Harper and the Fire Star by Cerrie Burnell & Laura Ellen Anderson

Harper and the Fire Star is a beautifully written story full of mystery, secrets and musical magic. We were quickly drawn into Harper’s adventure, captivated by the colourful characters in The Circus of Dreams and intrigued by the mysterious Fire Star. We couldn’t stop reading until we got to the end of the book!

Harper and the Fire Star - Story SnugThe Story: The Wild Conductor puts on a fabulous show to try and get into The Circus of Dreams but things don’t go as planned and instead Harper and her cat, Midnight, are taken away by Othello Grande, the ringmaster. A fast paced, magical adventure follows as Harper’s friends race to find her and Harper accidentally discovers Fire Star who is living in a strange grey world without music.

Harper and the Fire Star’s easy to read, lyrical prose is as musical as the story. We love the setting of this adventure – a circus which includes a chocolate forest, a sea-singer and a children’s orchestra. The Circus of Dreams is suspended in the sky, umbrellas can help you fly and Harper is joined by a diverse cast of characters including the villainous Othello Grande whose dislike of The Wild Conductor has played a big part in Fire Star’s story. The two men’s turbulent history has led to Star’s situation and Harper risks danger to help her.

We would love to hear the sound of The Wild Conductor’s cloudian, a musical instrument that flies through the air and plays a significant part in the story. Harper is so musically talented that she can pick up any instrument and play it, her circus act involves her playing a variety of instruments. Friendship is an important theme and Harper’s friends from the Tall Apartment Block, Ferdie, Liesel, visually impaired Nate and his wolf Smoke, make a risky journey to rescue her from Othello Grande’s clutches.

Laura Ellen Anderson’s illustrations add more magic and vibrancy to the story, we love the pictures of Liesel, Ferdie and Nate pedalling towards The Circus of Dreams and Harper perched on her umbrella as she performs. But our favourite illustration shows Midnight playing the piccolo flute, he’s a musically gifted cat!

Harper and the Fire Star is a wonderful celebration of music and the arts. With warm, likeable characters, fantastic illustrations and a large dose of magic this is a perfect first chapter book for independent readers.

Age Range: 7+

Author: Cerrie Burnell / Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson

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Thank you to Scholastic for sending Harper and the Fire Star. We’re sad to hear that it will be the last Harper story.

16 thoughts on “Harper and the Fire Star by Cerrie Burnell & Laura Ellen Anderson

  1. This sounds like the perfect book for my 7 year old to get stuck into, adore the front cover! Thank you for sharing with read with me.

    • There are so many wonderful illustrations in the story. It wasn’t easy choosing a favourite although Midnight playing the piccolo flute is so cute that we just had to mention it!

  2. I have one of the Harper books stored away for when my 5 year old is older, she could probably read it now but I thought the lyrical language might be too confusing for her. This sounds like another lovely one, hopefully by the time she’s old enough there’ll be one or two more books in the series for me to introduce her to.

    • This is the final Harper story, there are four altogether. I think that a five year old would still enjoy the language and the story if it was read aloud to her.

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