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

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16 responses to “Harper and the Fire Star by Cerrie Burnell & Laura Ellen Anderson”


  1. Acorn books avatar

    We have this book in our to read pile! It sounds absolutely beautiful #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is! I hope you enjoy reading it 🙂


  2. Kate Eccles avatar

    This sounds like a great series to keep in mind for Izzie when she is a bit bigger, plus I love those illustrations! #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      The illustrations are gorgeous 🙂 Don’t forget about these stories when Izzie is older. They’re so wonderfully original.


  3. Yet Another Blogging Mummy avatar

    Sounds a lovely story and a bit different.


    1. Catherine avatar

      Cerrie tells wonderful stories, unlike any others that we’ve read before. They have a very magical, musical quality to them.


  4. BookBairn avatar

    I love the look of this series and can’t wait for BookBairn to be old enough to read them! #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      They’re beautiful stories and so unique, very different to any other books that we’ve read for this age group.


  5. Bec @IshMotherBec avatar

    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.


    1. Catherine avatar

      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.


  6. Filza avatar

    This sounds super. I shall tell my niece about this one.
    I love the front cover illustrations.
    #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      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!


  7. Sarah MumofThree World avatar

    It sounds lovely! I read The Circus of Dreams and thought it was a truly beautiful, magical story. It’s a shame my daughter is too old for them!


    1. Catherine avatar

      I’ve enjoyed reading the Harper stories, they’re a wonderful read for adults too 🙂


  8. Chantelle Hazelden avatar
    Chantelle Hazelden

    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.


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a fabulous cover and Laura Ellen Anderson’s illustrations are brilliant!

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