Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . Read more...
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Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio$24.99Hour of the Bees (Paperback)
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)$8.99
Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . . .
While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, twelve-year-old Carolina -- Carol -- is spending hers in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move the grandfather she's never met into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Serge. But as the summer wears on and the heat bears down, Carol finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by the crazy stories he tells her about a healing tree, a green-glass lake, and the bees that will bring back the rain and end a hundred years of drought. As the thin line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible -- and what it means to be true to her roots. Readers who dream that there's something more out there will be enchanted by this captivating novel of family, renewal, and discovering the wonder of the world.
- ISBN-13: 9780763679224
- ISBN-10: 0763679224
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: March 2016
- Page Count: 368
- Reading Level: Ages 10-14
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.