Leo’s papa stood in the doorway, gazing down at him. “Leo, you make gold from pebbles,” and the way he said it, Leo could tell that this was a good thing. He may have been given a bit part in the school play … but Leo dreams he is the biggest star on Broadway. Sure, his big, noisy family makes him feel like a sardine squashed in a tin … but in his fantasy he gets all the attention he wants. Yes, his papa seems sad and distracted … but Leo imagines him as a boy, tap-dancing and singing with delight. That’s why they call Leo “fog boy.” He’s always dreaming, always replaying things in his brain. He fantasizes about who he is in order to discover who he will become. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, Leo is eager to discover what part will be his.
Replay is about a boy discovering who he is. Talk to your child about their dreams and goals, and take the time to discuss how to achieve them and learn more about their talents.
Leo isn’t perfect, and even messes up his last line in the play—emphasize that no one is perfect, and that mistakes help us to learn, grow, and become the best version of ourselves.
Aside from loving Leo’s path to find his identity, this book has a theatre aspect to it in the style and layout of the story. Every child can relate to Leo’s question of who he is and who he’ll become. This story demonstrates the power of goals, dreams, and believing in yourself, and realizing that everyone has a story. There is also a play at the end of the book that can be acted out by the reader and friends!
Sharon Creech has written twenty-one books for young people and is published in over twenty languages. Her books have received awards in both the U.S. and abroad, including the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons, the Newbery Honor for The Wanderer, and Great Britain’s Carnegie Medal for Ruby Holler.
Before beginning her writing career, Sharon Creech taught English for fifteen years in England and Switzerland. She and her husband now live in Maine, “lured there by our grandchildren,” Creech says.