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>> "A twist-laden, thriller-like tale" Observer
>> "Simply genius." BBC Wildlife
From the internationally bestselling author of Beetle Boy and the Adventures on Trains series, comes the first book in The Twitchers, a thrilling mystery adventure series celebrating friendship, bravery and the incredible world of birds, starring a birdwatching detective called Twitch!
Can a birdwatcher outwit an escaped convict?
Twitch has three pet chickens, four pigeons, swallows nesting in his bedroom and a passion for birdwatching. On the first day of the summer holidays, he arrives at his secret hide to find police everywhere: a convicted robber has broken out of prison and is hiding in Aves Wood. Can Twitch use his talents for birdwatching to hunt for the dangerous prisoner and find the missing loot?
Twitch is a thrilling summer mystery adventure perfect for readers 9+ and for fans of Robin Stevens, Lauren St John and Jenny Pearson. It can be enjoyed as a stand-alone adventure or read as part of The Twitchers series.
Praise for Twitch:
“Leonard knows her audience and the jeopardy comes in flocks ... Find your nest, curl up and enjoy.” The Times, Children's Book of the Week
"A twist-laden, thriller-like tale of a bird-mad boy, some bullies and an escaped convict hiding in the nearby woods." Observer
"A twisty crime drama as well as a persuasive story about friendship and nature." The Sunday Times
"Twitch is a good old-fashioned adventure story that feels like a modern-day Secret Seven." BBC Wildlife Magazine
"[A] pacy mystery adventure featuring a birdwatching detective hot on the heels of a dangerous escaped prisoner." iNewspaper
“Leonard has crafted an intelligent mystery from unlikely material, with bonus bird facts.” Irish Times
“A winged masterpiece.” Maz Evans
“Enthralling from beginning to end, it really touched my young bird-loving heart! Just wonderful!” Dara McAnulty
“Birds, mystery and fowl play! What more could you want?” Gill Lewis
“Glorious! Full of excitement and wonder!” Sophie Anderson
“A brave and thrilling new adventure from one of my favourite writers. I honestly didn’t put the book down until the very last, exciting, page-turn and I’m twitching for the next adventure!” Jasbinder Bilan
“Twitch is an absolute triumph. The perfect blend of mystery and adventure, a winning hero with an eye for ornithological facts and a heart as big as the countryside, plus a cracking whipsmart plot, I think this is M. G. Leonard's best book yet.” Christopher Edge
“Cracking characters, beyond pacy plotting and an ending that is almost Bugsy Malone-esque!” Phil Earle
“Twitch is a compelling read – an adventure mystery with birds – what more could any reader want?!” Stephen Moss
“Adventure, friendship and the pure unassuming beauty of nature … a book that could have been a collaboration between David Attenborough and Roald Dahl.” Dr Jess French
“A superb adventure of friendship, bravery and the wonderful world of birds, with a strong, but non-preachy theme of the benefits of connection with the natural world.” The Bookseller
“One of those really, really good books … Recommended for readers around 8 to 12 years old, and grown-ups like me who still enjoy the delight of a great adventure story!” The Bookbag
I absolutely adore this novel. It’s a light read, but Leonard has warmed my heart. She leaves an important reminder for all readers, “everything living deserves respect.” Through humour and the lens of Twitch’s binoculars, Leonard has written a candid novel which I would recommend to any reader coming of age, particularly if that reader loves a bit of crime and mystery. To kill two birds with one stone, Leonard has provided readers with a fast paced read, and has truly allowed her audiences to soar through the sky.
CBCA: Reading Time
Twitch is a great book for all lovers of nature, birds and mysteries. … I highly recommend this book for all kids ages 10+.
This is a charming story, with action aplenty and respect for the quiet pursuit of birdwatching. It also reveals the transformation of the young birder, Twitch, from loner to friend; and the change in Jack from bully and then victim, to understanding friend. Written in a charming way we see the ingenious Twitch show environmental care and inventiveness and also great ingenuity in solving a crime, but first he has to work out how to trust. This will be enjoyed by young readers aged 8-12.
You’re in the forest and you see a boy with some binoculars looking deep into the trees. You shift your gaze the way he’s looking and you see a man with a beard and blue yes. He’s doing something mysterious, but you don’t know what. You’ve just imagined a scene in the book I’ll be reviewing called Twitch by M.G. Leonard… The ending was really satisfying and the storyline keeps you on your toes, making you wonder what will happen next. The descriptions allow you to create a visualisation clearly. I really enjoyed reading this book and I think you would too.
Squiz Kids Book Club reviewer
Twitch is a modern, mystery, adventure story with an exciting plot that builds steadily to a crescendo of action full of birds, bats, a skateboard, a fishing rod and a mobile phone! Sound crazy? It’s all part of a cunning plot Twitch has to throw together to save a new friend, put a family back together and prove a crime… one of my favourite middle grade reads
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