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Book Synopsis

From the internationally bestselling author of Beetle Boy and the Adventures on Trains series, comes the first book in The Twitchers, a brand new 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?

Our Review Panel says...

Twitch is in Year 7, where he is the victim of vicious bullying. Not surprisingly, he would prefer the company of birds to anyone at his school. His plan for the summer holidays, when he finally finishes the first year of secondary, is to spend his time bird watching and also train his pigeons to home. However, his plans are thwarted when a dangerous convict, in prison for murder, escapes. The police believe the escapee will be returning to the area where Twitch is planning to spend his summer- Aves Wood. There are also millions of pounds involved that have yet to be recovered. Twitch makes some unlikely allies and together they end up trying to track down the prisoner and find the lost millions. But with so much at stake, this becomes a highly hazardous pastime.

M G Leonard writes beautifully and knowledgeably about birds and bird-watching. As someone who has never been a bird watcher, I ended up going out with my family and looking for birds and we all got interested. I think this book would do the same for many children. The story is infused with a love of nature in general and birds in particular and it leaves a vivid impression.

Twitch himself is a very likeable hero and his ingenious problem solving is both clever and engaging. He is a fantastic role model, and I was overjoyed to discover he will feature in further books.

This is an exciting adventure, a mystery story and one that also deals with some difficult topics such as bullying and a parent in jail. It is also so full of interesting wildlife facts I felt I had learnt a lot by the end of it. It would also make an excellent read-aloud story that children would really enjoy for the suspense and great storytelling.

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