Overview and Outcomes:
This is a 15 session Literary Leaf for Beetle Boy by M.G Leonard in which children begin by exploring the characters and then explore the plot through questions and activities to draw out children's understanding of the facts around Beetles, as well make comparrisons within the plot, and with other books.
Synopsis of Text:
We chose this book for a literary leaf as it is a detective story with a twist: Darkus's quest to find his dad is supported not only by his two best friends – Bertolt and Virginia – but also his new pet beetle, Baxter. And Baxter is no ordinary beetle. Baxter is huge (the size of a hamster), has the intelligence of a human, and several hundred friends hiding next door just waiting for the call to action.
As a reader we immediately warm to Darkus who – despite losing both parents, spending time in a truly horrible foster home and facing the bullies at school – doesn't complain. Instead he focuses on finding his dad and saving the beetles in the house next door. The characters are simply brilliant, they spring to life off the pages, but perhaps the character who stands out the most, however, is the evil antagonist, Lucretia Cutter.
The plot is perfect to delve into and compare to other mystery stories, but the characters are worth stopping to reexamine and identify with.