The Butterfly Heart

by Paula Leyden

Reading Age: 10+

Interest level: 11+

by Paula Leyden

Twins Bul-Boo and Madillo are worried about their friend Winifred, who has lost her gentle smile and no longer puts up her hand in class. They are horrified when they discover her shocking fate - she is to be married off to her uncle's friend, who drinks heavily and is old enough to be her grandfather


Desperate to help her, the twins seek help from Ifwafwa, the Snake Man, but he is notoriously slow and mysterious. As time is running out, they begin to doubt he can save their friend, and hatch an alternative plan which seems equally unlikely to succeed. 

Set in Zambia, this charming and entertaining story tackles some serious issues, depicting the ways in which ancient African traditions now come into conflict with contemporary ways of life and standards of behaviour. Multiple narrators add depth and context to this vivid portrayal of clashing cultures.


Publisher: Walker Books

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