Bee is an orphan who lives with a carnival and sleeps in the back of a tractor trailer. Every day she endures taunts for the birthmark on her face - though her beloved Pauline, the only person who has ever cared for her, tells her it is a precious diamond. When Pauline is sent to work for another carnival, Bee is lost.
Then a scruffy dog shows up, as unwanted as she, and Bee realizes that she must find a home for them both. She runs off to a house with gingerbread trim that reminds her of frosting. There two mysterious women, Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Potter, take her in. They clothe her, though their clothes are strangely out of date. They feed her, though there is nothing in their house to eat. They help her go to school, though they won't enter the building themselves. And, strangely, only Bee seems able to see them.
Whoever these women are, they matter. They matter to Bee. And they are helping Bee realize that she, too, matters to the world - if only she will let herself be a part of it.
This tender novel beautifully captures the pain of isolation, the healing power of community, and the strength of the human spirit.
©2012 Kimberly Newton Fusco (P)2012 Listening Library
Bee is an amazing child/young woman who has a heart of gold and stubborn determination. This book is well written and catches the World War II era at Home very well.
But, I was NOT happy with the use of the word "retard". Yes, sometimes we are just too PC but honestly, you can't go around saying "Oh, that's so gay!" anymore without backlash - so why can you use the word "retard" and everyone is fine with it? I purchased this book for my 21 year old blind, mentally retarded daughter. She loves listening to books and since her nickname is Bee, I thought she might like this book. Instead she is insulted within the first few minutes. She fully understands that people use the word "retard" to mean "stupid". She is not stupid, nor is anyone that is mentally retarded (some parents prefer mentally challenged, I suppose, but I'm not that PC). My point is, a writer can be authentic without perpetuating certain things and this is one of those things. Am I being petty? I honestly don't think so. I think relegating an entire medical condition to also mean stupid is insensitive and to use it in a book that teens are going to read, thinking this is acceptable, is simply irresponsible.
Made a bold effort to not perpetuate an issue for many people. Instead of leading young girls to think someone that has mental disabilities is stupid, she could have been a little more creative in her writing.
None, we turned it off immediately. Sorry but in this case I'm a one-strike-you're-out person.
The narrator was, as always, very good. We like many of her books, which is how we came across this one.
Yes, a general comment to writers out there. You wouldn't make a racist comment lightly in your books, or one about the LGBTQ community, either. So why continue to use this word ad keep it alive and well in this form? Our lives are enough of a daily battle with insensitive, careless people, why add to that?
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