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Hour of the Bees

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,525 Ratings  ·  832 Reviews
Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . . .

While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, twelve-year-old Carolina — Carol — is spending hers in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move the grandfather she’s never met into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Ser
...more
ebook, 360 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Candlewick Press (first published March 3rd 2016)
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Christella This is a book for not just YA, but everyone.
Jerry I would list it as multigenerational realistic fiction since it is set in present-day New Mexico. There are also "flash-backs" to an earlier time…moreI would list it as multigenerational realistic fiction since it is set in present-day New Mexico. There are also "flash-backs" to an earlier time period with elements of "magical realism." (less)

Community Reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Twelve-year-old Carolina (Carol) has to spend the summer in the middle of the New Mexican desert with her family as they prepare her grandfather, Serge, to move into a care facility for elderly people with dementia.

Instead of a summer filled with pool parties and barbecues, I'll be spending my days on a dusty sheep ranch with a grandfather whom I've never met. At least Mom and Dad are dreading it, too. I'll have some company in my misery.

The desert makes for a nice change of scenery in a middl
...more
Lola  Reviewer
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I just love magical realism.

Isn’t it wonderful? Of course, not all magical realism books deserve a spot on my list of favourite books, but I like what this genre does to the reader tremendously.

It makes them think. Is what is happening really happening or an illusion purely constructed by the character’s mind? What is real, what is true, what is false and what is wrong?

Magical realism makes the reader question stories, scenes, characters and/or elements. “Hour of the Bees’’ is a perfect example
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Kali Wallace
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read an ARC of HOUR OF THE BEES and I loved it. This is a lovely book about family and identity and heritage, about love and loss, about magic and stories and the desert--and what a desert! Eager's descriptions of the New Mexican desert are luminous, and the lonely, remote ranch is a character of its own at the heart of the story.

Twelve-year-old Carolina is a wonderful character. I adore everything about her. She's mature enough to see all the ways her life and her family is changing around he
...more
Jessica
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I dunno. I just went in to this expecting to be wowed. My cousin (who has great taste in books) demanded that I read this, and all my Goodreads friends . . . so many five stars! And I'm left thinking, Um, am I the only one who has seen this too many times before?

Apparently.

I'm underwhelmed because, well, let me tell you a bit, and then you tell me if you've read this before: There's a girl, a girl who feels awkward. She's leaving behind elementary school, about to start middle school, which has
...more
Abby Cooper
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book a week ago but have had a hard time finding words to put in a review - mostly because I'm still trying to pick my jaw up off the ground and get my brain to think of other words besides WOW. This book is totally mesmerizing. It has a wonderful setting, a fantastic group of characters, and completely enchanting magical elements. Oh, and did I mention beautiful writing? That, too. And a story that stays with you long after you finish reading. So happy I was able to read an ARC ...more
Melanie
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lindsay Eager's debut may be unlike any other middle grade you've read. HOUR OF THE BEES is at its heart a contemporary story, but the desert of New Mexico is steeped in magic that will keep readers on their toes--what is real and what is not? How are we to judge? These are the questions Eager places before us, on a bed of imagery so richly portrayed that the desert becomes a tangible force, another character unto itself.

Twelve-year-old Carolina's story is familiar middle grade territory: she's
...more
Victoria Coe
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of HOUR OF THE BEES in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book with powerful themes of finding your roots and what it means to be alive, as well as rich scenes filled with beauty, culture, and family relationships, new and old. It's also a book with a great family of characters and... bees, who buzz around the protagonist Carolina mysteriously like little signs that magic is in the air.

Or is it?

Carolina's grandfather tells her, "Things are only im
...more
Jenn Bishop
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you read a book, and you’re surprised by how much it mirrors your life in unexpected ways. In Lindsay Eagar’s Hour of the Bees, I felt an immediate kinship with twelve-year-old Carolina (pronounced “Caro-leeen-a”), who goes by Carol. Instead of spending the summer before junior high with her friends in Albuquerque, she’s stuck in the New Mexico desert, with her mom, dad, little brother Lu, and half-sister Alta . . . and Serge — no, wait — Grandpa Serge, who she’s meeting for the very f ...more
HaryeongE_C2
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really loved reading Hour of the bees, I really did. I would like the recommend this to all of my friends and reread it if I have time to spare. I became a big fan of this author, Lindsay Eager. I’m planning to read a book, “Race to the bottom of the Sea”, one of the books that Lindsay Eager wrote. I especially like this book because it is about Carol struggling to spend her summer days over Grandpa’s house whom she never met. I literally laughed out loud until I choked myself when Carol said ...more
Lois Sepahban
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to read an advance copy of Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager.

It is stunning and gorgeous--the New Mexico desert is as much a character in this story as twelve-year-old Carolina or her grandfather Serge.

Carolina has never met Serge until this summer--the summer when Serge is finally too old to live alone, the summer when Carolina's family arrives at Serge's ranch to pack up his house and move him to a facility for people with dementia.

There is beautiful storytelling--family conflicts
...more
Carrie Gelson
I finished this book early in the morning listening to the pouring rain - it was like the book and reality were woven together. This book transports the reader to a time and a place and a family and a story that you want to walk around in and sense every tiny sensation - the smells of the Mexican cooking, the sound of a lone bee buzzing in your ear, the vastness of a desert ranch, the tingling feeling of a story that is wrapped up in history and magic.
Ann
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this one down. I found myself reading the last 40 pages in the staff lounge at lunch. There's something about the writing of this book that makes me happy.
Aimee
I received a copy of Hour of the Bees to review from Walker Books Australia. When I first read the synopsis of this I knew it would be something I’d like.

