I love a serendipitous discovery. Out at Readings on the weekend, Madison choosing her ‘Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid’, I spotted Bren MacDibble’s book ‘How To Bee’ in the Young Adult section, and could not resist. The title jumped out at me – I’ve carried Bee in my nickname for a long time. Not sure anyone wants to Bee like me though! The beautiful artwork was backed up by an intriguing synopsis so I went with the flow and did my bit for Australian literature. Did I just claim another Kiwi as Aussie? Maybe.
Is this book Young Adult though? Sure the protagonist is a child, but this is a great read that I would recommend to adults. Meanwhile the author says it was targeted at 9-12 age bracket. I say go for it, readers of any age.
Set in a future where bees are extinct, the most agile and daring kids climb fruit trees and pollinate trees by hand. All Peony wants is to be a bee. The story follows her challenges in pursuing her dream. With themes of family and responsibility, privilege and inequality, set against a quiet warning message about a possible future facing our buzzing friends.
My favourite element in the book was the care taken by unexpected friends, something close to my heart in recent months.
I understand from Bren MacDibble’s twitter this is retailing also in the UK, as well as Australia, well worth a read for you or your youngsters.
Aside: I spotted this unusual sentence that I loved. The pronoun ‘them’ appearing before the things they referred to (‘knees’)… do I not read enough?? If people tell me this is common usage I am going to do it everywhere! Might just be an edit that dropped ‘legs’… anyway, it made me smile. 🙂
Update: from the author herself, of course this sentence was from the mouth of the character narrating the rest of the book and occasionally making a mess of her sentences! 🙃