Saturday, April 23, 2011

Secret Life of Bees

Found here
I started to read this book back at the very beginning of the semester (I am a teacher, so yes, my life still is divided into semesters!), but I never was able to finish it! I must say that the first chapter or so of this book is less than compelling, but don't let that stop you from reading it! I started to read it at the beginning of the semester to see if it was something that I wanted my 9th graders to read. I stopped reading it because things got crazy and I wasn't drawn in by the first few pages. I picked it up again because I was stuck for ideas on my next novel. I devoured it after that!

A VERY basic plot summary:
Lily, a young white teenage girl, lives in South Carolina in the 60s. She ends up running away from home and taking her maid with her to escape their old life. Lily is in search of answers regarding her mother who died when Lily was very young. Her search brings her to a small town in South Carolina where she finds much more than the answers she was searching for.

Ok, so I dont want to give anything away, but its a great novel.

My opinion:
After the first chapter, I was drawn into the book. The characters are very realistic and lovable, the plot is compelling enough to make you want to read on to find out what happens next. My ninth graders are all absorbed in the book and love it. The only thing that I would say about this book is it is very much a feminine book. I offered my students two choices: Lord of the Flies (a very "boy" book) and Secret Life of Bees, and the class was divided into boys and girls with a few exceptions. I love how this book speaks to the power of female bonds. In that regard, I think it is a novel that every girl should read. I have yet to see the movie so I dont know how it compares, but I usually find the books far better than the movies!

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