This book follows Carol as she comes to terms with spending her summer holidays in the middle of nowhere with a grandfather she’s never met. When Serge starts to tell her a story, Carol feels a connection with him. A connection that grows over the long, hot summer.

I liked Carol and enjoyed the friendship that formed between her and her grandfat
...more
Emily
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Luminous, warm, slow and lovely in the best way. The comp titles are pretty spot on for this one, and while the themes of identity, heritage, and family are perfect for the coming-of-age MG magical realism, I love that the writing itself puts full confidence in its readership. I'm sure there are words and phrases in this book that would be new to middle graders but the magic and beauty of the story will keep readers of any age immersed and I suspect readers of many ages moved. From the first pag ...more
Joseph S 8B
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rebecca-caudill
really insightful about a teenager's insecurity (which I know all of y'all have)
Kylie May
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was pretty good. It is about a girl named Carol who just wants to be with her friends all summer like everyone else. One day her dad says she needs to help her grandpa with dimensa move, which will take the entire summer, all of her plans for the summer come crashing down. I loved how the author wrote this book using Carol's perspective and then her grandpas perspective through his stories. This book was very imaginative and overall I enjoyed it a lot.
PopcornReads
Those of you have been following my book review web site for several years know that my mom has dementia and is now in long-term care. She’s doing very well, all things considered. Still there’s a lot of emotional upheaval that comes with caring for someone with dementia who you love, so I generally steer clear of novels right now that could make life feel even stressful than it already is…so why on earth would I decide to read Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar?

This is a story told from a twelv
...more
Beth
Simply stunning. Magical realism at its finest. Despite being middle grade fiction, I wouldn't hesitate to put this book in a high school classroom. In fact, I'd recommend it to anyone who read and loved Bone Gap.
Nurhayati Ramlan
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-love, favorites

This book reminds me so much of my late grandpa. I miss him so much!
Hannah
Big Fish meets One Hundred Years of Solitude in a multigenerational tale that soars with magic while it opens readers' eyes to the binding power of roots, family, and love.
Sarah Levy
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A story that, unfortunately, seems very common for many people. Set in the deserts of New Mexico, a moving story of the struggle with dementia and the magic of storytelling. A FANTASTIC read!
Ashley
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them.”

4.8 Stars

I honestly kind of boggled with what to say toward this book. My first thought is to address what everyone may be thinking when they look at the genre and see Children's -- Middle Grade as something it's listed under. Going into this book, I had no idea it was marked as that and I wouldn't have guessed if I hadn't looked to be completely honest. I was on a plane and I wanted Contemporary so this is the book I chose and I
...more
La La
More like 2.5 stars. This was a difficult story to rate. Parts of it were beyond brilliant and others were seriously ridiculous. This was intended as Magical Realism, I think, but as I have said so many times before... the real world parts have to be realistic! The parents were both educated career people (the mother an ER nurse), but they kept putting their one year old baby in dangerous situations and giving a twelve year old too much responsibility for major tasks to build drama for the story ...more
Peach
I'm still touched. What a stunning, gorgeous, magical story. I haven't felt this nostalgic since reading Esperanza Rising in elementary school.

The story takes place in Albuquerque on an aging farm. Though she expected a more virtuous summer, Carolina - occasionally, Carol - is soon headed to the New Mexico with her family to look after her ailing grandfather, Serge. The family periodically struggles with selling Serge's land and whether to place him in a retirement home or not. Serge's dementia
...more
Miriomii
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
HOUR OF THE BEES is about a girl called carol, or Carol-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen-a, who has to move back to her Granddad’s ranch during the summer holidays. At first she is reluctant to leave her friends and home but during her stay she discovers her granddads mysterious past and learns to accept and love who she is. The story is quite slow paced at the beginning but becomes more exciting and suspenseful near the end.
As Carol is moving on to middl
...more
Nafiza
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This just hit the spot.
Melissa
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't say enough about this book! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!
Ami
Sep 25, 2017 added it
This was just an absolutely fantastic book! I wasn't sure about whether or not to read it when I saw it on the shelf at the library. It was the title that gave me the extra little nudge to read it. "Hour of the Bees." It sounded interesting, and it sure was. When I began the book it was quite boring and I didn't really want to read it but I kept on reading page after page. After a while I found myself looking forward to reading it everyday. The book began with a girl named Carol on summer break. ...more
Caly ☯ Crazy Book Lady
Started off rather blah for me and I thought this is going to be your typical middle grade book, but then when the backstory gets started you see the underlying theme and it makes you think, and I love when a book does that.
Jazzy
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow. It's hard to believe this was her first book! I mean... wow. A perfect read for aunmer! Magical realism is so entrancing. ;)
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Kate Axworthy-Mrs Sadano 1 5 Jun 25, 2017 07:27PM  
NZ Intermediate S...: Hour of the Bees 1 10 Dec 14, 2016 12:17PM  
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“Stories don't end," he says. "They just turn into new beginnings." (pg. 123)” 13 likes
“It is a big world, full of things that steal your breath and fill your belly with fire...But where you go when you leave isn't as important as where you go when you come home.” 12 likes
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