Blue John by Berlie Doherty

Blue John

Written by Berlie Doherty
Illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis

5+ readers   7+ readers   Little Gems   Summer Reading   
Download an extract Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Interest Age 5-8 Inspired by the Blue John stone found in the hills around her Derbyshire home, Berlie Doherty has created a myth that already feels as if it has been always been in our memories, just waiting to be remembered again. Her Blue John is a magical boy, created from glaciers and the sun, ice-blue and golden, who lives deep underground with his mother, the Queen of Darkness. He’s drawn to the light where he meets a girl, one of a group of children exploring the caverns. They have one golden day together before Blue John must return to his mother. Berlie Doherty takes care over each sentence and this short story, beautifully and simply told, will intrigue and move young readers. ~ Andrea Reece

With the evocative charm of a fable, Blue John is inspired by the semi-precious mineral found in the caves of Mam Tor by Berlie’s home. Berlie says: The internationally celebrated violinist Peter Cropper invited me to write a ‘story to music’ for a Christmas children’s concert. I chose the haunting piece by the Czech composer, Smetana, ‘From My Life’. The music made me think of ice and darkness and sunlight, loneliness and joy. I walked over the Mam Tor mountain with the music in my head, and looked down at the caverns, and I knew immediately what I was going to write about. So I invented a character called Blue John, a little boy who is made out of stone …

About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.


Blue John by Berlie Doherty

The Queen of Darkness lives deep underground beneath a mountain with her child, Blue John, a boy she made from the blue of the glacier and the hot yellow light of the sun. Blue John is forbidden to leave his mother's side, but the lure of the light above is too strong. When a singing, dancing girl comes to the caves, Blue John must make a choice between darkness and light. A heart-warming story that embraces the beauty and colours of the natural world.

High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all.

About the Author

Berlie Doherty

Berlie Doherty is one of the UK’s favourite children’s authors. She has been writing for over twenty years and is published in more than twenty languages. She is a prolific writer of novels, storybooks, picture books, and plays. Berlie lives in Derbyshire.

To read a question and answer session with Berlie Doherty please click here.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


96 pages
Interest Age: From 5 to 8 years


Berlie Doherty
More books by Berlie Doherty

Author's Website


Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

1st February 2017




It’s so easy to find the right book for your child. Such an easy-to-use, yet in-depth website. 100% reliable.

Pippa, Jack, Liam & Matthew Wils

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman

It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

Lovereading is just a convenient way to find new books and hear others opinions on them.

Sarah Murray – age 15

LoveReading4Kids is a modern and creative way of emphasising the value and importance of books in this digital age #booksforlife

Amrit Bunet – Teen

It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

Lovereading 4 schools