You are going to be pleasant and helpful, Bee, and not chase Jazzi away. I like Jazzi. I want her to be a permanent fixture in our lives and I don’t want any bratty, selfish behaviour from you spoiling things ” Since Bee’s mother died, it’d been just her, her dad and her guinea pigs, Lulu and Fifi. Nothing stays the same forever though, and when Jazzi moves in, bringing with her a whole new way of looking at things and a whole lot of secrets, Bee knows life is going to be completely different from now on. But change can be a scary thing, and when someone reaches out to you, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to take their hand. This heartwarming, humorous and vibrant story from award winning author Catherine Bateson reminds us that love comes in many shapes and sizes even in the form of guinea pigs.
Published: University of Queensland Press an imprint of Independent Publishers Group on Aug 1, 2014
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Bateson, Catherine. (2006). Being Bee. United States: Holiday House.Bee doesn't like Jazzi, her dad's new girlfriend. Although Bee's mom passed away many years ago, Bee doesn't understand why her dad would want to date any one else. Why can't it just be Bee and her dad? After spending time with Jazzi and sharing certain secrets, Bee starts to realize that maybe Jazzi is not as bad as she first believed. Bee also starts receiving secret notes from her beloved guinea pigs, which she enjoys very much. She thinks it is her dad who is writing the notes, but she comes to find out that it is someone else.I found the characters in this book very realistic. The character of Bee was very endearing and relatable because she is a young girl who is trying to understand adult relationships. She is also trying to deal with another woman moving into her father's life. This novel was so realistic that it was hard for me to imagine what types of readers it would appeal to - young readers who have had to deal with new parent figures in their lives may relate to the story.more
While this story is set in Australia by an Australian author, it is not rooted in place - Bee's difficulty adjusting to her father's new romantic partner could be sympathetic to any reader. Bee and Jazzi's struggle to get along for the sake of Bee's dad changes when Jazzi has to tell Bee a secret.The characters in this story, especially Bee and Jazzi are easy to like, you can see how hard they try, and exactly how they'd rub each other the wrong way. The conflicts aren't silly - when Jazzi accidentally throws out Bee's box of mementoes it is a truly awful thing, and you can feel Bee's heart breaking. The resolution at the end is stronger because it isn't pat - the characters really have to work hard to build a new family.I would recommend this because it doesn't trivialise the changes that occur when forming a step family, and because the characters are very real. There are lovely moments of humour, like the letters to and from the hamsters, that ease the tension, and keep the story enjoyable.more