Holiday Reading

If you are looking for some great books to read these holidays, read some of the book reviews we have written about our Literature Circles books. Who knows, perhaps something will take your fancy!


The Butterfly Lion

Reviewed by Oliver Holland


The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo is a sad story set in the town of Strawbridge. A boy met an old lady in the streets and she told him the life story of her and her husband Bertie. From Bertie saving a white lion to meeting Millie, who was the old lady the boy met, then to Bertie going off to war.   

The main characters are Bertie, Millie, the white lion and the boy. Bertie was a kind person who was the owner of the white lion and helped his comrades when they were badly wounded in WW1. He was also Millie’s husband. Millie was the old lady that met the boy, her personality is kind and helpful. The white lion is Bertie’s loyal pet friend, he is later called, ‘The White Prince.’ He loves Bertie so much and recognised him years later after their parting. The boy was a nice kid, but his name was unknown in the book. He liked Millie, she was his only friend. When she was gone the next day he was very sad.

My favourite part of the story was when Bertie saved the white lion from an unusually large pack of hyenas.

I would recommend this book to people who like sad stories. It’s a true story Michael Morpurgo said that on the first page of the book and I think it’s a book for all ages.

I give the Butterfly Lion a 5 star ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating. It teaches you about love, life and the definition of family.


The Garden of Empress Cassia

Reviewed by Rory Hammond


The Garden of Empress Cassia written by Gabrielle Wang is an adventure book but also features some sadness. This book is based on a young girl named Mimi. She is very special, her father and her work in a herb store, so does her mother. In the store there are many odd smells. She is bullied at school because of the smells that she brings with her to school. Miss O’del, Mimi’s art teacher, gives her a special box of pastels called the Empress Cassia pastels. Mimi can now draw like never before but Miss O’del said that in the wrong hands they can cause great danger.


The main characters in this book are Mimi Lu, Mr and Mrs Lu, Gemma, Miss O’del, Josh and Old Ma. My Favourite part in the book is when Gemma steals the pastels and draws a big scary picture and then it starts to suck her inside the garden of darkness. It is a very scary part of the book knowing that they could lose Gemma!
I recommend this book ages 9+ because there are some scary moments and hard words to read. I enjoyed reading this book very much.


45 & 47 Stella Street

Reviewed by Louis Pirie


45 + 47 Stella Street by Elizabeth Honey is an adventure story set in a road called Stella Street.

Aunt Lillie dies and a couple move into her house. The couple re-do the house and throw a lot of clean things out. The children get angry and call the couple,“The Phonies”.Their next door neighbours dog, Briquette eats all their clean and unused rubbish.Then the fights begin.The neighbours annoy each other..Then a group of children find a secret plot that will take them on an adventure.

The main characters in the story are Henni, Zev, Frank, Danielle and the Phonies. My favourite character was Zev. He was one of the children and was Henni’s best friend. The reason I like Zev is because of his eletric hair. Henni is the main character and the leader of the group of children. Henni is very tall and inquisitive and also a bit nosey. Frank is one of the children in the gang and is easily entertained. He play’s a main role in the story and has trust in the others. Danielle is Henni’s sister and is apart of the group. She is emotionally strong. She does her best to help find out the Phonies plan. The Phonies are the enemies of  the children and are very, very rich! They think everything revolves around themselves and they like the colour white. Both Mr and Mrs Phonie work at the bank and think they can just take money.

My favourite part of the book is when Mr Phonie almost shot Danielle. Although this part was scary, this made the children more determined to find out the Phonies plan.

This is a book for readers aged 7-12.This will be more enjoyable for older and more fluent readers.There is a little bit of course language but other than that, Stella Street is a good book to read.
My star rating is 4 and ¾ out of 5. This book certainly deserves a high rating such as that.

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