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The Education of Bet

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,504 ratings  ·  221 reviews
When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they've both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she's a girl, Bet's world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published July 12th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,504 ratings  ·  221 reviews

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I'm a sucker for all the hijinks that result when a female character has to disguise herself as a boy to do what she wants to do (Tamora Pierce, this is all your fault), so there was never a chance I wasn't going to read this one.

But it was awfully boring.

It started off very promising - Bet wants to go to school! Will doesn't! They hatch a plan! - but then it turns out that the whole thing was just a build up to "Bet falls for her roommate who thinks she's a boy oh no!". I can get behind that
Anne Osterlund
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bet longs to go to school, despite being a girl and the less-than-important daughter of a housemaid. Meanwhile, Will—Bet’s privileged childhood playmate—squanders his own opportunities, managing to get himself expelled from four educational institutions. When he is accepted to a fifth school—which he disdains—Bet’s jealousy bursts into frustration.

And into a plan to take Will’s place. He will go into the military—his own personal dream. And she will disguise herself as a boy in order to attend t
Apr 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-blog-pr
I'm of two minds over The Education of Bet. On the one hand, this had all the makings of a historical novel I love. Feisty heroine, madcap adventures, romance, family secrets and its set somewhere in the 1800's. However, maybe due to the slim nature of the volume the story didn't feel complete. By the time the ending chapters occur I felt as if the author rushed to a conclusion too abruptly.

The story is very much like Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (of which Bet grows to love) or maybe more accurat
May 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Small Review

The 1800s were not a good time for women in want of an education, as young Bet well knows. Inspired by her desire to learn, Bet jumps at the opportunity to attend boarding school. The only catch? Bet must disguise herself as her cousin Will in order to gain admittance. Donning the garb of a young man and lowering the pitch of her voice, Bet believes she will have no trouble blending in. But boys will be boys, as the old adage says, and Bet soon learns it takes more to be a boy than a swag
To be honest, its really a 3.5 star book, but I'm a sucker for this theme, so I couldn't help rating it up.

Bet, or Elizabeth Smith, our heroine, is 16 and wants a education. Raised with a young man named William, who wants to skip out of school to join the military, she devises a plan to take his place in his new school while he goes out to war. She practices to become a boy and eventually ends up at the Betterman Academy. Unfortunately, the reality of this world is nothing near what she imagine
Nov 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Elizabeth could speak, write, and read as well as Will, but there is something that Will can do that she cannot: attend school. But Bet is determined and when Will confesses that he dreams to join the military rather than go back to school, Bet proposes that they switch places and in her case, genders.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted has a habit of underwhelming me with her books. The last book I read by Baratz-Logsted was Crazy Beautiful, stunning cover with a sinful synopsis, but it fell to impress. Now
Sara Grochowski
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
THE EDUCATION OF BET took me completely by surprise! Before this novel, I'd never read anything by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, but I was intrigued by the description.

I found the lengths Bet and Will go to in order to disguise Bet as a boy entertaining. I was skeptical that Baratz-Logsted would be able to make this aspect of the novel believable, but I actually found it very convincing. I especially loved that there were adults at the school aiding Bet in her quest for an education.

It was inspiring
I feel a little stingy giving this book two stars, but for better or for worse, I'm becoming harder to impress when it comes to YA books. There are so many good ones out there, but for every good, solid piece of writing (let alone any amazing, astounding piece of writing), there's a pile of clichés and tropes that have been done to death. I think that this book has a lot going for it, but all the delicate balancing the author does in the beginning of the book -- nestling her characters and their ...more
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I loved everything about it: the characters, the story, the writing, the list goes on and on. This book was so cute and I loved Bet's voice.

