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Beetle Boy

MG Leonard
Chicken House
Age 9-11

When Batholomew Cuttle, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum, disappears from a room which had been locked from the inside, his son Darkus is determined to find out what has happened to him. With the help of two new school friends Virginia and Bertolt, and a rhinoceros beetle called Baxter, he sets about solving the mystery.

This is an amusing and exciting mystery adventure story with a gripping plot and memorable characters including two truly revolting next door neighbours and a very scary villain named Lucretia Cutter. There is no shortage of beetles in this story too and readers will learn lots of interesting facts about them; insect sceptics may change their opinion as they discover how the army of beetles with their varied skills help Darkus become reunited with his father.

Listen to author, MG Leonard, as she introduces the book

Watch the beginning of the story read aloud by Tom Fletcher

Talk about the story

  • Which scenes in the story do you find most memorable, funny or scary?

  • What have you found out about beetles from the story?

  • What would you like to ask the author about the story?

  • If the story continued, what would you like to happen next? (NB there are two more books in the trilogy to read so you will be able to find out whether the writer had the same idea for continuing the story as you have 

See our print-off activity book with some of these ideas and other activities


Things to make and do

Draw a storyboard
Draw a series of small pictures of what you would like to happen next – the next few scenes in the story of Darkus, Baxter and the dangerous Lucretia Cutter.

Write a news report
Write a news report about Dr Bartholomew Cutter’s disappearance. Don’t forget to include a headline, a photo or drawing of a photo and caption, perhaps also an interview with Darkus or the director of the museum.

Make a poster
Make a wanted poster for Lucretia Cutter. Include a description of her, why she is wanted, who to contact with information and whether or not a reward is offered.

Be a beetle spotter
In your garden or on a walk to the park or woods look out for beetles. Take photos or try and remember what they look like and draw them. Notice what they are doing and where you spot them. do you find out anything about what they like to eat or where they like to live? (Their habitat).

Make an information book
Make a mini book about beetles using information you have found out, see below for some useful links. You could focus on a few of the species that interest you or concentrate on more general information.

Find out more

Find out more about beetles here, here, here and here – Click on the labels for more information

Find out what happens next in the story
Enjoyed Beetle Boy? Want to know what happens next? Read the other two books in the trilogy by MG Leonard.

Beetle Queen

The Battle of the Beetles

Other books by MG Leonard:

The Highland Falcon Thief

The Tale of a Toothbrush 

Visit the author’s website