Bound To Stay Bound

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 Queen bee and me
 Author: McDunn, Gillian

 Pub Year: 2020

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 279 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 624205 ISBN: 9781681197517
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Best friends -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Bees -- Fiction
 Bullying -- Fiction
 Middle schools -- Fiction
 School stories

Price: $20.01

Twelve-year-old Meg is anxious about growing apart from her best friend Beatrix, but she is also interested in learning about the quirky new student Hazel and her backyard beehive.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.10
   Points: 8.0   Quiz: 506148

   Kirkus Reviews (11/15/19)
   School Library Journal (02/01/20)
   Booklist (+) (01/01/20)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 02/01/2020 Gr 4–8—Seventh graders Meg and Beatrix have been best friends forever—or, at least since kindergarten. Knowing this has made life and school effortless for otherwise anxious Meg. Until last year, when Queen Bee Beatrix invoked The Freeze on her. Ever since, Meg has been nervous about taking the wrong step with Beatrix, especially since that step may include taking a special science elective she was hand-picked for instead of the dance class they've always taken together (which Meg is horrible at, anyway). Things only get harder when a new girl, odd-ball Hazel, moves into the neighborhood, becomes Meg's partner in her science elective, and brings a literal hive of bees that Beatrix and her well-connected mother think are dangerous. When one of Beatrix's family dogs is attacked and stung numerous times, Meg tries to keep the peace with Beatrix. Meg shares more than she should about Hazel's past, and things get stickier than honey. While the three main players and their families default to white, the cast of secondary characters is diverse. Additionally, commentary on the importance of bees and the nature of girl "drama" versus "boys disagreeing" deftly graces the overarching friendship and familial plot lines, creating a truthful look at the complicated friendships of middle school and what happens when, forced to choose between a new friend and an old one, you choose yourself instead. VERDICT Fully realized characters and high-stakes yet realistic middle school dilemmas with real-world applications make this a royal addition to shelves for upper elementary and middle school readers.—Brittany Drehobl, Morton Grove Public Library, IL - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 01/01/2020 *Starred Review* Midway through seventh grade, Meg grows tired of pressure from her best friend, Beatrix, to take ballet class with her again and to stop using the silly “babyish” goodbye phrases that have been their inside joke since kindergarten. Meg’s already on thin ice with Beatrix for taking an advanced science elective rather than dance. When Meg befriends a new classmate, Hazel, who keeps bees, Beatrix becomes downright hostile to her, undermining the newcomer and spreading rumors. Beatrix's mother even mounts a campaign to outlaw backyard beekeeping. Meanwhile, Hazel blames Meg for sharing information about her family with Beatrix. Feeling torn, guilt-ridden, and overwhelmed, Meg struggles to decide where her loyalties lie and comes to an unconventional conclusion. Meg’s observant, first-person narrative is equally adept at capturing the nuances of her friends’ emotionally charged verbal sparring and her own misery when both girls turn against her. The writing vividly depicts aspects of the physical world as well. In one memorable phrase, Meg describes Hazel in her white beekeeper’s coveralls and veiled headgear as looking “like an astronaut bride.” McDunn portrays the intertwined emotional lives of middle-school kids with sensitivity and precision, while including relevant interactions within their families. An insightful story of friendship and change. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.

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