Title: Nobody’s Butterfly
Author: Al Stewart, Claire Davis
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Release Date: December 1st 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, Young Adult
Page Count: 73
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Cobweb ghosts are so inconvenient—especially grumpy ones with bad breath. Don’t they know silence is golden?
Johnny Strong is the expert; he hasn’t spoken in two years. Not one word to anyone except the ghost. The main purpose of life is to avoid people and not get noticed. Friends? He doesn’t need them; and certainly nobody wants him despite what the ghost says.
Until a new boy appears at Windybank—Finn Lyons, teenage wizard. He eats frogs, concocts potions, and is always hungry. Not only does Finn stand up for Johnny; he actively seeks his company and soon becomes part of life.
First love; family and words; a heady mix to go in the potion but how will it all turn out?
Hubble bubble; Johnny Strong’s in trouble! Silence is not always golden in this sweet, zany story of the purest magic at Christmas.
I have a small list of LGBTQ YA books I want my son to read when he’s a teenager himself. This book made it to the top of that list, and this is the best recommendation a book will ever get from me.
This book addresses young adults like Johnny, who feel lost, alone and voiceless. It addresses brave teenagers like Finn, who power their way through life’s unfairness. And it addresses me too because sometimes I get caught up in my disappointment about the system I work in, but I don’t want to become Greg.
Johnny Strong lost everything, including his voice, before ending up in a kids’ home. His only friend is the cobweb ghost on his bedroom window. He latches onto that ghost, because it’s the only thing that’s left of what used to be.
Finn is the new boy in Windybank, and he’s a force of nature. Fierce and wise, Finn will become Johnny’s wizard! The one who will get him to find his voice, open up and move on.
There is fun and laughter and teenage adventures, like spying on the weird guy next door and making dog food pies. There is first love and that mixture of innocence and heat, that you never forget. And there are a lot of tears too. When we find out what Johnny’s list is about. When Johnny finds his voice. When Finn shows him that there’s magic all around, and a lot of cobwebs to be found. When Greg finally realises.
The ending scene, straight out of a classic Christmas tale, left me with a tearful smile and a full heart. This is YA, yes, but somehow I just know that Johnny and Finn will always be each other’s butterflies.
I’m always stunned by the authors’ seamless, evocative, narrtive. This one was no exception. It’s my personal favorite Christmas story so far this year, and I hope everyone gives it a chance.