The Butterfly Club by Jacqueline Wilson

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The Butterfly Club by Jacqueline Wilson

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Lovely story about girls, friendships, hidden depths and all sorts of other Jacqueline Wilson-esque things. Nobody else quite captures the fears and joys of childhood in her inimitable way!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: February 2015
Publisher: Doubleday
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 0857533177

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Tina is a triplet but you'd never know it. Sisters Maddie and Phil are much bigger, much livelier and much louder than sickly little Tina, who had a heart problem when she was born and spent months in an incubator. She's never caught them up. Her health is still delicate too, so Tina doesn't play rough games and is forbidden from most sport at school. At this rate, she'll never catch up with Phil and Maddie. But Tina doesn't mind too much. She's protected at school by her sisters and coddled at home by her mother. Life, despite its smallness, is pretty sweet for Tina...

... until, that is, she goes up a year at school and lands in the fearsome Miss Lovejoy's class. Miss Lovejoy separates Tina from her sisters and, worse still, sits her next to Selma, the class bully. Nothing will make the old dragon change her mind. And things go from bad to worse until Miss Lovejoy insists that Selma should be the one to help Tina create a butterfly garden in the school grounds and suddenly, Tina discovers that there is more to Selma than meets the eye...

Aww. This is such a lovely story. And subtle and complex, too. It's not the tale of lovely Tina taming rebellious Selma. Tina is a bit precious and she has to learn not to be. Her mum is equally precious and also over-protective - understandably so given Tina's babyhood illness - but she also must learn to let go. Sisters Phil and Maddie have their own independence to find and must learn to stop judging books by their covers. Even stern Miss Lovejoy learns to chillax a bit, as my younger son would say. Everyone learns something in this story and, once they have, it all comes out in the wash and they're all better for it.

Jacqueline Wilson seems to have enough stories inside her to sink a battleship with. They just keep on coming. And it's a good thing she does because nobody captures the thoughts and the fears and the joys of childhood in quite the way she does. She writes with such ease and she regularly catches you unawares, making you laugh out loud or shed a tear or two. You'll love The Butterfly Club, just like I did. It's perfect for newly confident readers of primary school age who are ready for a full-length, satisfying novel.

And, of course, we can't leave the review without a shout-out to the redoubtable Nick Sharratt and his gorgeous illustrations. You can see them animated in the video to your right there. He never lets Wilson down, does he?

Recommended? But of course.

Of the 101 books Jacqueline Wilson has published - yes! 101! - our favourites include The Illustrated Mum, Vicky Angel and Opal Plumstead.

Buy The Butterfly Club by Jacqueline Wilson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Butterfly Club by Jacqueline Wilson at

Buy The Butterfly Club by Jacqueline Wilson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Butterfly Club by Jacqueline Wilson at


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