Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Boy With the Butterfly Mind” as Want to Read:
The Boy With the Butterfly Mind
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Boy With the Butterfly Mind

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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 bac

Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 12th 2019 by Floris Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  159 ratings  ·  42 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Boy With the Butterfly Mind
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
So an interesting story happened to me regarding this book.

First of all, the reason I downloaded it from Edelweiss as a review copy was because it mentioned OCD rep - an ADHD step-brother and OCD step-sister. Interesting dynamic! Plus, I am OCD and there's never any rep - I had to grab it.

And I read it. And I didn't enjoy the rep. I posted a review. And the next morning... I got a message.

Turns out, there was no OCD whatsoever intended in the book. The author wrote me a sensitive message about n
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
I chose this book from the library for my son and we read the first 8 chapters together before he decided he wasn't interested. I, on the other hand, was riveted. So in terms of a book that's aimed for kids, this one was too intense for MY kid, but his tastes err towards adventures and generic kid series, so take that for what it's worth. The story, though, about two 11-12 year olds dealing with divorce, school bullies, the blending of families and finding their way through- often realistically ...more
Christina Reid
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
After having read and thoroughly enjoyed this author's first book, I was looking forward to reading this one too. It is a really sensitive look at blended families, coping with difficulties and difference in schools and also had a really nuanced portrayal of ADHD- hence the reason I have recommended this book to several teachers in my school already!
I liked getting the story from both Elin and Jamie's perspective as well as the complexity of the issues discussed. The book doesn't pull any punche
Georgie Lucraft-Townley
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know that I can entirely put into words how this book made me feel, but I absolutely adored it. Any book that can make you cry so early on and evoke such depth of feeling is surely going to be a page turner.
The author provoked feelings of empathy for both characters despite some pretty awful behaviour, although hope wins out in the end.
For me, the book spoke to me on a personal level and made me realise just how much my daughter deals with on a daily basis that others take for granted.

Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fractured families, blended families, school and social issues, ADHD... this book is an honest look at how all these things affect 11 year olds Elin and Jamie as they are forced to live under the same roof. I particularly found the writing of Jamie to be moving.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
The Boy with the Butterfly Mind by Victoria Williamson, 253 pages. Kelpies (Floris), 2019. $15.

Language: PG (9 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content G; Violence: G



Jamie Lee has severe ADHD. His mind goes 100 miles an hour and he has a hard time concentrating on any one thing, making his brain feel like it is full of butterflies. Elin Watts, 12yo, wants to be perfect. She is sure that if she is, she can repair her family and bring her parents back
This one is a 3.5 for me. It broke my heart at several points, and the author managed to evoke empathy for both of the main characters even though most of my concern was for Jamie. Both Jame lie and Elin Watts are 11, and while they couldn't be more different on the surface, they actually have some things in common. Both find it hard to fit in and be accepted on their own merits by their classmates, and both just want to have things go back to the way they were before their families fell apart. ...more
Laura Gardner
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5 for this wonderful book that will help increase understanding of severe ADHD and will also be a comfort to students who have experienced divorce.
Jamie and Elin are completely different except that they are both children of divorce. Jamie is forgetful, impulsive, and scatterbrained because of his severe ADHD. He lives with his mother and her boyfriend, Chris in England, but he misses his dad everyday. Elin is a perfectionist who refuses to meet her new half sister because she’s c
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed Victoria`s debut the Fox Girl and the White Gazelle last year, and I was delighted to find that her second book is just as good, if not even better. This one is also a dual narrative, this time telling the story of Jamie and Elin, who have just become part of the same blended family, and their rather complex relationship. The dual narrative format worked exceptionally well for the story, because it really allows you to get to know both of them and see both sides, as it makes ...more
Paula Andrews
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This is an amazing story concerning two end-of-primary-school step siblings, Elin and Jamie, who clash dramatically. Both are undergoing family issues and Elin is efficient, tidy and a high achiever while Jamie has ADHD and is almost Elin's polar opposite although his talents are buried under the ADHD maelstrom in his head. Both main characters are believable and their motivations are honest and understandable while their behaviours are at times shocking. Told in alternate chapters through each ...more
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for middle grade students about understanding and celebrating the differences in others. I experienced grade school in the early 1970’s , and we really didn’t understand a lot about ADHD. I remember in 4th grade, the teacher duct taped a boy who had a learning disability and, it is obvious to me now, ADHD, to a chair. The teacher pushed the chair outside so the kid could watch us play during recess. Most of the other kids thought it was funny, but it made me really uncomfort ...more
Libby Ames
Elin is sure that if she is perfect at school and at home, her father will move home and their family will be complete again. Jamie is anything but perfect. His ADHD makes him feel like his brain is full of butterflies. He gets distracted and makes messes all the time. When Jamie and his dad join Elin’s family, Elin sees an opportunity. She believes drawing attention to Jamie’s mistakes and shortcomings will make her mother see sense.

However, as Elin watches Jamie she learns that no one is reall
Samantha Fink
This is a very cute and moving book, but at first I didn't think that. For the 150 pages or so, I really considered DNFing the book. It seemed like every time I tried to read it, I would just get more and more mad at the characters.

