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The Way to Bea

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  946 ratings  ·  205 reviews
Everything in Bea's world has changed. She's starting seventh grade newly friendless and facing big changes at home, where she is about to go from only child to big sister. Feeling alone and adrift, and like her words don't deserve to be seen, Bea takes solace in writing haiku in invisible ink and hiding them in a secret spot.

But then something incredible happens--someone
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  946 ratings  ·  205 reviews

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Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it

The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh, in my opinion, is packaged much younger than it reads. It sounds like a cute, middle-grade story about friends and mazes and labyrinths and secret notes. And there was a lot of cuteness, but the lying, skipping school, oblivious parents, and more made it feel much older than the blurb let on and not what I was hoping for.

Beatrix Lee (Bea) is starting 7th grade with no friends or support. Her best friend stopped talking to her. Now Bea feels alone and unsure of who to b
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
"The only thing I do know is that I'm afraid—and I'm still going to try anyway." (p. 302)

"...all I can think is that the more you walk down a path, the more you start to feel that you can probably handle whatever it is you find at the end." (p.310.)
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, a new heartprint book. ❤️ I’m so sorry it took me this long to read it, because it’s absolutely amazing. Brilliantly written, with characters that leave a mark on you, if you haven’t read this book yet, PLEASE bump it up your TBR list. You won’t be sorry.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I do not know the way

Until that extra thump (six) on your heart tells you that you've made the wrong choice. Only this time, it's not just a haiku—it's real life. And there's no starting over.

What an absolutely beautiful, emotional, and realistic read!!

What you feel inside is what you put out in the universe. do you keep someone?
I mean, how do you keep someone and make sure they don't leave? How do you figure out how to be and how to act, so they don't even want to begin to t
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Bea-utiful book about finding new friends when your old ones have abandoned you and learning to be true to yourself. 😭💜
note: the main character is Taiwanese American and one of the supporting characters is autistic.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"I'm the only one who gets to walk my path, and I'm the only one who gets to choose which way to go, and this is the only way I know how to be". Loved this book filled with honest middle school angst. And the librarian is super cool. Bonus points. ...more
4 stars

This is a hard book to review for me. On one hand, I loved Bea - her insecurity, her quietness, her loyalty to her friends. She is definitely a person who lives inside her head more than she's speaks and it shows in many of the moments she has with her classmates. The secondary characters were great - Briggs, Mrs. Riggs, and Will especially. I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator (the CD's are in the car so I can't recall who narrates this) did a EXCELLENT job. She made the char
Alisha Marie
I'm weird with Middle Grade books. There are a few that I have really liked and there are some that I found underwhelming. This one falls right in the middle of these two categories. While I did like The Way to Bea, I wasn't in love with it.

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 f
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Way to Bea was fantastic. While many realistic middle grade novels and graphic novels tend to revolve around a lead that is awkward or trying to fit in, Bea focuses on actual anxiety that some kids may feel. It felt really honest, and I think a lot of kids that find this wonderful story are going to relate to one of many possible characters.

If you're a kid, or have a kid, that's quiet, artistic, a writer, maybe is a bit of a loner, and you/they could use the reminders that friendships chang
Audrey Webster
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Review can be found on my blog. Linked here:
Michele Knott
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When it says it's written by Kat Yeh, that just means go ahead and preorder.
Kat gives us another amazing middle grade read that is sure to captivate all readers.
Luke Reynolds
ARC Review (6/20/17, received from a local bookstore)

Actual rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

When I first heard about this novel, I was absolutely ecstatic. Kat Yeh's middle grade novel debut, The Truth About Twinkie Pie, was one of my favorite novels last year. She did an impeccable job crafting a relatable protagonist with a phenomenal voice and capturing all the emotions of what's it like to be a kid like she's truly been in those same places. However, what I loved about that book was its sincerity.
Penelope  ~Conversations with my cat~
I like the way this book described poetry, those little moments in life, and those phrases that just make you want to write. However, I feel like everything moved too fast, especially in the end with Briggs.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Friendship and middle school. Two storms that can be difficult to weather. This book may bring solace to those who are trying to figure out both.

