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Archive for the ‘The Summer We Saved the Bees’ Category

TheSummerWeSavedTheBeesTwelve-year-old Wolf did a school report on the dangers caused by the world’s declining bee population prompting his mother, Jade, to take up the cause. She pulls Wolf, his 5 year old twin sisters, Saffron and Whisper, and his 15 year old step sister, Violet, out of school early to spend the summer traveling across Canada doing performance art regarding this danger. It would not be so bad if Jade doesn’t insist on Wolf wearing the same bee costume worn by the five year olds.

Violet rebels because she wants her 17 year old boyfriend, Ty, to come on the trip, a request that Curtis, Violet’s father and Jade’s live-in boyfriend, vehemently deny. Meanwhile, Whisper, always quiet, is now not talking at all and has stress meltdowns, of which Jade is in denial. According to Jade, Whisper is growing at her own rate and shouldn’t be compared to her extrovert twin sister. Violet and Wolf decide something must be done to derail the trip and get Jade to realize Whisper needs help. Ultimately, they steal away early one morning to Curtis’ mother, who they haven’t seen in years, in the hope that she might be an advocate for Whisper.

The story told in The Summer We Saved the Bees by Robin Stevenson would best be understood by children two or three years older than the nine year old and up target audience.

There are several things that didn’t sit right with this book. Both Violet and Wolf act older than their respective ages. Wolf, in my mind, acted more like a girl than a boy. There is no mention of why Jade named him Wolf, obviously not a common name. Characters, especially Curtis, are not fleshed out and there’s little explanation of why he and his mother are estranged. The book’s plot is unlikely.  The ending is somewhat pat.

The darlings of the book are Saffron and Whisper who are cute and act like five year olds. You’ll fall in love with them.

Despite this, The Summer We Saved the Bees is enjoyable and I’m glad I read it (if only for the twins)

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