Gr. 7-10. Weaving strands of fairy tales, voudon,
slave stories, and African myth, Siegelson crafts a mesmerizing tale heavy with the scent of honey and flowers and rooted in Louisiana soil. Beatrice is a slave born with the green eyes of her mother and raised by her grandmother's twin, Tante Abeille, who knows secrets about the girl's past and future. At 13, Beatrice rebels against her aunt's wishes (and her own troubling dreams) and enters the master's house, where Monsieur Reynard's books entrance her. Her broken silver locket with a bee clasp signifies both the blood ties between Beatrice and Reynard and the lore of the bees, whose honey-laced magic averts disaster in an explosive climax. An unusual, lush new voice in the tradition of magic realism, Siegelson blends ancestral voices; elements of fairy lore, including Briar Rose and Cinderella; and intoxicating language: "Beatrice knew true sweetness. On her tongue, it tasted like freedom." GraceAnne DeCandidoCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Kim L. Siegelson, a native of Georgia, was the first recipient of the Center for Multicultural Children's Literature Writing Award. Her most recent book,In the Time of the Drums,
won the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her family.