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A Literary Leaf for Beetle Boy


KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 6

Literary Theme: Evolution & Inheritance

Author(s): M.G Leonard

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 17-session Literary Leaf for Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard which covers all aspects of the content domains for Upper Key Stage 2.  Children begin by exploring the characters and the plot through questions and activities to draw out their understanding of the facts around Beetles.  Working through the text, children make plot comparisons from across the text, and between this and 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 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.


Beetles, speciesism, Darwinism, conservation, habitats, environment

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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