A Focus On Nature

A Focus On Nature, Books and Reviews

Book Review – Beetle Boy

I’ve never had to do a book review before, so it was great to get this chance. I am not going to say too much about the story – Beetle Boy (by M.G.Leonard), as I don’t want to give anything away as there are lots of twists and turns to enjoy.


[Note from the editor – just a warning that there is a little spoiler right at the end of this blog post]

bookcoverBefore you even start reading this book, you get really drawn in by the cover on the book, but especially the line of insects that have been printed on the page ends. I’ve not seen that before, and it made me want to pick the book up straight away.

“Beetle Boy” has everything it needs to keep you interested, including a mystery to solve, a great evil character, funny bits and sad bits, and loads of different types of beetles (which have human genes in them – just imagine that).

The book is all about a young boy called Darkus.  Darkus’ dad goes missing in a mysterious way and Darkus is determined to find him. He picks up a mix of friends along the way to help solve the mystery, but his strangest group of helpers is an army of beetles, in particular a huge rhinoceros beetle called Baxter.

The characters in this book are fantastic. They are all so well described that they are easy to picture in your head and you can really imagine them doing the things that they do.  There are parts of the book that make you laugh out loud, especially the cousins Pickering and Humphrey. They are don’t even like each other , but have to live together as they both want to run the shop they have inherited – one wants to make pies and the other wants to sell antiques.

What I like about the book is that it really got me thinking. What will happen in the future if we keep mixing human DNA with animals, and the other way round?  Imagine an Olympic team of high jumpers with frog DNA in them. I suppose that would be cheating though.

Photo by David MyersFor anyone who loves insects, especially beetles of course, the book is full of them. They are so well described and when they form the army, it is really funny to see how each type of beetle attacks the baddies. There is even an “entomologist’s dictionary” at the end of the book to help you with all the entomologist type words in the story.

And the best bit of all is that the writer does not kill off the evil bug lady at the end, so guess what, yep, there could be a follow up book. I hope that there is.

I really enjoyed this book.

Harley Wilde is a young naturalist who really enjoys taking photographs and not just normal pictures, e.g. sometimes like the things other people don’t see like the bend in a fence or just a colour in something. He take pictures wherever he goes, but most of his pictures are taken of nature and wildlife. He enjoys the way different pictures makes him feel, even if they are not a perfect photograph. Some of his pictures are on his blog Wilde-LifePhotography.blogspot.co.uk