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Hour of the Bees

Jul 28, 2022

Twelve-year-old Carol is not happy about spending the summer before middle school, in New Mexico, on a sheep ranch with her family. 

She’s come to help her family move the grandfather she’s never met, into a home for dementia.

She not only learns about the sweltering heat of the New Mexico desert, her ancestral roots, and how to deal with dementia, but she also finds herself becoming enchanted by her grandfather’s stories. Even though she isn’t sure if they are true stories or as a result of his dementia.

According to her grandfather, the dry desert is experiencing a hundred-year drought and the bees are their only hope. The bees will bring back the rain. He reminds her over and over again that:

“Things are only impossible if you stop and think about them.”

This captivating book about a real family dealing with transitions and challenges, drew me in. Carol begins to embrace her roots taking on her Spanish name, pronounced Caroleena by her grandfather. She begins to relate to her grandfather and their bond strengthens. 

It’s hard to put into words just how enchanting this book was. The bees and a magical healing tree will mesmerize you!

A time of transition and vulnerability for the main character opens her up to seeing the beauty around her and the love in her prickly grandfather. 

I highly recommend this book for any middle schooler, and for that matter any adult, who wants to escape into a fantastical world of healing, growth and change.   

Helps with: middle school transition, family relationships, identity, change and life transitions, ancestral roots, magic and wonder, dealing with dementia, grandparent/grandchild bonding, perception of reality, death, and loss.

Author: Lindsay Eagar
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2016