Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Last Firefox by Lee Newbery

The Last Firefox is a charming story about facing your fears and learning to trust that who you are is always enough. Lee Newbery’s fantastic debut is a triumph in empathy-building, celebrating family diversity and encouraging children to stand up for themselves.

Charlie loves a lot of things about his life – the home he has with his two dads, hanging out with his best friends, Lippy & Roo, and exploring the area around his Welsh town. What he doesn’t love is the thought of moving to secondary school, the bullies who try to make themselves look tough by picking on him and the ridiculous pebble game Lippy invented that causes him to get chased to death by a goose or worse!

When his dads surprise him with the news that they’re thinking about adopting another child, Charlie knows he should be pleased but he really isn’t sure. What if he can’t protect a little brother or sister? What if he isn’t brave enough?

Faced with the task of hiding his fears and Lippy’s pebble, Charlie ends up at the local castle ruins. There he meets Teg (a strange boy from another world) and the last remaining firefox. Charlie makes a promise to look after the adorable glowing creature for two days, just until Teg comes back for him – but this is a huge responsibility! What if the fox gets into trouble? What is Charlie can’t protect him? What if someone finds out?

Charlie has no choice but to be brave and step up into his new role. Through challenge and adventure (as well as the support from his friends), he learns that he does have what it takes to look after someone else and he’s actually really good at it. As he spends time with Cadno, the firefox, he finds his own inner fire.

Thank you to Puffin Books for this wonderful story!

Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon or

Books by Kate Heap:

Contemporary Children’s Literature: Years 3/4

Nonfiction: Years 5/6

Nonfiction: Years 3/4

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