The Boy with the Butterfly Mind

The Boy with the Butterfly Mind

4.5 (10 ratings by Goodreads)
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Jamie Lee just wants to be normal but his ADHD isn't making it easy. If only he could control his butterfly mind then he'd have friends, be able to keep out of trouble, live with his mum and not be sent to stay with his dad.

Elin Watts just wants to be perfect. If she could be the best student and daughter possible, then maybe her dad would leave his new family and come back to Glasgow to live with Elin and her mum, happily ever after.

When Jamie and Elin's families blend, the polar opposites of chaotic Jamie and ordered Elin collide. As their lives spiral out of control, Jamie and Elin discover that they're actually more alike than they'd admit. Maybe there's no such thing as normal, or perfect. And perhaps, just like families, happy-ever-afters come in all shapes and sizes.

Uplifting and moving, The Boy with the Butterfly Mind is an inspiring story of acceptance, blended families, and discovering that in the end, being yourself is more than enough.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 27.94mm | 373g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1782506004
  • 9781782506003
  • 1,464,615

Review quote

'A compelling and affecting book about acceptance, openness, mental health and the intricacy of family.'
-- BookTrust
'A moving and compassionately-told story... Hugely relevant for today's generation, Victoria Williamson writes with a galloping pace packaged at every turn with extraordinary compassion, delivering an enjoyable and empathy-building reading experience... Brilliantly written.'
-- Books for Topics
'As the children in this story get to know each other, and the reader gets to know them, we are reminded of how much more everyone is than their classification.
In Jamie, we find someone who is kind, passionate and makes a fantastic peanut butter, jam and whipped-cream sandwich. Beneath Elin's groomed and contained 'class swat' exterior, we meet an anxious child for whom every day is a battle to succeed. It's impossible not root for both children to find their own self-worth, and to come to value each other too.
The Boy with the Butterfly Mind is an enlightening and inspiring story that encourages its readers (whatever their age) to judge less, and to get to know people more.'
-- Roaring Reads
'It is interesting, and somewhat of education, to read the chapters from Jamie's point of view as these give a real insight into what it's like to have ADHD... While this is undoubtedly an important element, Elin's story is equally important. As a character, Elin appears to be very simple but this hides an impressive level of complexity. Outwardly perfect, I especially like the inclusion of the details that hint at her underlying problems...
While much of the book focuses on the growth and development of our two main characters, there's a strong and dramatic climax that succeeded in bringing a tear to my eye. It's also a book with strong themes about friendship and the nature of modern families.'
-- Madge Eekal Reviews
'Although Elin and Jamie are vastly different, the author deftly shows the trauma of divorce on children... Achingly realistic, yet hopeful.'
-- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
'My heart broke and soared by turns in this inspiring story of two kids who seem to have nothing in common but a desperate desire for their family to be whole.'
-- Shari Green, author of ALA Schneider Award-winner Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess
'What a masterclass in empathy. This book gave me such a terrific insight into how ADHD affects a young boy and those around him. It is a great reminder that we shouldn't automatically judge others. I was rooting for Jamie and Elin!'
-- Lisa Thomson, author of The Goldfish Boy
'Moving. Powerful. Relevant. Contemporary storytelling at its very best. Another triumph from Victoria Williamson tackling important issues relevant to kids in a powerful and moving way.'
-- Juliette Forrest, author of Twister
'Truly sensational. Told through two voices & suffused with real heart; empathy & emotionally-invested storytelling at its best that has so much to teach today's children. My heart genuinely aches. A must, must, must read.'
-- Scott Evans, The Reader Teacher blog
'Fantastic to have a book about ADHD and by such a sensitive writer. So helpful for empathy, understanding and identity. Everyone needs to see themselves in books.'
-- Chloe Daykin, author of Fish Boy
`WOW! I am so impressed with the Williamson novels! The Boy with the Butterfly Mind is a tough read for a mom with 2 boys diagnosed with ADHD... With that said, it is amazing how Victoria Williamson is able to bring you into the head of Jaimie as he struggles through life and then finds relief through medication and support. The family dynamic is real and painful, but the ending is full of hope, empathy and true acceptance. I love how the character's points of view and perspectives are honest; They learn and grow as they realize what they have in common and that nothing is perfect!'
-- Marla Conn,
Praise for The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle:
'A touching, thought-provoking adventure.'
-- The Bookseller
'Williamson movingly makes it clear that working-class solidarity traverses borders, race, ethnicity and religion.'
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
'Relevant, moving and quite extraordinary.'
-- Lucy Coats
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About Victoria Williamson

Victoria Williamson is a primary school teacher with a Master's degree in special needs education. Her first novel, the USBBY-honoured The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle is included in the 2019 Read for Empathy collection and has been longlisted for the Branford Boase Award.
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Rating details

10 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 60% (6)
4 30% (3)
3 10% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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