How to Bee
Life is “super-cherries” for 9-year-old Peony who lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where climate change has made real bees extinct, the quickest and bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. Peony loves the farm and is determined to become a bee and, one day, the foreman. But then her mother arrives from the city, ready to whisk her away to work in a rich household and it takes all Peony’s grit and quick thinking to find her way home.
This is a beautifully written story about family, loyalty, friendship and the scarily plausible scenario of a world without bees. Peony is a wonderful, stroppy character whom you instantly love. Highly recommended for ages 8 to 12.
In a case of art imitating life, see The Book of Bees.
Sometimes bees get too big to be up in the branches, sometimes they fall and break their bones. This week both happened and Foreman said, 'Tomorrow we'll find two new bees.' Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony's mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known, and all Peony's grit and quick thinking might not be enough to keep her safe. How To Bee is a beautiful and fierce novel for younger readers, and the voice of Peony will stay with you long after you read the last page.
Short-listed for Queensland Literary Awards 2017 (Australia) and Griffith University Children's Book Award 2018 (Australia).
Bren MacDibble was raised on farms all over New Zealand, so is an expert about being a kid on the land. She now lives in Melbourne with her family and a cheeky dog, works with gifted children, and teaches writing at TAFE.