Also, Mrs. Reegs sounds like an awesome lady! As a newbie librarian, I hope I can be like her! It was also fun being able to identify all the book references within the story.
A truly great read!
American Woodworker
May 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
I do not recommend that you read this book for many reasons.
The main character, Beatrix Lee, finds herself wondering why she no longer has any friends, and why she no longer seems to fit in. This book is her unrealistic, and contrived journey to coming to find people that are like her:
equally weird.
I remember from the start of the novel, I read a few things that began to raise some eyebrows:
After having a mental breakdown, and running to find refuge in the woods, Bea comments to herself, "Why?
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Twelve year old Bea Lee and her BFF had big plans for seventh grade, but now Bea’s friends are ignoring her, Bea’s super busy artist mother and graphic novelist father are focused on the arrival of Bea’s little sister, and Bea feels utterly lost and invisible. She takes comfort in the poems she feels in her heart and writes in invisible ink, then hides in a special place...and one day someone writes back! Who is the mystery writer and friend? Could it be Bea’s former BFF, one of the interesting ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Copy provided by the publisher

Bea is experiencing lots of changes as she goes into 7th grade. She and her best friend, S. aren't speaking after a summer of being apart, and Bea's mother is expecting. Bea feels alone and anxious, and writes haiku in invisible ink, hiding them in a wall, in order to try to cope with her feelings. When someone writes back to her, she is hopeful that her friend is willing to reconcile, but after a while, suspects that the writer may be someone else. There is an unde
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5
I read this book in one sitting on a Friday night. I really enjoyed Bea and her group of friends that she eventually finds. There were a few things I didn't like that kept it from a 5 star review (her use of initials when talking about her old friend group-it just seemed stilted to me- and how her parents ignored her and then just magically fixed everything in one moment also rang untrue) but the moments with the other kiddos on the newspaper were astounding.

Bea's start to 7th
Wendi Lee
This is a tender, wonderfully written book about losing your friends, and finding the courage to stand strong and be yourself.

Bea has high hopes for seventh grade, but when she comes back from a summer vacation in Taiwan, nothing is as it was before. Her best friends have turned their backs on her, and while a kind-hearted teacher immediately tries to engage Bea into different groups of kids, Bea isn't sure she wants to have anything to do with anyone. To make matters more complicated, her arti
Lynette Burnett
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave this 5 Stars because I couldn’t give it 4.5 Stars. It took awhile for me to get into this book, and the writing style was a little different, otherwise it would have definitely been 5 Stars! The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh is an intricately designed story. It’s a story of traveling the maze that is our life, hitting those blind alleys, or dead ends, and continuing in our discovery of ourself. It’s about learning who you are, and accepting yourself, all the music, art, poetry and colors that mak ...more
Joanne Kelleher
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Any book that has labyrinth in it is a winner by me.
And that's not all it has!
Middle school is the time where kids start to decide who they are going to be, and whether or not their old friends still fit. Kat Yeh has done a beautiful job of recreating the sense of loss and isolation when you lose your friendship group, when you have to make these decisions before you were ready. I love how she referred to these now inaccessible friends by initials only.
I enjoyed watching the friendship blossom
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I was in seventh grade I loved haiku's much the same as Bea, the main character, in this book does. Baa's a girl who has come back from a trip to Taiwan with her family to find she find she and her best friend 'S' are no longer the inseparable duo they once were. There's a lot about Bea that's relatable, but I found myself relating as much if not more to the quirky kid Will who studies mazes and eats lunch by himself in the newspaper office. The book has relatable characters, and though th ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m giving this a 5 based on its merits as a middle grade/young YA book, rather than literary fiction. This one hits all the sweet spots in a growing up awkwardly and honestly tale. I loved the characters and felt their pain sharply and poignantly. Bea’s parents are just as fumbling and self absorbed as she is, but that somehow lends to their charm. I was glad that the ending struck a note somewhere between hopefully optimistic and disappointingly real. Oh, and she’s a poet, so of course I liked ...more
Sarah Sammis
I have about three pages of favorite quotes transcribed from the book for my road narrative project. I'm still in the process of annotating them. Once I do, I will have a more analytical reading of this book posted as an essay. Right now, though, the short version is that even beyond connecting with it for my research, I loved the book.

Vanessa Linares
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Way to Bea by Kay Yeh is a really good book. This book is mostly about mazes, friends, and labyrinths. The thing I love most about this book is the connection she has with her friends she finds throughout the book. Beatrix is one of the main characters and she likes bed to write poems, but then she realizes someone has written back.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
As Bea works her way through the maze of new friendships and a new role in her family, she begins to see herself and her friends more clearly. Readers will connect with Bea’s first-person narrative of her winding path toward discovering her strengths. (from School Library Journal)
Savannah Hendricks
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this heartfelt, heartwarming, charming, happy, labyrinth of a story.
Please read my full review at my blog, if you wish.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was so good! Review on The Book Wars soon.
Leah G.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think the theme is to be yourself, because at the end of the book Bea realizes that people who don't appreciate her for being her shouldn't be the people she wants to be friends with. ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book. My heart.
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