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The Way to Bea Hardcover – September 19, 2017
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Praise for The Way to Bea:
*"A winning combination of humor, heart, and redemption."
―School Library Journal, starred review
"Yeh, the author of "The Truth About Twinkie Pie," has created an indelible character in Bea...In a welcome divergence from the traditional coming-of-age novel, "The Way to Bea" is not the story of a young girl discovering who she is, but rather a girl who knows from harsh experience that being yourself can be the fastest way to trouble."―Lisa Graff, The New York Times Book Review
"Yeh exquisitely captures the feelings of a preteen...Bea's journey of self-discovery reminds readers it is important to be present for the journey of finding one's own voice and place."―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Gets to the heart of middle school awkwardness like a sympathetic haiku."―Kirkus Reviews
"Moving and wise."
Praise for The Truth About Twinkie Pie:
*"Yeh's characters are full of heart and she perfectly captures the middle school parent-child dynamic."
--- Library Media Connection (starred review)
"This story will tug at your heart strings and make you hungry at the same time." --- VOYA
"Endearing characters will keep readers engaged throughout as more than one character learns the true meaning of family and friendship." --- School Library Journal
"The bouncy voice of protagonist Gigi--aka Galileo Galilei, aka Leia--makes her tale of a move, friendship, crushes, and a mystery about her identity a very easy one to get caught up in." --- Booklist
"Yeh's nimbly voiced, combination fish-out-of-water, personal transformation and emotional family tale is also stuffed with charm." --- Kirkus Reviews
"The quirky and original characters (particularly the artistic and exuberant Bea) help to distinguish this title from the recent slew of realistic middle grade books. This one is a keeper."―School Library Connection
About the Author
Kat Yeh is the author of the critically acclaimed middle grade novels The Truth About Twinkie Pie and The Way to Bea. She grew up reading, writing, and dreaming in Westtown, Pennsylvania. She currently lives with her family on Long Island. Learn more about Kat at katyeh.com.
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Bea's mother is a famous artist, pregnant, and deeply absorbed in her latest series of paintings. Her father is a graphic novelist whose latest creation has been optioned for a movie. Her parents are loving, but busy and deeply absorbed in their own lives and in each other. Bea's learned how to distract them, to keep them for asking probing questions about school and her friends. She's able to hide her loneliness and the loss of her best friend S.
But Bea's heartbreak and loneliness are so relatable - Kat Yeh captures so well those times that we've all gone through. Yeh also captures the excitement of the possibility of finding new friends and interests. Bea's art is poetry and she lives it, loves it, keeps it to show to those she trusts and cares about. While Bea becomes Poetry Editor of the school magazine, she keeps her own poems for private consumption. She also hides messages and poems in this old stone wall/portal - the poems and messages are written in invisible ink to an unknown friend to whom she shares her heartache and hopes, her sense of who she wants to become and the process of becoming.
The Way to Bea is beautiful -- it captures the joys and pains of the deep friendships of childhood as well as the excitement that comes with learning one's strengths and craft. Bea's message encourages strength, courage and hope - and also kindness. It's a book to enjoy and to share.
This is a novel that is at times surprisingly lyrical. Bea is a poet and the story is sprinkled with her beloved Haiku. They add a wonderful dimension to what might otherwise be a run of the mill coming of age story. Bea relies on her "soundtrack" and the author has thoughtfully included a list of her favorite music. The adults in the novel are all well portrayed as having faults, but earnest in their affection for Bea and their interest in her future. I loved the librarian, who provided support for Bea through well timed book recommendations. I wish the author had included a list of the books they discussed!
This is a thoroughly charming read, especially for those facing that dreaded leap to middle school. Wonderful characters, great writing, and a well stated message make this an enthusiastic recommend.
Something about this story just really hit a chord with me.
Maybe I saw parts of myself in Bea when I was her age.
Maybe I see parts of my daughter who has had a bit of a rough time in the middle school years.
Either way this was a book neither one of us could put down when we were reading it.
It really touched us and we liked how much you just wanted to root for and understand the main character.
Bea is going through many new things in her life and the way she learns to deal with them while at the same time staying true to herself and not trying to conform to those around her really is a strong role model that more kids need to read about these days.
She is a little on the introvert side and that is just fine.
It is ok not to be the type to seek attention while going through school.
It is ok to just want to be you but to also be accepted without changing in order to be liked.
This is a great book for the 5th-7th grader to read and maybe it will help other kids to be more understanding to each other..
Seems like kids are under so much pressure today and time to let them know they will get through.
You will make it through those awkward middle school years and you will be fine.
The Good: The best thing about The Way to Bea is the way that Yeh captures the loneliness that Bea felt so wonderfully. I felt like I could feel her pain. I also loved the resolution between Bea and S. I thought that it was so realistic.
The Eh: Plot-wise, I found The Way to Bea to be a little thin. It seems to be more about Bea discovering herself. The labyrinth/maze aspect of it wasn't in the book all that much and most of it was towards the end. I did find the middle to be a bit of a slog (however, I'm an adult reading a middle grade novel so take that with a grain of salt) and it did feel a bit long.
In the end, I liked The Way to Bea. This book shined the brightest when it was getting into Bea's loneliness and her angsty inner most thoughts. If you're looking for something with adventure, though, I'd skip this one.