Book Review:  Queen Bee by Elizabeth Weigandt

Book Review: Queen Bee by Elizabeth Weigandt

This year has not been a year of dedicated reading time as I had set out to build into my daily routine. But with a quarter still left in the year, I am determined to fill my head and heart with some rich storytelling from some of my favorite writers who I have met over the last few years here in the blogosphere and social media universe. One such person is Elizabeth Weigandt (www.elizabethweigandt.com).

 

If you’ve read some of my guest blog series I have coordinated here in the past, then you may have already met Elizabeth. A few summers ago, she wrote a fascinating blog about finding voice in literature, then ElizabethWfollowed it up a few years later with an insightful piece about freeing ourselves from voice as writers.

 

Earlier this year, she wrote and published her first book QUEEN BEE, which she calls a honeybee adventure for readers ages 8-12. It promises to be the first in a series that follows Manuka, a worker bee, who has always been good at her job but also notorious in the hive for spouting off any idea or question that comes to mind. That head bursting with ideas and mouth that just can’t wait to spew them gets her into trouble quite a bit but it is her heart, mind and spirit that carry her to her ultimate destiny. Read my review below.

 

And as always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.

*****

QUEEN BEE by Elizabeth Weigandt

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Readers are invited to be a fly on the wall (or maybe a bee would be best for my reworked cliché here) inside the workings of a honeybee hive. We are introduced to the various roles that make up its hierarchy and meet up with Manuka, a worker bee who is quite the independent thinker, something that is not so much a treasured characteristic in this particular workplace. As she begins speaking up and questioning authority, her own brand of chutzpah leads her on an unexpected adventure — during which she crosses paths with creatures across the meadow who are not supposed to be in her company, but as you get to know Manuka, you realize that Manuka only knows how to do ‘unique.’

 

I loved Manuka. She’s spunky, feisty, a bit rebellious and not always savvy but she is a character readers can’t help rooting for as she and this myriad of new and old friends come together to help her uncover the source of a mysterious sickness plaguing members of their hive. Each new character introduced has a particular charm about them and a purpose in this adventure though every role may not be completely clear until the group is forced to take action against dangerous forces that threaten the well-being of not only Manuka’s hive but the whole bee community. Secrets are revealed – some deadly and others life-changing – that have the power to change the landscape and well-bee-ing of generations to come. (Okay, I couldn’t resist. Just one little pun. That’s all. I promise.)

 

QUEEN BEE is a book written for a younger audience but that doesn’t make the storytelling any less compelling or its lessons any less grand. The book celebrates the power of the idea and becoming our best self. I appreciate the easy flow of the storytelling, the quirky dialogue and attention to detail as Ms. Weigandt paints every single hair on our heroine bee’s head and her surroundings so vividly and lyrically. There is an optimism and can-do spirit that weaves throughout the tale which I think will be quietly inspirational and entertaining for younger and older audiences alike.

 

I look forward to seeing where Ms. Weigandt will take us in this series and recommend her debut novel for a charming read. —  Chris Kuhn

 

 

 

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