The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees

 
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The Secret Life of Bees
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Age Range
14+
ISBN
0142001740
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i love this book

Reader reviewed by amanda

This book is one of my absolute favorites. It is about a forteen year old girl named Lilly Owens who's mother died in a terrible accident when lilly was only four years old. The story takes place in nortyh carolina in 1964. It is a great book, trust me!

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The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Reader reviewed by BooksObsession

Summary:
Lily
Owens, a 14 year old budding writer, lives with her abusive father,
T-Ray, and their housekeeper, Rosaleen. Taking place in 1964, racism is
very popular in her town, and soon Rosaleen finds herself in jail.
Lily, in a desperate attempt to run away from T-Ray, is able to sneak
Rosaleen out, and flee to Tiburon, S.C. But Lily is not only running
from the present, but also the past and her dreadful memories of
killing her mother when she was just four years old. Now, Lily is eager
to search the truths for the real reason her mom left their family
while she was still alive, and learns life-long lessons along the way.
Lily and Rosaleen reside in a house where three black sisters live,
August, May, and June Boatwright. Lily is put to work as a beekeeper
with August, where she also befriends a boy her age named Zach. The
story slowly unravels from there, revealing secrets of Lily's mother's
past, changing Lily's life one day at a time.

Quote:
"I
plucked leaves off the elephant ear plants and fanned my face, sat with
my bare feet submerged in the trickling water, felt breezes lift off
the river surface and sweep over me, and still everything about me was
stunned and stupefied by the heat, everything except my heart. It sat
like an ice sculpture in the center of my chest. Nothing could touch
it." - pg. 277

Review:
First
off, the reason I started reading this book was because of my reading
class at school. We're on the topic of racism in the '60's, so my
teacher wanted us to read this. When I first started it, I wasn't that
into it. I've never favored historical-fiction books that much, so I
was a little sketchy about reading it. However, after a few chapters
in, I was hooked. Sue Monk Kidd's writing is unbelievable! I actually
felt like I was looking through Lily's eyes, and each character was
described beautifully. Another thing that I liked from this book, was
all the female power! Besides a few male roles, the book was basically
centered around women, especially Lily and the "calendar sisters".
There are some thought-provoking lessons that Lily, and myself, learned
from the inspiring August Boatwright. It's also interesting that Sue
Kidd included a quote at the start of each chapter relating to bees.
Bees serve as a humongous symbol throughout the book, which was fitting
for the title. There was a minor thing in the book that I didn't like,
though: the profanity. It wasn't like
some
books, that drop the f-bomb on every other page, but there were many
curse words throughout the book. But overall, I deeply enjoyed this
book, and would read it again. Overall, the novel started out slow, but
ended strong. I recommend it to females, especially ones that have lost
a dear mother or need to be filled with a little hope.

Rating:
Plot: B
Originality: B
Development of Characters: A+
Entertainment Level: B
Recommend to Others: A
Overall Feeling at the End: A+
Author's Writing: A

Total Grade: A

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secrets revealed

Reader reviewed by sara

an early family tradegy haunts lily (a young girl growing up in the south in the 1960s).  Life is not easy on the farm with her father.  Her father who basically ignores her, he even ignores her birthday.  when her black caretaker is jailed for wanting to register to vote lily leaps into action and breaks her out.  now they are on the run and they find refuge with three sisters who are bee keepers.  a great coming of age novel and lily finally finds peace and happiness.

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Not what I expected, but still great!

Reader reviewed by Chantele

I was a little skeptical about this book, judging by some of the
reviews. Once I started reading it though, I was sucked in! It was a
wonderful story about forgiveness, second chances, and learning to love
those around you and yourself. The story follows 14 year old Lily who
lost her mother at a young age, and lives with her abusive father. Lily
finally chooses to run away with her "servant" and friend, Rosaleen,
and they are taken in by a kind beekeeping family. While she is living
there, secrets to her mother's past start to be revealed, and Lily must
choose whether or not she can forgive herself, and her mother for past
mistakes. A wonderful coming of age novel, and beautifully written. It
is one of those books you have to read at least once in your lifetime.
One thing for those that have a hard time with swear words. It does
have a few in it, but not horrible language. Just so you know what to
expect.:) This book was not one of my absolute favorites, but I did
enjoy it.

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Great Book!!!

Reader reviewed by Lisa

I absolutely loved this book. I love how it can give the reader the perspective of a white girl but also convey the perspectives of all of the black women in the story also. I would love to use this book in my class if I can figure out a way to make the drawn out sections more interesting. It seems a little too long for some students to keep up with. Not the actual page number long but how the story is written seems a little more drawn out than it needs to be. I believe that all students can read a book this long but some students lose interest after seeing a books length, like I used to do in high school. The story addresses many issues and themes such as: racism, friendship, love, family, truth, and faith. OHH, the movie was awesome also but I was a bit sad to see Dakota Fanning all grown up.

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really good

Reader reviewed by Jamie

The book is really good. At first youre sort of confused about what happened to the mom, but this just makes you feel more like a part of the book. I like how real the whole family situation is. I really thought the setting wasinteresting. The time period was also interesting and not often written about in that part of the country.

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Wonderful

Reader reviewed by Jo

This is a wonderful story about a young girl overcomes the loss of her mother and seperates from an abusive father. She is on a quest to get to know who she really is. It is a story about friendship and love, but, I would not recommend it to anyone younger than middle school. It was a well-written story.

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again, amazed

Reader reviewed by abscae

This book is way high up there with a lot of other books. I just thought it was amazing, because not only does it explore how a teen feels, but also shows the racism of the desegregation period.

Lily is a white girl, haunted by the death of her mother, who she killed as a little girl. She is haunted by her 'father' and haunted by the threats of those black-hating people. She is not haunted by Rosaline, the black 'housewife' of their household.

Yet when things get too complicated, Lily and Rosaline set off to Tibourn, South Carolina, where Lily's mom once visited. There, she finds the Calender sister, August, May, and June. There she finds sanctuary from T.Ray's abusive ways, and there she finds the secret life of bees.

I have to most definitely recommend this. I can't reveal too much, but it is a very strong novel and I really love it.

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Amazingly Wonderful

Reader reviewed by ambeen

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is an amazing story. It is beautifully told and contains a powerful message. It is not only the story of a young girl but a story about the prejudices towards African Americans in the '60s. The characters are well developed and real. This is a book I highly recommend to everyone, not just teenage readers. It's message is still relevant today and should not be ignored.

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This is BUZZworthy...

Reader reviewed by Elliott's #1 Fan

Wow! I sure was suprised by this novel. When I first saw my friend reading it, I was about to yell, "WHY ARE YOU READING A BOOK ABOUT BEES?!" Luckally, I controlled myself...and got it at the library!

This is about a 14 year old girl named Lily, who is white. This is taking place in the 1950s, so there is some controversy about skin color and race.

Lily lives with her father, and their black housekeeper. Her father has told her that her mother ran away from them.

Soon, after many events, Lily and the housekeeper are fed up and decide to run away, to a place where her mother had once been. They meet three women whom she liked to call the "Calender Sisters", since their names were all months of the year. The sisters are beekeepers. Many things happen with these sisters and Lily's lifestyle.

Read this book...it is great. I would recommend it for 12 and up.

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