Friday, March 6, 2020

The Queen Bee and Me

The Queen Bee and Me 
by Gillian McDunn
288 pages; ages 8 - 12
Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020

If I’m honest, it was the title that made me pick up this book. Anything related to bees – no matter how remotely – and I’m going to read the first page or two. Or, as in this case, the entire book. Especially when they open with a line like this:

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who want to look inside to see how stuff works and those who couldn’t care less.

And Meg, the main character, definitely wants to see how stuff works. She’s the kid who tales apart toasters, clocks, blenders, radios, microwaves. Though, she admits, “putting them back together is harder.” Raise your hand if you have found that out the hard way.

While she’s great with science stuff, Meg isn’t so confident with people stuff. Her best friend forever, Beatrix, is changing, there’s a new student in town, Meg really wants to take the science elective, but Beatrix is sure Meg’s gonna fall in line and join the dance class. When Meg is paired with a new girl for a research project, friendship dynamics get complicated.

And then there are the bees: a hive of honey bees that Hazel, the new girl, wants to study for their project. Bees are cool, Hazel explains, and essential for pollination. Without them, we wouldn’t have some of our favorite foods. There’s only one problem… well, maybe two.
Meg is afraid of bees because they sting.
And someone is trying to scuttle Hazel’s plan to raise her bees in town.

What I like love about this book: I love how author Gillian McDunn weaves real science into her novel of middle-grade life. I love how every so often we get a page from Meg’s Animal Fieldwork Project report. And I really love how Meg, with a bit of help, finds her voice to save the bees and her friendships, both old and new.

I give this book one huge Huzzzzzzzzah!

Gillian McDunn is a member of #STEAMTeam2020. You can find out more about her at her website.

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. ARC provided by the publisher.


  1. Sounds like a great read that combines science and issues of friendship in middle school. I'm sure a lot of girls who love science would like this book.

  2. Your enthusiasm for this new book sold me. Thanks for featuring it on MMGM. Love the science angle.

  3. This sounds like a great premise for a MG book! I also love MG novels that include scientific and historical facts within the storyline. Thank you very much for sharing this book for MMGM so I can add it to my never-shrinking TBR list!

  4. I've seen this title a lot of places. And yes, it fascinates me. I will have to find a copy! Thanks for the review.

  5. I am fascinated by books about bees. And, I like that this one is a story with a lot of science included. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I really like the science aspect of this. I think kids would relate to the friendship storyline. I'm totally intrigued by the title and how it alludes to both.

  7. My parents were beekeepers and I helped them work the hives when I was in my teens. I love anything bee related too. What fascinating creatures. I will look for this book. It sounds great. Thanks for the review.

  8. I have this book on my list and I cannot wait to check it out. I know it will be a book that lots of my students will enjoy. I can relate to the main character and it reminds me of a friendship I had growing up. Thanks for sharing. So glad to hear you loved this one!