A few months ago, my daughter and I went to see her favourite author, Jacqueline Wilson, speak at the Cheltenham Literature Festival for a second time.
She talked mainly about her latest book, Clover Moon, set at the same time as the Hetty Feather books. She also talked about the other novels she’d published since her last appearance at the festival – Little Stars (currently the final book in the Hetty Feather series), Rent a Bridesmaid, Katy and The Butterfly Club. My daughter was already reading Little Stars and had read Katy. She decided she wanted to buy Rent a Bridesmaid and Clover Moon, but not The Butterfly Club. So I bought her that for Christmas.
We read Jacqueline Wilson’s historical books, Opal Plumstead and Clover Moon, before moving on to Rent a Bridesmaid. I’ll be honest, we both found Rent a Bridesmaid a bit poor compared to the historical novels. I guess the historical novels are written for slightly older readers and maybe she had just grown out of the other books.
I didn’t have particularly high hopes for The Butterfly Club.
But, oh my goodness, we both LOVED that book!
With a main character who is only 7, it might be aimed at slightly younger readers, but there is so much emotion packed into that story.
Tina is one of triplets, much smaller than her sisters, with a weak heart. She has always been looked after by her sisters, until they start year 3 and their teacher decides to split them up. Tina is sat on a table with the class bully, Selma. Selma is really nasty to Tina and there is one incident which still makes me tearful just thinking about it. Tina soon becomes very ill and is away from school for a long time.
On her return, her teacher has a project for her – to build a butterfly garden. Unfortunately, she has to work with the hated Selma.
This is a very moving story about Tina and how she learns to stand on her own two feet without her sisters.
My daughter and I would definitely recommend this book! Get your tissues ready…