A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids will learn the difference between haiku and free-verse poetry, the difference between a maze and a labyrinth, and about Asperger's syndrome.
Although Bea often skips school and the characters trespass on private property, there are plenty of positive messages for middle schoolers. It's important to find your own path, be brave, and believe in yourself. Don't be afraid to share your thoughts and ideas with others. Friends sometimes grow apart from each other, but that doesn't mean you won't find where you belong with people who accept you for who you are.
Positive Role Models
Bea learns how to be a good friend and also how to love and accept herself. Will teaches Bea to be brave and shows her the importance of listening and observing. Briggs is kind and caring. He appreciates Bea's love of words and encourages her to share her poetry with others. Mrs. Reegs knows how to connect with her students and recommends the perfect book to Bea to help her realize that she doesn't need to change who she is.
Violence & Scariness
Kids think they're lost in a labyrinth at night.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Talk of middle school crushes and learning how to deal with them.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Way to Bea is a charming coming-of-age story about a 12-year-old girl who uses her poetry to cope with the arrival of a new sibling and the awkward transition to middle school. Without explicitly naming popular movies, TV shows, books, or songs, the book references The Karate Kid, Grey's Anatomy, Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl, Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten," Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle," and more. The main character often skips school and trespasses on private property with a few kids, but there are plenty of positive messages for middle schoolers about friendship, courage, communication, and self-acceptance.
Is It Any Good?
Kat Yeh's charming novel of friendship and self-acceptance beautifully captures the awkward transition to middle school, making it a must-read for kids. Like Bea, kids might feel pressured at some point to act a certain way or to hide their unique talents in order to feel accepted. Her heartbreaking haiku about loneliness and invisibility perfectly capture the sadness and pain of a fading friendship.
The Way to Bea reminds readers that loving yourself and having the courage to make your voice heard are key to forming meaningful friendships and finding where you belong.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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