I loved reading about all of Bet's adventures at schools while she was pretending to be a boy. This was so much fun to read. I also kept waiting for her to get caught. Bet falls for her roommate, who thinks she is a boy, and that is absolutely priceless watching them. I absolutely loved her roommate, James. He was definately swo
Miss Clark
Dec 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, the-bog
1.5 stars

A girl disguises herself as a boy, in order to get precious education denied to her in 19th century, for reasons never really built upon or explored, and upon arrival does very little learning and instead falls for her roommate. She is ready to throw it all away (which is her choice), even though getting this education was her big goal. None of the characters appealed to me overmuch, Bet was not a convincing boy and anyone with a brain would easily have discovered her secret. The writin
A fun book to read about a girl in the 1800s who wants to go to school, while the boy she has been raised with wants to join the military. She pretends to be him so that he can join the military and she can get an education. And boy is there a lot for her to learn.
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Bet and Will, though having lived in the same house when they were little children, never had much of a relationship. But a tragedy that results in both of Will's parents and Bet's mother's deaths finds them suddenly being raised by Will's rich uncle. At the inception of the story both are sixteen and while Bet stays home with Will's uncle reading to him and providing companionship, Will goes off to boarding school. But Will cannot seem to manage his education and has so far been expelled four t ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
To be blunt, this book was a huge disappointment. I had such high hopes for it in the beginning - girl masquerades as boy to get an education? What's not to like? Perhaps I saw this as a novel in the same vein as the wonderful "Alanna" series by Tamora Pierce. I couldn't have been further off the mark.

I found most of the characters in the book very shallow, and highly unrealistic. There was also little or no meaningful character development over the entire course of the novel. All the women in t
Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)
The Education of Bet
By Lauren Baratz-Logsted
I figured this book was not going to be a favorite, but it was much worse than I expected. It looked like a quick fun read, but was rather boring and took me longer than I thought it would. I had to force myself to finish the last 40pgs. I did not want to come that far and not finish, but I was tempted to just abandon it.

So, what was wrong with this book?

Writing style - I understand that it can be difficult to write a book that is to span an en
Lady Knight
When I first heard that this book was being released I was very excited. At that point the only Lauren Baratz-Logsted books I read were some of her "Sisters 8" series (i.e. Annie's Adventures, Durinda's Dangers, etc.), which I loved I might add. Recently though, I've read both Crazy Beautiful (which was full of plot holes yet was still fantastic) and How Nancy Drew Saved My Life (which was VERY disappointing)... so I was a little worried when I did pick this up. The first third to half was a slo ...more
May 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
I’m starting to like historical fiction more and more. I like that a book can take me back to a different place and era and I just love imagining myself there.

I like Education of Bet and the name is very fitting for the premise of the story. I know it has been done before, but I think I’ll always like and read books about girls or women who impersonate boys or men. I just love reading about the challenges they will face and what they’ll ended up learning from the experience.

Lauren Baratz-Logste
Ugh, what mediocrity. This is Hana-Kimi, Volume 1 (a manga I adored) if the heroine was actually stupid (instead of just cheerfully ignorant). The plot is the exact same – girl disguises self as boy to attend boarding school, falls in love with roommate. And yet this book is even more ridiculous, in a bad way.

I mean, Bet doesn’t even have a goal. Or a plan, really. Her whole idea is: (1) dress up as a boy (2) ???? (3) profit! It’s stupid. It’s beyond stupid. And then all the women help her for
Angelina Justice
Sep 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Boulder Bookstore Teen Advisory Board
Shelves: 2010, advanced-copies
'An Education of Bet' is a short yet exceedingly sweet story. It's premise is fairly familiar: to achieve something society does not allow girls to do, she must become a boy. When Bet finds out that Will, the boy she has been raised with, is going to start at a new school yet does not wish to go, she begins the deception by cutting off her hair and learning to speak, write, and walk like a young man. Her plan goes extremely well; that is, until she meets her extremely handsome roommate. In the e ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I worried this book would be too similar to she's the man to have me hooked but boy I was wrong. This book has made me extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I have as a woman in today's society
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I thought this was really interesting. I mean, it's got a fairly low rating here on Goodreads and I usually steer clear of those, but the premise sounded so promising. So I went for it.

I thought it was cute. I love that Bet was willing to face all kinds of scandal just to get an education. She was just a cool main character to have. Her spunk was awesome.

