Review: The Golden Butterfly

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations



Book Title: The Golden Butterfly (available here)

Author: Sharon Gosling

Illustrator: Pip Johnson

Publisher: Stripes

Publication Date: May 2019

Most Suitable for: Years 5-6+

Reviewed By: Kristen Hopwood (@khopwood87), Year 3 teacher


In an alternative Victorian England, Luciana is on a mission to discover the whereabouts and the secret of a magic trick called ‘The Golden Butterfly’. Her grandfather was a famous magician and she longs to perform tricks just like him, but women are not allowed to be magicians.


After the leader of the Grand Society of Magicians pays an unannounced visit to Luciana’s family home, desperately searching for something, Luciana decides to do some searching of her own. She embarks on a journey, along with her best friend Charley, which will lead her through the shadowed streets of London, questioning who she can trust and avoiding those who are also after the secret of the Golden Butterfly. Can Luciana protect the Golden Butterfly and keep her grandmother on side? Can she prove that women should be allowed to perform magic in public and have a right to be magicians?


The Golden Butterfly is full of intrigue and provides plenty of opportunity for thought and discussion around several relevant issues, including equality. The difference in social class between Luciana and Charley is a theme as is the inequality between men and women being allowed to be magicians. Both themes can be used as a prompt to discuss the same issues but in the context of a modern-day society.


The language used in the book is rich and descriptive, conjuring up vivid images that illustrate this glorious adventure. A fully enjoyable, magical read.




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You can order The Golden Butterfly online or from your local bookshop or library.


Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Kristen for reviewing it.

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