Hour of the Bees

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From the publisher:

"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 off his dying sheep ranch and into a home for people with dementia.

At first Carol keeps her distance from prickly Grandpa Serge, whose eyes are impossibly old and who chastises "Caro-leeen-a" for spitting on her roots.  But as the summer dragons on and the heat bears down, she finds herself drawn to Serge, enchanted by his stories of an oasis in the desert with a green-glass lake and a tree that gave the villagers the gift of immortality - and the bees that kept the tree alive.

When Serge weaves details of his own life into his stories and tells her to keep an eye out for the bees he is certain will return to the ranch bringing the much needed rain and end the century-long drought, she chalks it up to dementia.  But as the thin line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible and what it means to be true to her roots.

Readers who dream that there’s something more out there will be enchanted by this captivating novel of family, renewal, and discovering the wonder of the world.

Magical realism; lyrical prose

Plot:  Character driven

 

360 pages  978-0763679224  Ages 9-12

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