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Beetle Boy (Battle of the Beetles) Kindle Edition
Darkus Cuttle can’t believe his eyes when a huge insect drops off the pants leg of his horrible new neighbor. It’s a giant beetle—and it seems to want to communicate with him. But how can a boy be friends with a beetle? And what does a beetle have to do with the disappearance of his dad and the arrival of the terrifying Lucretia Cutter, with her taste for creepy fashion?
The first book of a trilogy, Beetle Boy is a darkly hilarious adventure full of exotic beetles, daring schemes, and true friendship.
“Truly great storytelling.” —Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse
“Leonard gives readers a rare glimpse into the world of insects, mixing adventure, mystery, and science . . . Even the most squeamish will be charmed.” —Publishers Weekly
“Thrilling . . . An original new voice in children’s literature.” —The Times
“Enchanting.” —The Daily Telegraph
About the Author
* Debut novelist Leonard gives readers a rare glimpse into the world of insects, mixing adventure, mystery, and science to create a story that's much more than just a novel about bugs. Even the most squeamish will be charmed. --Publishers Weekly, starred review
Leonard unravels the madcap plot in sporadic bursts of frenzied action and humor. Overall, a charming and (at times) affecting romp through beetle land. --Kirkus Reviews
Fans of madcap adventures and anthropomorphised sidekicks will enjoy this fast-paced series opener. --Booklist
Engaging . . . The story moves quickly, and the characters are both wacky and entertaining. --School Library Journal
If I didn't already devote most of my waking hours to beetles, reading this book would make me want to . . . --Max Barclay, Coleoptera Collections Manager, Natural History Museum, London
M.G. Leonard does a fantastic job weaving a page turning mystery with cool facts about science and bugs . . . If you love Roald Dahl, Lemony Snickett, or even 101 Dalmatians you are truly going to enjoy this book. --YA and Kids Books Central (online)
Leonard's rich storytelling channels the spirit of classic children's fiction with a wholly original slant . . . It's a cracking mystery adventure, with plenty of Roald Dahl-esque humor to engage readers . . . A truly exciting debut. --The Bookseller (UK)
A detective story with a twist, this is an exciting and original story that will appeal equally to boys and girls and -- if I'm anything to go by -- to any adult who loves a cracking story. Prepare for the Battle of the Beetles! --The Bookbag (online)--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B013504D5E
- Publisher : Chicken House (February 23, 2016)
- Publication date : February 23, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 4298 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 307 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0545853478
- Best Sellers Rank: #892,026 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #251 in Children's Bug & Spider Books (Kindle Store)
- #1,492 in Children's Animal Action & Adventure
- #1,873 in Children's Bug & Spider Books (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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When Dr. Bartholomew Cuttle, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum, mysteriously goes missing, his thirteen-year old son Darkus knows something is wrong. Dr. Maximillian Cuttle, his uncle, returns from Egypt and opens his home, including giving up his cluttered study to be used by Darkus as his bedroom. As they work together to clear out a multitude of boxes and papers, Darkus discovers a stack of folders labeled “The Fabre Project”. As they work to clear the room, Darkus notices a large black rhinoceros beetle he eventually befriends and names Baxter. Baxter will play a major role in the events that propel the story forward and will enlist an army of beetles in the exciting final chapters of the book.
M. G. Leonard has written an intriguing story. Filled with excitement, humor, “Beetle Boy” includes educational elements – particularly relating to different beetles - so subtly woven into the text that the reader does not realize they are learning something. Issues such as genetic engineering, cross-species breeding, and ecology and the environment play important roles in the novel.
Characters are relatable – Darkus and his friends Virginia and Bertolt are those ‘tweens who are outside the popular circle, but who support and encourage one another. The villainous Madame Lucretia Cutter – formerly Lucy Johnstone – is a Cruella devil of bugs. Her source for the beetles she is seeking, cousins Humphrey and Pickering are like the buffoonish thieves Horace and Jasper Badun in Disney’s “101 Dalmations”. Madame Cutter’s daughter Novak evolves from an unappealing character to one for whom the reader feels pity.
“Beetle Boy” should appeal to many ‘tween readers, particularly those who are interested in science. It is also a good bedtime read-aloud for primary-school aged children. The characters are varied in personality and motivation. Strong, independent female characters, whether good or villainous, are as important as the male characters. The story is exciting and moves at a rapid pace; this is not a difficult book to read and enjoy. Language and situations are appropriate for any age reader or listener. However, if reading this book aloud, you may want to "edit some of the exclamations which are mild, but not what one wants a child to use.
I enjoyed “Beetle Boy” as much as my grandson to whom I read the book. In fact, he liked it so much he had me read almost continuously until we finished the book. This is the first book without illustrations that he has been willing to have read in its entirety. We look forward to the other two books in M. G. Leonard’s trilogy. My grandson has already started asking questions about the plot and character hierarchy of "Beetle Queen".
(I may be a 79-year-old reader but I’m still a kid at heart, I guess).
Top reviews from other countries
The plot is fast paced and provides a double-adventure for the young characters. On one side is Darkus's investigations into his father's disappearance and on the other is a mission to save the inhabitants of "Beetle Mountain" from being killed by a greedy collector. Both plots are really engrossing and very easy for a young reader to follow, containing nice amounts of tension and being creepy and gross in places but never in a way that felt inappropriate for the target audience.
The novel also ends really well. While it leaves a lot open for the the sequel, it still ties up this stage of the plot quite nicely. I felt that this is really effective as it made me want to read on to find out what the evil Lucretia Cutter's master plan is, and how Darkus and his friends will combat it.
The characters in the novel are all really strong and well rounded. The four young protagonists - Darkus, Virginia, Bertolt and Novak - all have very distinct personalities and work very well together. The themes of teamwork and friendship are very important within the story and it was fun watching the group planning the rescue of the beetles. However, its the beetles that truly steal the show. Baxter is especially lovely, proving to be both a gentle giant and fiercely protective of Darkus. It's amazing how much character he can show and I loved how the book showed that, even though he looked intimidating, he was really harmless.
The villain of the piece is also suitably terrifying. Lucretia Cutter is a bit like the Cruella De Ville of the entomology world but proves to have some dark secrets as the story progresses. I get the distinct impression that we'll be seeing a lot more of her in future books and I'm kind of glad about this. While she does exist to be evil, she is incredibly memorable.
So, in short, Beetle Boy is definitely a story I'd recommend. It's funny, action-packed and filled with strong characters and fascinating facts about beetles. This is definitely a must read for any young reader.
This is my new favourite book. The story is both intriguing, sad and funny which makes it a great read. The illustrations were also amazing. I could not have been more excited when the book took a good turn. I am 10 and my teacher read this to me. She picked the best book possible.
Beetle Boy by MG Leonard – review by Poppy Y6
This book made me laugh and shocked me and everything in between. I always liked Beetles but I never realised how much! There is a lot of scientific information about beetles within the story and I definitely learnt more about Beetles. I recommend this to anyone in KS2.
Beetle Boy – review by Anna Y6
This book is intriguing right from the start. I have learnt so much about beetles that I thought I would never know. The mystery of Darkus’s missing father is central to the strory which embarks on a fascinating adventure of beetles, friends, evil and pranks. It is quirky in a hilarious way - I didn’t want the book to end! It was page turning, a new mystery and more clues on almost every page. The adventure reeled me in and I can’t wait to read the next books in the series. I recommend this for age 8+.