By M. G. Leonard

The internationally bestselling author of Beetle Boy writes a thrilling mystery adventure about friendship, bravery and the wonderful world of birds, starring a birdwatching detective called Twitch.

Can a birdwatcher outwit an escaped convict? Twitch has three pet chickens, four pigeons, swallows nesting in his bedroom and a passion for birdwatching. On the first day of the summer holidays, he arrives at his secret hide to find police everywhere: a convicted robber has broken out of prison and is hiding in Aves Wood. Can Twitch use his talents for birdwatching to hunt for the dangerous prisoner and find the missing loot?

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 9+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406389371
  • Published: 03 Jun 2021
  • Price: £7.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 304

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Customer reviews


'A lively, twisty crime drama as well as a persuasive story about friendship and protecting nature.' The Times & The Sunday Times

'Enthralling from beginning to end, it really touched my young bird-loving heart! Just wonderful!' Dara McAnulty, author of Diary of a Young Naturalist

'Twitch is a good old-fashioned adventure story that feels like a modern-day Secret Seven. It's also a tale of friendship, of being yourself, of seeking solace in nature, and - well - of birds. It is imbued with delicious avian references. Swallows nest in Twitch's bedroom; teapots are owl-shaped; and the finale, in which the kids apprehend the baddie by 'murmurating' around him like starlings, is simply genius.' BBC Wildlife

'A winged masterpiece.' Maz Evans

'Glorious! Full of excitement and wonder!' Sophie Anderson

'Two reality checks balance out the fables and fantasias in the excellent Twitch by MG Leonard, justly famed for her Beetle Boy series. Her latest is a twist-laden, thriller-like tale of a bird-mad boy, some bullies and an escaped convict hiding in the nearby woods who’s looking for the millions reputedly stashed there. It all hinges on who 12-year-old Twitch should trust: the ex-bully, whose olive branches might be fake, or his mysterious new birdwatcher friend.' The Guardian

'Twitch is a thrilling fast-paced adventure, full of characterful animals and tenacious children, with friendship and nature at its heart. I loved it. It’s the sort of book I would have read and re-read immediately as a child. Birds, mystery and fowl play! What more could you want?' Gill Lewis

'A superb adventure of friendship, bravery and the wonderful world of birds, with a strong, but non-preachy theme of the benefits of connection with the natural world.' The Bookseller

'I can't recommend Twitch highly enough! I absolutely loved being immersed in detective Twitch's world of nature and birds with the extra twist of hunting for an escaped convict – superb! A brave and thrilling new adventure from one of my favourite writers. It was such a treat to be immersed in Twitch’s world of nature and birds. I honestly didn’t put the book down until the very last, exciting page-turn and I’m twitching for the next adventure!' Jasbinder Bilan

'Twitch is an absolute triumph. The perfect blend of mystery and adventure, a winning hero with an eye for ornithological facts and a heart as big as the countryside, plus a cracking whipsmart plot, I think this is M. G. Leonard's best book yet.' Christopher Edge

'Twitch is a compelling read – an adventure mystery with birds – what more could any reader want?!' Stephen Moss, author and birder

'Like a skilled weaver bird, M.G. Leonard has pulled together threads of adventure, friendship and the pure unassuming beauty of nature to produce a book that could have been a collaboration between David Attenborough and Roald Dahl. Read it!' Dr Jess French, vet, presenter and author

'Cracking characters, beyond pacy plotting and an ending that is almost Bugsy Malone-esque!' Phil Earle

'A delight to read on a lovely spring day. I didn’t leave it in the feeder for the birds to eat, but I’m sure M. G. Leonard's perfectly-plotted story would’ve been a nourishing treat all the same.' Clare Povey

'This is just one of those really, really good books that is very readable, with a great story and characters you're interested in and care about. It's written perfectly, with a good pace to the plot, and a lovely warmth to it throughout. There were no jarring moments, I was just completely caught up in the story for the whole book. Recommended for readers around 8 to 12 years old, and grown-ups like me who still enjoy the delight of a great adventure story!' The Bookbag

'I love, love, Love this book! It has a beauty to it, and it's intriguing, funny and clever […] it's just a lovely book that has role models, a bit of light detecting and lots of birds!' The Book Review Society

'Twitch by the brilliant M. G. Leonard is even more delightful and marvellous than I was expecting (I say this as a super fan)! Intriguing and full of fab characters who you love from the start, genuinely surprising twists and turns pulse a tense, pacy end that made me both laugh and cry. Loved it from start to finish. Hurrah for Twitch!' Liz Hyder

'Twitch is a great book for all lovers of nature, birds and mysteries. ... I highly recommend this book for all kids ages 10+.' Readings

'I think that the story had a great message about how important it is to just be you as well. I would really recommend this book, I enjoyed it so much. I think it would be great for anyone aged 8 and above.' The Sherborne Times

'Twitch is both a refreshing celebration of the natural world and an exciting and unpredictable mystery. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting, thoroughly enjoying each and every word. It is a story that makes the reader stop and think. I particularly loved Twitch’s grandad’s words of wisdom, peppered throughout the book.' Toppsta

'I would thoroughly recommend Twitch to anyone. It’s a superbly paced, beautiful novel from an author at the top of her game.' Toppsta

'I envisage many a child being inspired by Twitch and readers will be begging parents for a set of binoculars and a trip to the nature reserve to do a bit of bird-spotting. A brilliant read, I’ll be tweeting and chirping loudly about this one.' Toppsta

'Leonard sprinkles fascinating facts like birdseed throughout the story [...] Leonard knows her audience and the jeopardy comes in flocks [...] Find your nest, curl up and enjoy.' The Times

'This is a cracking mystery adventure, but with a real depth of characterisation and a lot of wisdom about human relationships. It also demonstrates yet again this author's easy facility with the natural world just not with beetles this time!' The School Librarian

'There’s a spectacular finale as the whole class come together at Twitch’s house, in a murmuration, to catch the thief in a scene that could be straight out of a Home Alone movie (if it was set in suburban England).' The Times (Saturday Review)

'A twisty crime drama as well as a persuasive story about friendship and nature.' The Sunday Times & The Sunday Times Ireland

'From the author of the bestselling Beetle Boy books comes this pacy mystery adventure featuring a birdwatching detective hot on the heels of a dangerous escaped prisoner.' The i

'Leonard has crafted an intelligent mystery from unlikely material, with bonus bird facts.' The Irish Times

'Just finished winging my way through Twitch by M. G. Leonard and it is WILDly good! Nature, mystery + action all rolled into one brilliant book (or should I say brook?!)' Matt Oldfield

'M. G. Leonard, how do you write such consistently fantastic books?! Twitch was a delight from start to finish & such a fabulous way to introduce kids to the joys and thrills of birds. Already excited about the next in the series.' Abi Elphinstone

'Another soaring success from Leonard.' The Daily Mail & The Scottish Daily Mail

'fans of Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven should look no further than M. G. Leonard's Twitch' Big Issue in the North

'This is an astonishingly good middle grade novel, not only is it a perfectly plotted detective mystery, but the carefully researched and organically interwoven ornithological content makes it uniquely educational. […] a perfect summer holiday present for any child of 9-14.' V''s view from the Bookshelves

'This is a story about being comfortable in your own skin - and a likeable cast of characters keeps it upbeat. The series, called The Twitchers, also benefits from a sprinkling of wildlife facts, a relatable hero and a twisty plot.' Teen Breathe

'I thought this was such an interesting book with a really engrossing storyline and is definitely worth a read!' First News

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