Ok, there were parts that were just a little corny or predictable. One plot "secret" was pretty obvious from like, page 3. I wouldn't have need
Aug 11, 2010 rated it liked it
In the 1800s girls didn’t…well, were not allowed to go to school. Born to a maid and orphaned as a child, brought up by a wealthy along with a boy named Will whom her mother served, Elizabeth (Bet) wants nothing more than to get an education. When she and Will scheme to change their lives, Bet assumes the life of Will, goes to boarding school in his place and gets an education not only through books, but also in living the life of a boy among boys.

All things happen for a reason and in this stor
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Cute short book. A girl dresses as a boy in order to get what she wants in life. The characters were fun (even if they could have been a little better developed) and the story itself was also fun. I was a little frustrated that there wasn't a better historical setting (I really couldn't tell when it was supposed to take place). In the end I would give this 3.5 stars. Fast fun read, but not too much more to it then that.
Aug 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
While not the most original story, "Bet" was still fun.
Girl wants to go to school, girl can't because 'women aren't allowed', girl knows boy, boy wants to go to military, girl 'becomes' boy and goes to school and of course falls in love.
We've all read something like this or at the very least watched a similar movie, but this one is such a fast-paced, good hearted read.
Ending is not likely, but atleast it was happy.
3.5 stars
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
A smart, funny girl with ambition who wants to learn and make something of herself??? Add in the impropriety and humor of some of the situations...yes, please! I really enjoyed this book and it was a quick and fun read. Bet was extremely likeable and I found myself rooting for her to succeed.
When I started the book I was a little worried that it would be boring, but I was pleasantly surprised. I would definitely recommend this book for someone looking for a nice, quick read.
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This story took me an evening; I couldn't put it down. Bet is strong-willed and frustrated that Will takes for granted his education, while Will wants nothing more than the freedom to choose a new path. Through some shenanigans, Bet takes Will's place, never expecting that the lessons she learned most wouldn't take place in the classroom. A fun, historical romp.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book...until Bet revealed her secret to her roommate/love-interest and they started a physical relationship. Then I got angry. Up until that point, I did like it, but after that...I couldn't finish it. I got up to the point where her bully bursts in and finds her wig and I had to put the novel down with a sigh and proclaim myself done.

I liked the layering of complexity in the beginning of an ambitious girl wanting nothing more than to go to school and all the things she had
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1-10
In this book a reader is given a tale based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Bet is a young girl living in a time where activities in a girl's life were not varied outside of "a females role". Through she is living a good life of wealth and respect she desires to gain an education, but going to school is a luxury that only boys are given. After hatching a plan with her male cousin, Will, Bet cuts her hair short, takes on the qualities of the boy, and goes to school pretending to be her cousin whi ...more
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Time-traveling dialogue 1 2 Jul 16, 2015 05:01AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 17, 2015 11:33AM  
  • In the Shadow of the Lamp
  • A Golden Web
  • Wildwing
  • Folly
  • The Queen's Daughter
  • Cate of the Lost Colony
  • The Fool's Girl
  • A Sweet Disorder
  • The Pale Assassin (Pimpernelles, #1)
  • The Other Countess (The Lacey Chronicles, #1)
  • Crusade
  • Everlasting (Everlasting, #1)
  • Vintage Veronica
  • Wrapped (Wrapped, #1)
  • Whisper My Name
  • The Betrayal of Maggie Blair
  • Velvet
  • Cleopatra Confesses
Lauren grew up in Monroe, CT, where her father owned a drugstore at which her mother was the pharmacist. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where she majored in psychology. She also has what she calls her “half-Masters” in English from Western Connecticut State University (five courses down, another five to go…someday!).

Throughout college, she worked semester breaks as a
“Because I want to go to the dance," I said.
"But why can't you go as a boy? Won't it be risky going as a girl?"
Of course it would be risky. But everything I'd done for the past four months had been risky.
I took a deep breath before speaking. "I want to go as a girl, because I want to dance with a particular boy."
Mrs. Smithers rolled her eyes at this. "There's always a boy, isn't there?”
More quotes…