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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Family Friday Review: A Mystery for Megan by Abi Burlingham

Magical animals, friendship and fun - this lovely read for the 6-9 crowd launched yesterday.

Author: Abi Burlingham
Title: A Mystery for Megan
Genre: fantasy adventure
Series: Buttercup Magic, no. 1
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Published: 26 April 2012
Source: purchased

Find it at Goodreads or Amazon UK  

Goodreads description:
When nine year old Megan moves to Buttercup House, she has no idea how special the house is. With her new best friend, Freya, who lives next door, they find out all the wonderful secrets about her new home, and she meets the magical animals that live there: some very clever mice, Dorothy, the mysterious black cat, and a very special dog called Buttercup. A book about friendship and magic, aimed at 6-9 years.

My verdict: a lovely comforting read for the 6-9 bracket
My 8yr old read this in bed before I could get my hands on it. Her excited babbling about it in the mornings was a joy to hear. She reads nightly in bed, but we don't always get such a reaction. I hope this special little book gets the recognition it deserves.

Megan is a great main character. We meet her at a vulnerable point, as she's moving house, which is unsettling for many children. It's easy to empathise with her worries and her nerves about leaving her friends behind, but her new house soon begins to win her over with its mysteries and exciting features like a treehouse. Her new neighbour, Freya, tells her fantastic tales about magical mice and a cat with an extraordinary lifespan and Megan's curiosity is roused, as is ours.

The story is sweet and charming, whilst avoiding sentimentality. It will undoubtedly appeal to girls - magic and animals, what's not to love? - but it doesn't succumb to the cloying girliness sometimes thrown at this age group. Abi Burlingham respects her young readers and doesn't insult their intelligence.

As an adult reader, I was perfectly able to enjoy the story and didn't find it predictable (as you sometimes can when you're not the intended reader). It was reminiscent of my own childhood reading: plenty of Enid Blyton, sprinkled with a little fairy tale magic.

Overall I found this to be a highly successful read-alone for my 8yr old and can imagine snuggling with a younger child to enjoy it together.


  1. You got it too! Enid Blyton would definitely be smiling and nodding appreciatively at this one.

  2. Awww Beth! I just love this to bits! Am choked up good and proper. So glad you and your daughter enjoyed it. Am really touched. Such a beautifully written review too. Thank you!

  3. What a wonderful review! Abi launched the book at my library yesterday and she was FAB. I can't wait to read it - already had a sneaky peek and it looks absolutely enchanting. The cover is beautiful too!


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