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MG Leonard

BIOGRAPHY (taken from


M. G. Leonard is a writer of books, poems and screenplays. She has a first-class honours degree in English literature and an MA in Shakespeare Studies from Kings College London. She works as a freelance Digital Media Producer for clients such as the National Theatre, and Harry Potter West End, and previously worked as a Senior Digital Producer at the National Theatre, the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe. She spent her early career in the music industry running Setanta Records, an independent record label, and managing bands, most notably The Divine Comedy. After leaving the music industry, she trained as an actor, dabbling in directing and producing as well as performing, before deciding to write her stories down. Maya lives in Brighton with her husband and two sons.
Beetle Boy is M. G. Leonard’s debut. It was published in Spring 2016 by Chicken House in the UK, Scholastic in the US, Canada and Australia and has sold in thirty-seven territories. 

Beetle Queen, the second part of the trilogy, was published in April 2017 in the UK to critical acclaim.

Battle of the Beetles, the third part of the trilogy, will be published in spring 2018.

Writing inspired by Maya's visit

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Messages for Maya

Messages for Maya 1
Messages for Maya 2

Dear Maya

Thank you so much for coming in yesterday! I thought you were just coming in to talk about your books but we ended up getting a full on lesson about beetles which I thought was really fun and cool. Sadly,  I did not manage to buy the books because I didn’t have any money because I was off school when the letter got sent out. But that won’t stop me from buying them so that I can read them when I’m on holiday!

You were so inspiring and interesting! I always hated beetles but now I can’t stop researching beetles at home. I never knew rhinoceros beetles could lift 850 times their own weight!

From Lee E, 6KW


Dear Maya,

Your beetle book assembly was so inspiring: it changed our perspective on beetles forever! It was so informative and we never knew that beetles could be so beautiful. We had no idea that in a few decades eating bugs will be normal everywhere, and how brutal ladybirds are. We are sure that your books will be enjoyed by everyone. We really appreciate what you taught us, and we hope you enjoy this collage that we put together!


From Connie and Rowan, 6KW.

Dear Maya,


I literally love beetles now, well, not LOVE them but i’m not scared of them and they are pretty interesting.

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I absolutely loved when you read us the part of BEETLE BOY when Darkus meets the beetle and you read it with such expression that I wanted to read it really bad!

I want to know all the different species of beetles and what their habitats are.

Now here is a poem:


Beetles are really cool

They also even survive a pool

I really like the ones that shine

Also ones that own a line

I hope you continue writing

I also hope your beetle isn’t biting!

From Ethan B, 6SE


Dear Maya,

I have learnt that ladybugs are not friendly animals and that they squirt poisonous blood out of their knees. Also, I learnt that  Rhinoceros beetles are the strongest living thing  in the world and it can hold 850 times its weight.

I enjoyed all of the assembly!

I want to know what the smallest and weakest beetle is and I want to read your books.

Thank you for an exciting, interesting and inspiring assembly it was one of the best assemblies we have ever had at the school and I will never step on a beetle again.   
From Harry T, 6KW


Dear Maya,

I really enjoyed your visit because you were was really funny and I learned that jewel beetles are actually used to make dresses and jewellery, and also that crickets can be bought in packets to eat as a snack and will have more protein than beef. Thank you so much for such an inspiring, interesting visit.

From Emily Eve F, 6KW


Dear Maya,

I really enjoyed your visit Maya because you were really funny and I learned that some beetles outer hard wings are used for jewellery and that rhinoceros beetles are the strongest animals on the earth: I was gobsmacked how they can hold up to 850 times its weight. I also learned that beetles have more protein in them than cows.

I would also like to know what the smallest beetle is and what it likes to eat.

I enjoyed the whole Assembly!

Sam D, 6KW


Dear Maya,


I really appreciate you coming to our school and teaching us about BEETLES!

I liked the rhino beetle the best because without the rhino beetle Darkus would be in the most horrible situation with the bullies.

I learnt that some clothing is made from beetle wings and nail polish. It is freaky that we use beetles in everyday life, not knowing we use them.

Beetle Boy has changed my life in a very short space of time; I hadn't really got into reading until a teacher read the first part of beetle boy and then the author - you, came into my school and played the parts of the book. You made it much more interesting to read unlike just sitting on a chair and blandly reading it, you acted the parts out.

I would like to know more about beetles and how to be an author just like you.

I am very excited to read the 3rd book of yours because I like the look of ‘beetle queen’ and I`m now reading BEETLE BOY!

Thank you for coming! From Erin B, 6SB
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Dear Maya

Thank you for coming into our school and teaching us how amazing beetles really are.

After watching your assembly, I am now inspired to eat bugs and get a pet Japanese rhino beetle. I love your idea to give the role of the hero to beetles; it really is a phenomenal idea and with a third book on the way, you are sure to be swimming in money by next year.

Yours sincerely

Robert K, 6SE


Dear Maya,

Yesterday, the assembly that you delivered was so inspiring. When you were reading the extract from Beetle Boy, there was so much passion, I could really picture what was going on. Now I want to actually see a jewel beetle in real life. I am so excited to read Beetle Boy and then Beetle Queen.

From Layla B, 6SB

More reviews to follow...