Kid Konnection: Beholding Bee
When Bee’s parents passed away, Pauline, another member of the carnival they worked for takes her under her wing. Pauline is protective of Bee because most people don’t realize her “diamond,” the birthmark on her face her makes her special, so they stare at her and tease her.
Pauline does the best she can for Bee, teaching her to read and trying to create a good home for her. When Pauline falls in love, though, she goes to another carnival with her new husband and leaves Bee behind. Without Pauline, the carnival owner is not kind to Bee, so she decides to find a better place to live. She, her dog, and a pig from the carnival run away and come across two of Bee’s aunts who welcome her. Even though no one but Bee and her animals can see her aunts, they help Bee find her way in the world.
I was totally charmed by Beholding Bee, a middle grade novel by Kimberly Newton Fusco. The characters are just delightful, and I fell in love with Bee from the very start. She just wants to live a normal life and fade into the background but that seems to be impossible with her birthmark. She learns a lot from the people she meets, especially the mother of one of her friends.
Even though it has a little bit of a supernatural element to it, I thought the story in this book was a lot of fun too. I enjoyed the themes of strength, friendship, loyalty, compassion and being true to yourself and think young readers will enjoy them while they empathize with Bee. I really think this is a special book that will strike a chord with readers – especially girls.
I listened to the audio version of Beholding Bee and I thought Ariadne Meyers did a superb job narrating from the point of view of a young girl. This is an audiobook the whole family can enjoy. It’s on 7 CDs and lasts approximately 8 hours.
For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.