Not many will probably have the same feelings I did towards the characters. For me, it was really more angering because it reflected my own life. My own sister has ADHD and so I found myself reflecting on my own person irritations with it. But i'm glad I pushed thro
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words cannot express how special this book is to me. It was recommended by my son's P7 teacher. He's something of a reluctant reader and has been struggling a bit this year. He's staying with his Dad this week so we have read the book together via video call. We started it three nights ago. Last night, my son couldn't put it down so read ahead on his own till goodness knows what time and today he finished it. I've just played catch up and it's safe to say we both thoroughly enjoyed it. He would ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Told from both child's view we follow Elin in Scotland who is trying to be perfect so her Dad will leave the horrible Witch and the mutant baby & come live with them. Of course she'll have to get rid of Mums boyfriend first too.
Jamie is 11 & his mind runs 100 mph. He doesn't know what to do be happy because his Mum & her boyfriend are moving to California USa or sad because that will leave his dad behind.
But events will bring Elin and Jamie's world crashing together. In a compelling plot line wh
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
I can definitely appreciate what this author was trying to do. I liked the thought of getting into both of these kids' heads, and really trying to understand where they were coming from, what it was like inside their minds , and how that affected their actions. I really do love putting myself in someone else's shoes to have a greater understanding for them. Unfortunately, the way it was written, I just could not stand these two for about 85% of the book. Everyone makes mistakes and has bad sides ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I got this from a Goodreads giveaway and must admit I probably wouldn't have entered if I knew it was a middle grades book. But I truly enjoyed it and am pondering which friend may have a kid who'd enjoy

A story of two kids tossed perfectionist and one struggling with adhd. The book gives a beautiful insight into the latter's mind...his struggle to exercise more control and his sense that he never will.

Great for a kid who needs to feel less alone in managing adhd or a sibling tryin
Denise Forrest
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When your parents split up it’s not easy. Nor is it easy to accept that you’ve got a new half sister or a new step brother. Elin really hates it when her dad leaves, Mum finds a new partner, then his son Jamie comes to live with them. The two of them couldn’t be more different. Erin in neat and organised; Jamie has ADHD which makes him... unpredictable.

This is a lovely story about family relationships and living with ADHD. I loved both of the main characters, especially Jamie who thinks he is br
Andrew Tennant
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. Perhaps I say that because I was at the book launch and it’s author has chosen to use the heartlands of Scotland as the background for her story. I can certainly relate to that. It’s clear though that no matter where this story has been set it tells wonderfully the aspects and colours of life through the eyes of those who suffer from ADHD it’s co-morbid conditions. The story is well thought through and reading it it’s clear that the author clearly knows the subject pers ...more
Debbie Ladd
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
EVERYONE who works with and cares about young adolescents should read this book! Told from two perspectives, the reader hears the angst of each character as they navigate not only their own challenges, (ADHD & obsessive traits) Jaime and Elin deal with split families and school bullies who are girls! This book broke my heart as I read it, though there are hopeful moments as well. If you liked The Benefits of Being an Octopus, then this is a must read for you. ...more
Sue Petersen
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Words can't express how impactful this book is regarding ADHD, children's feelings regarding divorces, new families, new homes, & new schools. Despite the book being set in England & Scotland it accurately portrayed so many aspects of childhood no matter where a person lives. It had a happy ending but we all know that often times that doesn't happen. Williamson wrote an amazing book that gives a glimpse in to the mind of a child with ADHD. ...more
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I gobbled up this book in two sittings. I loved reading about Elin and Jamie. They are such 3D characters. I got great insight on how ADHD affects a young boy trying to get through school and family troubles.

I thought Elin was a bit selfish and whiny at times and that was annoying, but other than that a really good book.

I recommend this to anyone who wants a family book about a girl who wants to be perfect and a boy who has ADHD.
Kirsty Stanley
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg, read-in-2019
4.75 stars
Beautifully written and deeply moving story, read my full review here: http://vsviewfromthebookshelves.home.... ...more
Tina Ballantyne
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a book which stirs up emotions. A few tears were shed during the reading of this book. Highly recommended
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
An insight into AdHD.
I think this book was outstanding! I loved it so much. Thank you Victoria Williamson!!
Maureen Chisholm
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant book. Loved the characters. A little predictable but a feel-good story. An easy read.
Mika J. Elijah
wow i’m really emotional. this was a really good read for me and i’m extremely glad that i read it
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • High-rise Mystery
  • A Kind of Spark
  • Asha & the Spirit Bird
  • Can You See Me?
  • The Girl Who Stole an Elephant
  • Bearmouth
  • The Deepest Breath
  • How High the Moon
  • The Star Outside my Window
  • I, Cosmo
  • The Wild Way Home
  • Jemima Small Versus the Universe
  • Crater Lake
  • The Girl Who Speaks Bear
  • The Million Pieces of Neena Gill
  • No Ballet Shoes in Syria
  • The Middler
  • A Pocketful of Stars
See similar books…
A lifelong storyteller and daydreamer, Victoria Williamson is a children’s author and teacher who has lived and worked in Africa, China, America and the UK.

Victoria grew up in Kirkintilloch, north Glasgow, surrounded by hills on the edge of a forest estate where many of her early ghost stories and fantasy tales were born amid the magical trees and spooky old ruined buildings.

After studying Physics

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
4 likes · 0 comments