The Queen Bee and Me
The Queen Bee and Me
Publisher's Hardcover14.44
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Annotation: From the highly acclaimed author of Caterpillar Summer comes a heartfelt story about the sweetness and stings of middle-... more
Catalog Number: #209139
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 279 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-681-19751-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-681-19751-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019019788
Dimensions: 22 cm
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
Meg and Beatrix, 12, have been best friends since kindergarten, but in their hierarchical friendship, anxious Meg is compelled to follow popular Beatrix-s lead or get frozen out. When Meg earns a coveted spot in an advanced science elective and drops the dance class Beatrix had chosen for them both, she-s terrified to tell her friend. McDunn (Caterpillar Summer) deftly sketches Meg-s struggles amid seventh grade-s unspoken social order, highlighting how -Beatrix comes with her own set of rules.- Tensions escalate further when quirky new girl Hazel is paired with Meg for a science project on bees, and the two form a bond that infuriates Beatrix. Told in Meg-s strong voice, McDunn-s narrative includes fieldwork updates on the bee project that effectively echo the story-s human interactions (-How does the worker bee realize it is time to switch to something new?-). Meg-s warm, tight-knit family contrasts with Beatrix-s demanding and judgmental mother, who contextualizes some of the girl-s motivations. Readers will identify with the pitch-perfect middle school dynamics and cheer for Meg as she navigates a toxic friendship. Ages 8-12. Agent: Marietta B. Zacker, Gallt and Zacker Literary. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8 Seventh graders Meg and Beatrix have been best friends foreveror, at least since kindergarten. Knowing this has made life and school effortless for otherwise anxious Meg. Until last year, when Queen Bee Beatrix invoked The Freeze on her. Ever since, Meg has been nervous about taking the wrong step with Beatrix, especially since that step may include taking a special science elective she was hand-picked for instead of the dance class they've always taken together (which Meg is horrible at, anyway). Things only get harder when a new girl, odd-ball Hazel, moves into the neighborhood, becomes Meg's partner in her science elective, and brings a literal hive of bees that Beatrix and her well-connected mother think are dangerous. When one of Beatrix's family dogs is attacked and stung numerous times, Meg tries to keep the peace with Beatrix. Meg shares more than she should about Hazel's past, and things get stickier than honey. While the three main players and their families default to white, the cast of secondary characters is diverse. Additionally, commentary on the importance of bees and the nature of girl "drama" versus "boys disagreeing" deftly graces the overarching friendship and familial plot lines, creating a truthful look at the complicated friendships of middle school and what happens when, forced to choose between a new friend and an old one, you choose yourself instead. VERDICT Fully realized characters and high-stakes yet realistic middle school dilemmas with real-world applications make this a royal addition to shelves for upper elementary and middle school readers. Brittany Drehobl, Morton Grove Public Library, IL
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Midway through seventh grade, Meg grows tired of pressure from her best friend, Beatrix, to take ballet class with her again and to stop using the silly "babyish" goodbye phrases that have been their inside joke since kindergarten. Meg's already on thin ice with Beatrix for taking an advanced science elective rather than dance. When Meg befriends a new classmate, Hazel, who keeps bees, Beatrix becomes downright hostile to her, undermining the newcomer and spreading rumors. Beatrix's mother even mounts a campaign to outlaw backyard beekeeping. Meanwhile, Hazel blames Meg for sharing information about her family with Beatrix. Feeling torn, guilt-ridden, and overwhelmed, Meg struggles to decide where her loyalties lie and comes to an unconventional conclusion. Meg's observant, first-person narrative is equally adept at capturing the nuances of her friends' emotionally charged verbal sparring and her own misery when both girls turn against her. The writing vividly depicts aspects of the physical world as well. In one memorable phrase, Meg describes Hazel in her white beekeeper's coveralls and veiled headgear as looking "like an astronaut bride." McDunn portrays the intertwined emotional lives of middle-school kids with sensitivity and precision, while including relevant interactions within their families. An insightful story of friendship and change.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (1/1/20)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (2/1/20)
Word Count: 54,919
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 506148 / grade: Middle Grades
Guided Reading Level: P

From the highly acclaimed author of Caterpillar Summer comes a heartfelt story about the sweetness and stings of middle-school friendship. Meg has always found comfort in her best friend Beatrix's shadow. Self-assured Beatrix is the one who makes decisions, and the girls have been a pair since kindergarten. But middle school has brought some changes in Beatrix, especially when Meg tries to step outside her role as sidekick. A special science elective is Meg's first step away, but when she's paired with quirky new girl Hazel, Beatrix steps in to stake her claim on Meg. Meg is taken aback at how mean Beatrix can be--and how difficult it is to stand up to her friend. But as Meg gets to know Hazel while working on their backyard beehive project, she starts to wonder: Is being Beatrix's friend worth turning down the possibility of finding her own voice? This pitch-perfect exploration of middle-school friendship dynamics brims with heart and hope, and will resonate with readers of all ages. Acclaim for Caterpillar Summer An Indies Introduce Pick A Texas Bluebonnet Selection A Parents Best Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year An Amazon Best Book of the Year

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