I loved so many things about Beholding Bee. Beholding Bee has just a touch of fantasy to it, but, otherwise it has a very historical feel to it. The book is set during the early days of World War II. The heroine, Bee, is, in my opinion, quite unforgettable. She's eleven or so. She's an orphan. Her upbringing has been unusual to say the least. She travels with a carnival. She helps with the food stand: hotdogs, popcorn, honey buns, lemonade, etc. She has a close bond with Pauline, a woman with the carnival who has basically raised her since she was four. Bee has a birthmark. She does not necessarily like people staring at her, pointing at her, laughing at her, making rude comments. The owner of the carnival treats her like she's an attraction to the show itself, a freak on display. So, whenever possible, Bee tries to keep her birthmark covered with either her hair or her hand. She also likes to try to face a certain way so her birthmark isn't quite so obvious to strangers. But when Pauline falls in love (a bit too quickly), things change for Bee very quickly. Changes are coming quickly for many people. Men everywhere are joining up in the forces, and men who aren't army material, well, they still feel like they should be doing something more. Bobby, Bee's other best friend, has been rejected by the army, but, he's determined to get a factory job so he too can serve his country. One day life in the carnival becomes too much for her. Bee takes the dog (her forbidden pet) and runs away...what happens next is a bit fantastical. But it is wonderful too.
I loved every twist in this story. I loved seeing Bee live in that quaint house with her two aunts. I loved seeing Bee struggle to join the community and attend school. I loved meeting Bee's classmates. That 'educational' aspect of the novel was quite something! So many things we take for granted now, but, fairness has to be fought for sometimes.
I would definitely recommend Beholding Bee!
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews