Parents' Guide to

The Queen Bee and Me

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Relatable story about conformity has strong science content.

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Approachable and nicely paced, this story of nonconformity adds lots of information about bees. THE QUEEN BEE AND ME doesn't shy away from integrating the scientific method, detailed descriptions of different kinds of bees, and their importance to human survival into the story. Written another way, it could feel like overkill to notice that a bossy character is named Beatrix. But this story is subtle enough to allow the reader to figure that out.

Though the plot could have sprung into action with more intensity at the start, the lessons that the characters learn feel earned at the end. Some characters, like Meg's brother, and her peripheral friends, Arshi and Zoe, could have benefited from a little more detail. But the focus is really on Hazel, the odd kid with the weird sweaters and the bee obsession. Her refusal to conform shines in this story, and Meg is influenced by her strength. Kids will relate to the tricky social footwork that middle school requires. And they'll appreciate Meg's newly found courage and her willingness to do what's right, even if it means eating alone sometimes. But, as her dad says, middle school is a moment, and if you figure out who you are, you've done your job.

Book Details

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