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Author: Zahler, Diane
Bee is an orphan in the poor kingdom of Aradyn, and when she is caught stealing a bun from a bakery, the lonely baker offers to take her on as an apprentice--but when she meets Princess Anika, and the evil mage Joris who is her "guardian" she embarks on a journey to save Anika, and restore the kingdom to its rightful ruler.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 179522
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 69489
School Library Journal (00/02/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 Gr 3–6—A cozy fantasy adventure featuring strong female characters. In the Holland-esque kingdom of Aradyn, hungry orphan Bee's theft of a pastry leads to a job and temporary home in a bakery. Bee's newfound happiness magically infuses her baked goods with positive feelings, and the business's increasing popularity attracts the attention of the palace. Powerful mage and pastry lover Master Joris has become guardian to the orphan princess, is holding her captive, and has converted all arable land into valuable tulip fields at the expense of trees. Using magic from the village blacksmith's assistant, Bee helps the lonesome Princess Anika escape a forced marriage. As their shoddy vessel sinks, the group is saved by a crew of tulip-hijacking pirates led by the fierce Zafira Zay. A high seas adventure leads to surprising discoveries about assumed-dead relatives and long-lost trees. The plucky orphan finding magic and friendship is not a new theme, but ample action and charming characters like Bee, Princess Anika, and Captain Zafira Zay make this an entertaining read with an empowering message for girls, while still maintaining cross-gender appeal. Fans of Lisa Graff's A Tangle of Knots (Philomel, 2013) or Ingrid Law's Savvy (Dial, 2008) will find a satisfying analogue in this volume. A recipe for the prominently featured delicacy "Bouts Buns" is included. VERDICT Text complexity and a wholesome plot make this a good choice for higher-level readers in lower grades. A solid addition to larger middle grade collections.—Deidre Winterhalter, Niles Public Library, Niles, Illinois - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.