I'm always on the lookout for novels that connect to nature. Luckily, I won this quirky read from a contest by Wendy McLeod MacKnight and Capstone Young Readers!
Description from the publisher:
A colony of honeybees mistakes seventh-grader Zinnia’s hair for a hive — and that’s the least of her problems. While Zinnia's classmates are celebrating the last day of seventh grade, she's in the vice principal's office, serving detention. Her offense? Harmlessly yarn-bombing a statue of the school mascot.
When Zinnia rushes home to commiserate with her older brother and best friend, Adam, she's devastated to discover that he's gone — with no explanation. Zinnia’s day surely can't get any worse . . . until a colony of honeybees inhabits her hive-like hair!
Zinnia and the Bees was written by Danielle Davis and published by Capstone Young Readers in 2017.
Why you want to read this book…
It sounds kind of weird, but once I accepted the unusualness of there being bees in her hair, I ended up loving Zinnia’s character and how she coped with the changes in her life. I was surprised by how much emotion I felt while reading this story. I grew angry at Zinnia’s mother for not taking more action when Zinnia’s brother disappeared and for not noticing how Zinnia was hiding under her hood.
“It’s like a terrible, ridiculous attack-of-the-bees sci-fi movie is being filmed—except no one else knows about it, and I am, unfortunately, the star.”
If you’re a writer…
You might enjoy the way the author used details, especially the use of the yarn and knitting to show Zinnia’s feelings.
“Wood needles. Wool yarn. The hypnotizing push and pull, tuck and wrap. All the stuff that feels massive gets smaller. Less overwhelming.”
If you’re a teacher…
This book really showcases how sometimes relationships with parents can be challenging and hard for kids. Not everyone has a perfect family, and I think this book shows that, as well as different ways for coping. I also thought it was nice the way the main character reflected and had some realizations about how her own behavior contributed to problems with her friends.
“It shuts with a tiny click that sounds louder than my slam did, at least to me. It sounds final, like after everything, I’ve finally gone too far.”
“Ronny the Rattlesnake is naked. But not for long.”
Here’s a fun book trailer for Zinnia and the Bees!