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Beka Lamb

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  443 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Set in Belize, Central America, this book is the record of a few months in the life of Beka and her family. The story is built around Beka's victory over her habit of lying and her relationship with her friend Toycie. The politics of the colony and the presence of the Catholic Church are featured.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 11th 1986 by Heinemann Educational Books (first published January 1st 1982)
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Harry Rutherford
Beka Lamb tells the story of a few months in the life of a fourteen-year-old girl — Beka — and her slightly older friend Toycie, who both attend a convent school in Belize. It’s published as part of the Heinemann Caribbean Writers Series, and so it has one of those rather off-puttingly institutional covers that makes me feel like I’m back in school. And indeed I’m sure it works well as a GCSE set text: it’s short, it’s about a teenager, it has lots of themes that would provide material for class ...more
James Barker
Apr 06, 2016 James Barker rated it did not like it
This was such a struggle to get through. Poorly executed (really terrible grammar throughout), structured naively, no storyline to speak of- I only read through to the bitter end hoping for some improvement and it turns out the improvement was the end. If those two words had been written down to mark that juncture they would have been the best two words in the whole bloody book.

The only redeeming feature is the information regarding life in Belize in the dying days of British colonial rule. The
Zavia Currie
Sep 17, 2009 Zavia Currie rated it liked it
I have learnt that Beka is a girl living in a caribbean island. She lied about alot of stuff. She lied about not failing in some of her classes because she did not want her father to sending her to school. Her friend Toycie died and after her death Beka lived her life in honors of Toycie. It started when she won a essay contest. And Beka Beka changed from someone with low confidents to a high minded person.Death was one of the themes in the story.
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
There seems to be a trend in post-colonial literature of juxtaposing a character’s coming-of-age with that of his or her country. This is one of those books: it’s set in mid-20th-century Belize, nearing its independence from the British empire, as seen through the eyes of 14-year-old Beka. Beka has just flunked her freshman year at the local convent school, and since free public education is not yet an option, it's not certain whether her father will let her try again. Meanwhile her best friend, ...more
Feb 20, 2008 Holly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people going to Belize, fans of historical fiction, people interested in the Caribbean, women
This book has become a staple on the bookshelves of readers throughout the Caribbean. It is the first novel from leading Belizean writer Zee Edgell (In Times Like These, The Festival of San Joaquin, Time and the River). Beka Lamb is one of those rare books that really does appeal to all ages. It is used as a required text in high school literature classes in the Caribbean, as well as in college and universities around the world. It is also just a great read! The story centers around the title ch ...more
Feb 10, 2009 Argott rated it liked it
Shelves: obscure_lessons
Years ago I met Zee Edgell. She was a real peach. I'm always in awe of little-known but influential books. Edgell is a "Caribbean" author, and when I read Beka Lamb she was the most prominent writer in the history of Belize. I wonder if that has changed? I enjoyed Beka Lamb, and I plan to read it again one day. She was a very clever lady.
Jan 17, 2008 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this in 9th grade, and I hated it. I had to read it again in college, and I tried to go in with an open mind, and I thought it was terrible. Just one more "coming of age" tale, a genre which tends toward mediocrity except when the main character's name is Holden.
Rafael Gamero
Apr 15, 2015 Rafael Gamero rated it it was ok
Great effort, great themes, very good writing, but characters' dialogue seems forced: political, cultural, etc.
Rosy Elias
its a great book but i thought it could be more interesting and less factual
Daniela Duran
May 24, 2012 Daniela Duran rated it it was amazing
life for a young girl in that time was hard enough. life for a young girl at that time in the poor country that was Belize might have been even worse. Beka unlike others was very lucky. she suffered alot mostly she suffered because her best friends suffered but she made it through even the worst of times. she was wild like her bougainvillea plant but just as it straightened up, so did she. they both became beautiful and strong. this book clearly outlines the many problems our dear country was ha ...more
BookOwl BookOwl
Oct 17, 2014 BookOwl BookOwl rated it really liked it
This book right here, this book saved me. Literally saved me from making a mockery of my school life. I was a total slacker from 7th grade to the 1st term of 9th grade, I didn't care one bit.
Then the second semester I read this book for literature class and it opened my eyes.
I, like Beka had a good life, a life many kids I knew didn't have. And I was ungrateful.
Reading about Beka I decided to quickly turn around my life, and make the best of a great opportunity.
Jul 06, 2011 Isela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-books
Beka Lamb is one of my favorite book. I read this book when I attended high school in Belize and as an adult living in another country. I realized that I developed two different perspectives but it does take me home when reading it.I literally added this book on my bookshelf as I am collecting books from Caribbean authors.
Aug 07, 2011 Margaret added it
Shelves: 2008
Enjoyed this book - finished it right before our cruise ship stopped in Belize City so it was nice to be able to relate it to the actual place and see the sea wall, cashew trees & old colonial houses on the waterfront referenced in the book. My only complaint is that I felt like the author didn't exactly know how to end the story (a common writer's problem).
Dominique Clarke
Apr 17, 2012 Dominique Clarke rated it it was amazing
I read this novel in the 8th and surprisingly liked it. Before reading this novel I thought it would be boring because of all the political symbols that are in the novel but, I really liked it. This novel has everything a reader can imagine; love,friendship,death,loss of innocence,politics and poverty. I would recommend it to any reader.
May 28, 2009 Vpk9 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i learned that i must study my in work in orderr to make a progress in my education, i also learned thatif i want to have a boy friend to put my work before him. it is also importat for me to be wise and and make sure that if i do get pregnat during the relationship that i know what will happen.
Joanna Doherty Salone
Aug 03, 2012 Joanna Doherty Salone rated it really liked it
Loved reading this as my mom is from Belize and grew up in the same time period and went to the same school as the characters. Some of the people she told me stories about and places she went also appear in this book. And everytime they talked about cooking I craved a big Belizean feast!
Sep 16, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
An earthy coming of age story set in Belize; I loved the layers of small town drama and family dynamics interwoven with the economic, cultural and racial struggle for unity and political independence.
Jul 29, 2011 Alana added it
Another compulsory read. The losses and struggles in Beka's life allow the reader to celebrate with her as she develops, matures and gains her victory in the end. Toycie's experience was quite stirring.
Marte Patel
Sep 30, 2007 Marte Patel rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Part of Heinemann's Caribbean Writers Series. I read this for work, but I really enjoyed it! The story is set in Belize, and follows Beka Lamb through some turbulent months of her life. Highly recommended!
Jan 01, 2014 Alex rated it liked it
Story of a 14 year old in the waning days of British rule in Belize. Paints a decent picture of what that people's life was like pre-independence, though the story of Beka Lamb herself was not as interesting.
Not profound, but very sweet coming of age story set in Belize City.

