Reader Reviewed The Glass Bird Girl by Esme Kerr

The Glass Bird Girl

Written by Esme Kerr
Part of the Knight's Haddon Series

9+ readers   Summer Reading/Activity    11+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

An engrossing school adventure story packed full of mystery and rich in atmosphere. Orphaned Edie is rescued from a miserable stay with cousins because she can be useful in discovering exactly what is happening at the exclusive Knight’s Haddon School for Girls where Anastasia, the daughter of a Russian prince, is studying. The school is in a castle cut off from the outside world. When mysterious things happen – and especially when Anastasia’s precious possessions go missing – no one knows quite whom to blame. Can Edie get to the bottom of what is going on?

A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher, Chicken House I went to a boys’ boarding school – we had straw hats and silly rules, but I loved living with a bunch of friends all day, every day. It was like being on a desert island with prefects! Of course, we imagined all the visitors were criminals and there was a dire secret in the clock tower. But actually, maybe Esme Kerr’s right; it was the teachers who had the real secrets all the time . . .

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Katie Johnson, age 10 - 'I really loved this story because of all the cliffhangers; I couldn't put the book down or stop turning pages...10 out of 10!' Read full review >
  • Eva Majury, age 10 - 'I liked the fast paced plot, the element of mystery and the school setting which reminded me of Enid Blyton's books.  It was like being in another time – imagine no tv, no apps, no Minecraft!' Read full review >
  • Tilly Dickinson, age 9 - 'I really liked this book, it was a cross between an adventure and a detective book that kept me in suspense and wanting to read more.' Read full review >
  • Emma Stephenson, age 10 - 'an exciting mystery with remarkable characters...This wonderful book includes midnight feasts, private towers and rich princes.' Read full review >
  • Alice East, age 9 - 'This is a book about a girl who is sent away to a boarding school to look after a Russian Princess.  Her mission is to spy on the pupils and teachers to see if they are being mean to the princess.' Read full review >
  • Aditi Mehendale, age 11 - 'A must-read for any fans of Enid Blyton's boarding school series, i.e. Malory Towers with a twisted plot that hints at madness, secrets, and a world where anyone could be under suspicion.' Read full review >
  • Alice Bullard, age 10 - 'A thrilling book set in a big, strict boarding school. Orphan Edie is sent as a secret spy to see if a Russian Princess is being bullied.' Read full review >
  • Traviss Chaytors, age 10 - 'A brilliant book full of laughs and drama...I would recommend this book to drama lovers as it is full of it. This is clearly a 5 out of 5 for me as it’s amazing and I loved it.' Read full review >
  • Adiella Norridge, age 10 - 'The Glass Bird Girl is a mysterious book full to the brim with adventure...It kept me guessing all the way through. I would highly recommend it.' Read full review >
  • Sam Harper, age 10 - 'The mystery keeps you guessing until the very end when it reaches it's exciting climax.  It had me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath.  A brilliantly exciting mystery!' Read full review >
  • Sidney Greenslade, age 10 - 'The Glass Bird Girl is a thrilling mystery adventure where heroine Edie faces life threatening danger in a tale that kept me gripped from the first to the last page.' Read full review >
  • Rachel Ilsley, age 10 - 'I like this book because there are lots of mysteries and a big adventure happening at the same time. I hope there is another book after this one because I would love to find what happens next at the school.' Read full review >
  • Lucy Turner, aged 11 - 'Overall this is a great book! I never put it down as it was always so tense. My favourite character has to be Edie because she is brave and kind. I would definitely give this book 10 out of 10.' Read full review >
  • Madi Campbell, age 14 - 'This is an extremely intriguing read, you will try and make up answers to the questions in your head, however you will probably be wrong due to a twist in the storyline.' Read full review >
  • Amie Coffman, age 10 - 'I loved this exciting and original book and could not put it down.  If you like mysteries with a twist this is the book for you.  One of my favourite books. I can't wait for more books by this author.' Read full review >
  • Grace Sansom, age 10 - 'I loved this book - it was full of tension and excitement and I couldn't wait to read it every evening.' Read full review >
  • Daisy Theobald, age 11 - 'I really enjoyed this book and I could read it over and over again and still wonder what was going to happen next.' Read full review >


The Glass Bird Girl by Esme Kerr

When Edie is sent by her guardian, a secretive art dealer, to Knight’s Haddon School, it’s not because he cares. He needs Edie to befriend Anastasia, the unhappy daughter of one of his richest Russian clients, Prince Stolonov.

But something strange is going on. Anastasia is an exotic and fragile girl, and she’s not the spoilt princess that everyone thinks she is. Someone means her harm and it’s up to Edie to find out who.

A note from the author.....I often think of the boarding school I attended long ago, when there were no computers or mobile phones, and the outside world was something we knew we would barely glimpse again until the next holiday, or the end of term. I tried to imagine whether such a place might ever exist today, and then in my mind's eye I saw Knight's Haddon, but it turned out to be a much more mysterious place than the school I'd known…’


The Glass Bird Girl by Esme Kerr has a distinct feeling of fantasy about it in spite of its modern setting ... This is an engrossing book, cleverly plotted and peopled by very real characters.’ THE SCOTSMAN

‘This is a rollicking romp of a novel – the first in a series, I hope – with a wonderfully spirited heroine ... Kerr’s debut is impressive and strikes just the right tone for girls looking for a modern Malory Towers.’ DAILY MAIL

‘With plenty of twists and turns, this is a gripping adventure story, which will keep readers turning the pages right until the satisfying conclusion.’ BOOKTRUST

'There’s nothing like a good boarding school story, and this is a great example of the genre ... Edie is a great heroine, all stiff upper lip and inner turmoil, and headmistress Miss Fotheringay, ‘Fothy’, the woman we’d all like to be, surely! The mystery story provides moments of real suspense and it all builds to a properly satisfying climax. This will be a favourite with readers, and there are more stories to come.' BOOKS FOR KEEPS

'This is the first in an exciting new series … with echoes of Mallory Towers, the midnight dfeats and schoolgirl sleuthing make this perfect for Blyton fans – and girls dreaming of adventure' MAIL ON SUNDAY, Children's Book of the Month

'Another modern-but-not-modern book is Esme Kerr’s The Glass Bird Girl. It’s terrifically old-fashioned: an orphaned girl is given a scary assignment to keep tabs on a Russian rich girl who’s being spooked at boarding school by unaccountable events. A good read.' EVENING STANDARD

'It is this voice that also comes through in Esme Kerr’s The Glass Bird Girl ... Sensitively written, this is a cut above most fiction for girls of nine-plus.' Amanda Craig, NEW STATESMAN

'The Glass Bird Girl was a brilliant book which, although written in an old-fashioned style, was exciting and mysterious. There wasn't a moment where you didn't want to read on as the plot kept you captivated with its twists and turns … a good adventure-mystery book which will make you want to read it again and again and again! I would give this book 9/10.' GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S BOOKS WEBSITE

'This is an enjoyable mystery and I’m definitely looking forward to the next in the series!' THE BOOKBAG 4 Stars

About the Author

Esme Kerr

Esme Kerr is an enigma herself. She went to ten schools and studied History at Oxford and Cambridge. She has three children, two dogs, three cats and four fish. She lives between Oxford and London, but only comes alive when writing.

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Book Info


288 pages


Esme Kerr
More books by Esme Kerr


Chicken House Ltd

Publication date

7th May 2015




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