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How to Bee - Bren MacDibble

How to Bee

By: Bren MacDibble

Paperback | 26 April 2017

At a Glance

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Paperback


RRP $17.99

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A story about family, loyalty, kindness and bravery, set against an all-too-possible future where climate change has forever changed the way we live.

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.

About the Author

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.
Industry Reviews
"'How to Bee by Bren MacDibble is a story full of contrasts - delightful in its dialogue, thought-provoking in subject matter and, at times, quite harrowing as the horrors of this future reality is exposed. It is also a story of friendship and family - the bonds that hold us together through tough times and the ability to survive in situations not of our own making.
MacDibble hasn't avoided any of life's disappointments by skilfully crafting characters who often challenge us; those who are flawed and others who remain faithful throughout. She quietly introduces her young readers to a world where domestic violence, child abuse, phobias and environmental catastrophe have become the everyday.
Poverty and violence are never hidden in this book and neither is love, tenderness and kindness. It's a must read for all ages - for the adults who shape the world we live in and for the children who will guide the future. How to Bee is an engaging read; a story of challenging concepts offered within a heart-warming tale.' Reading Time

...'
MacDibble has created a vivid unusual world through her use of made-up colloquialisms, which are quirky and easily understood. She is skilled at describing a scene in a few brief words and her dialogue is colourful and snaps with energy. The original voice in the writing is one of the main strengths of this satisfying story which will be enjoyed by most readers aged 8 to 12.' Magpies

...""How To Bee is enchanting and atmospheric, achingly beautiful. Captivating until the final page.' Diva Booknerd


UK reviews:

'Quirky, original and heartfelt, this is an all too plausible dystopian adventure, exploring themes of family loyalty and the environment.'
Fiona Noble, The Bookseller, 16/02/2018 (Editor's Choice for Middle Grade that month)

'How to Bee' is a moving, intelligent novel, offering plenty of food for thought and a cast of appealing- and not so appealing - characters which linger with you long after the story is finished...
Sue Wilsher, North Somerset Teachers' Book Award, North Somerset Teachers' Book Award blog, 14/06/2018

'MacDibble writes with confidence and ease - the book feels different, atypical, which makes it shine brightly in the field of current children's fiction. It turns out being is a complicated business, but with books such as this, children will buzz with excitement about their ability to influence their own futures.'
Claire Zinkin, MinervaReads blog

'How to Bee is perfect. It gave me the same shivers as 'Skellig'. Not a word is wasted and the voice is compelling. This is a future classic.'
Louise Nettleton, Bookmurmuration blog, 23/04/2018

'This story, set in a dystopian landscape, reminds us of the vital role played by the bees that we take so much for granted, but there is even more to the story than environmental issues. We see extreme poverty and domestic violence but also courage and the ultimate insignificance of material comforts when compared to the love of friends and family.'
Jan Lennon, Carousel magazine, 01/10/2018

'This powerful, engrossing and engaging novel is a great introduction to dystopian fiction and tackles environmental issues, poverty, social inequality and problematic family relationships. Peony is a strong and inspiring protagonist and, despite some of the darker themes, this is a story filled with hope, as unlikely friendships blossom and a strong sense of loyalty prevails.'
Seven Stories Centre for Children's Books"

CBCA Notables 2018 - Younger Readers

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