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.
In this family drama, Williamson (The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle) alternates between two 12-year-old protagonists in Glasgow who share a desperate wish to mend their broken families. Elin wants to be perfect, hoping that her father will realize how much he misses her and move back in. Underneath her smooth facade, though, she seethes with anger toward most everyone in her life: her mother's boyfriend, Paul; her new stepsister; and Jamie, Paul's "monster" son. Jamie just wants people, and especially Elin, to like him, but he has ADHD and sometimes acts in erratic and occasionally explosive ways. Elin and Jamie's increasingly destructive behavior ramps up the story's tension and suspense, while their misguided beliefs that they can "fix" their parents' relationships will likely resonate with some readers. Unfortunately, Elin's spite grows tiresome, and her moment of reckoning and sudden enlightenment, while welcome, lead to an implausible happily-ever-after ending. Without a strong focus on endearingly earnest Jamie and his "butterfly mind," Williamson's relevant themes of forgiveness, empathy, and acceptance have a lesser impact. Ages 11 13.