I found the most interesting parts to be the descriptions of Belizean politics and the mixed racial and ethnic makeup of such a small country.
Sep 24, 2011 Oyin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
when i read this book it was for school and i was really excited because the novel took place in my school St Catherine academy.all in all great read.
Books written by POC
My favorite book by a writer of color (one of my top 5 favorite novels EVER!) is Beka Lamb by Zee Edgell.
Mimi Ford
I actually did not finish this book, but the term has come to an end and exams have passed so we can consider it read. To be honest I haven't even gone half way, but what I have read was okay-ish.
Anikia Williams
Dec 10, 2010 Anikia Williams rated it liked it
i think that beka learned a valuable lesson not to lie and beka actually turned to be better than toycie isnt that wonderful.
Jul 04, 2009 Evil rated it it was amazing
i enjoyed the Belizean flavor embed in this book! reminds me of growing in a very judgemnetal society! Especially in my Catholic schools!!
nothing to really make this book stand out. probably would not have been enjoyable if i was not actually in belize at the time i read it.
Jul 28, 2008 Alexandra rated it it was amazing
I read this book for a class at DPU; my teacher grew up in Belize like the girl in the book. Basically, I thought this book was amazing and recommend it to everyone.
Ashron Thompson
Ashron Thompson rated it did not like it
Jun 07, 2015
Aaron rated it liked it
May 15, 2014
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