I won a copy of Beatrice at Bay through Goodreads. And since it happens to be the second book in the series, the authors (Bruce and Carson MacCandles) were kind enough to send along book one, Beatrice and the Basilisk
I admit that I don’t usually bother reviewing children’s’ books here on the blog, even when I read them. But the Beatrice McIlvaine Adventures impressed me, the second one more than the first. So, I’m giving them a place on the blog, even if the reviews are brief.
Description of Beatrice and the Basilisk:
12-year-old Beatrice McIlvaine has a problem. It’s not sixth grade math. It doesn’t involve boys. This problem is bigger than that, and it has a nasty bite. As Beatrice steels herself to fight a threat to the precarious existence she leads with her single mother and a troubled little brother, she finds she has friends in unexpected places. A modern parable about love, family, and killing giant flying reptiles, Beatrice and the Basilisk is short (8,000 words) but not entirely sweet. And there’s a lesson in there somewhere–if you can see through the dismal night sky, and beyond those dangerous teeth…
As an adult, I had to look over the hows and whys of the story, but otherwise I enjoyed it. (I even got a little teary.) I fully expected my young one to enjoy it. And in fact, she later came back to tell me she’d read and enjoyed it too.
Description of Beatrice at Bay:
Beatrice at Bay is the second installment of the Beatrice McIlvaine Adventure Series, which follows the feisty, freckled, and somewhat telekinetic Texas high schooler Beatrice as she makes her way in a world full of increasingly sophisticated threats. The series started with Beatrice and the Basilisk, a modern-day fairy tale that resonated unexpectedly with readers young and old. While Beatrice was twelve then, she’s fifteen now, and facing different challenges: a potential step-father; her own immense but uncontrollable powers; the weird kids sitting the in the plumber’s van outside; and—possibly most importantly—the end of the world. Can Beatrice channel her troubling destructive energies in the service of something greater than herself? Who can she trust at a beautiful school for gifted kids that isn’t quite what it seems? And what’s up with this Lester White Bull kid creeping on her Instagram feed?
I have to admit to being very surprised by this book. Whenever I get my hands on a random book I plan to pass to my children, I always give them a quick read just to be sure they’re age and message appropriate. I don’t usually expect to enjoy them much. I’m a 43 yo woman, after all, and this is an upper middle-grade book. (The protagonist is 15.) This time I did though. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, diversity, and plotline. However, I have to admit given the current pandemic it was a little too on the nose! I hope there will be more Beatrice adventures in the future.