Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco

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Synopsis

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 They clothe her, though their clothes are strangely out of date.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.  
 

About Kimberly Newton Fusco

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KIMBERLY NEWTON FUSCO is the author of The Wonder of Charlie Anne and Tending to Grace, both of which received multiple starred reviews.



Author Residence: Foster, RI
 
Published February 12, 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 338 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Beholding Bee

Kirkus Reviews

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Ever since her parents died, young Bee has had two protectors: Pauline, who runs the hot dog cart with her in Ellis’ traveling show, and the old lady in the flappy hat, invisible to all but Bee.

Dec 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Beholding Bee

Publishers Weekly

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Ever since her parents’ death, Bee been raised at a traveling carnival, working the hot dog stand with a young woman named Pauline (between chopping onions and cruel comments from fairgoers about her face, Bee spends much of the book’s early chapters sobbing).

Dec 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Beholding Bee

Daily Kos

Nobody complained that part of the community park was off limits for months - a lot of us would go sit on the park benches and watch and wait for the owls to come out - it was interesting watching them and their babies.

Mar 10 2013 | Read Full Review of Beholding Bee

KidsReads

Bee is an orphan who lives with a carnival and sleeps in the back of a tractor trailer.

Feb 12 2013 | Read Full Review of Beholding Bee

KidsReads

When Pauline leaves the carnival, and leaves Bee behind, Bee sets off in search of the home she longs for and maybe even a family who will love her as she is.BEHOLDING BEE is a compelling and tender examination of identity and belonging by Kimberly Newton Fusco.

Jan 25 2013 | Read Full Review of Beholding Bee

Random Acts of Reading

Confronting two bullies who want to stare at her birthmark, Bee says they “stand grinning, as close to us as dug graves.” After her first day of school, where Bee endures humiliation, she comes home and cries in bed.

Feb 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Beholding Bee

Gr 4–6—In this blend of magical realism and historical fiction set in 1942 New England, 11-year-old orphan Bee travels with a carnival, assisting her guardian at the hot-dog stand and shielding the diamond-shaped birthmark on her face from stares and taunts. She longs for a real home to share wit...

May 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Beholding Bee

Reader Rating for Beholding Bee
91%

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