Shannon's Reviews > Hour of the Bees

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
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it was ok
bookshelves: middle-grade

I would have liked this story better if it had stayed solely in the magical realm. If it had taken out the Alzheimer’s altogether, then yes, interesting magical tale about a family and the weird grandpa on the ranch. While I found many of the characters to be too stark (either completely good or completely bad), I did enjoy the setting, the incorporation of Spanish into the text, and the tale within the tale, which felt like a clear nod to The Giving Tree.

Now for the downside. Maybe because my own grandfather had Alzheimer’s, I actually think it is irresponsible to set up kids for the notion that Alzheimer’s / dementia patients are somehow magical. That their incoherence is mystical and interesting and will be tremendously compelling. It isn’t. It’s terrible and horrible and generally speaking, the symptoms displayed are far scarier than what is shown here. Carol never feels afraid of Serge, but in real life she might.

I suspect there will be many who will feel this book would be a wonderful way to introduce the topic of dementia and Alzheimer’s to kids, and maybe it would be good at raising the dialogue. Who knows? But for me, I think this puts too much of a fairy tale spin on a disease that has no fairy tale aspects at all. And nor should it.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 1, 2016 – Finished Reading
July 20, 2016 – Shelved
July 20, 2016 – Shelved as: middle-grade

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