someone else?

The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke is an original and extremely thought-provoking book that will linger long after you have finished it. The tension is palpable, the ending almost inevitable, and yet the reader cannot see how it is going to happen. Whilst the story focuses on Lonny, it also looks at how others react to him and what they would do to save people they love. The idea is incredibly complex and difficult and yet it is written in such a way that it is easily accessible for children.

Everything else about this story - with the exception of Lonny - is entirely normal. The other children have mobile phones, real places like London are mentioned, the only difference is Lonny himself. And it makes you ask the question - what would I do if it was me?

This book, another triumph for Kirsty Appelbaum (though entirely different from with either of her other books), would engender so much discussion in an upper KS2 class. It is difficult subject matter but I keep wondering, what would I do for someone I loved?

272 pages / Reviewed by Jacqueline Harris, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


Lonny Quicke is a lifeling. He has the power to bring living things back to life but in order to do this, he pays the price of shortening his own life. Lonny stays hidden in the forest with his family, avoiding dying creatures and being overwhelmed by requests for healing.

The characters are intriguing and the plot is pacey with interesting twists and turns. The relationship between Lonny and his brother is especially interesting: both trying to protect each other yet dealing with the sibling dynamics that can cause tension and squabbling. The ending left me gasping and I am sure this book will keep children hooked all the way through.

Some of the themes in this book suit a more mature reader - life and death especially. But the themes of family, nature, poverty and traditions are ones that are familiar to children in upper key stage two and key stage three. As original a concept as Applebaum's other stories, this book will be enjoyed by pupils and would also make a good class reader with some excellent discussion points.

272 pages / Reviewed by Bryony Davies, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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