- [-] Other Available FormatsOur PriceNew & Used MarketplaceHour of the Bees (Library Binding)
Publisher: Turtleback Books$19.65Hour of the Bees (Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged)
Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio$24.99Hour of the Bees (Paperback)
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)$8.99
- ISBN-13: 9780763679224
- ISBN-10: 0763679224
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: March 2016
- Page Count: 368
- Reading Level: Ages 10-14
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-12-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Eager seamlessly blends a 12-year-old girls summer of change with a hefty dose of magical realism in this accomplished debut. A past family rift means that Carol first meets her grandfather Serge when her family arrives from Albuquerque to sell his sheep ranch before settling him in a nursing home. Serges question to Carol, who uses an Anglicized version of her name, Carolina Why do you spit on your roots, chiquita?makes her ponder her heritage. Unexpectedly drawn to her grandfather, Carol finds that her woes (an obnoxious older sister, absent friends, endless chores, stressed-out parents) pale next to the questions and fears raised in Serges entrancing stories, which all begin, Once upon a time, there was a tree. Fairytale motifs (No rain for a hundred years) emphasize the stark physicality of the New Mexican mesa, with its oppressive heat, spindly sheep, and numerous dangers. Through this atmospheric setting, Eager sustains a sense of wonder and longing for small things (bees, seeds, stories) to respond to big human needs. Ages 1014. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Mar.)
Dreaming in the New Mexico desert
Twelve-year-old Carol would rather be enjoying summer vacation with her friends, not stuck on a dilapidated ranch in the parched New Mexico desert. Her family is preparing to sell the property and move her grandfather, Serge, into assisted living before his dementia advances further. But as Carol gets to know Serge, his stories open up a world that she’d never known before.
Debut author Lindsay Eagar infuses this story with rich metaphors and real magic. Carol’s Mexican-American family tends to emphasize their American side, but life on the ranch with Serge shows Carol the value of deep roots—both figuratively and literally, as their land is in a century-long drought. Eagar’s language is poetic and lovely, and the story-within-a-story is a heartbreaker. The relationships between bees and water, and life versus living, would make for a terrific book club discussion.
Hour of the Bees is as grand as the landscape it springs from, an ode to family and heritage but also to living fearlessly. Forget about the middle-grade designation; everyone who reads this will be touched, and quite possibly moved to re--secure their family ties. Dreamlike while also gritty and real, this is a gorgeous work of art.