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The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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I read The Secret Life of Bees written by Sue Monk Kidd. The genre is African American literature and the copyright date is 2002.

After reading this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt the author portrayed the characters well, and expresses what they would have felt extremely accurately. I would definitely recommend this book to students in middle school who are in for some great African American literature; this book truly expresses the bond of friendship despite two people being extremely different.

There are many reasons why I would recommend The Secret Life of Bees to high school and junior high school students. I would even recommend this book to their parents, teachers, and staff. In this novel the main character is sweet and sensitive Lily. Lily is the narrator of this story and I found her charming. I feel this book transitions from one section to another with ease and teenagers at my level should be able to easily understand it. The way this book was told from Lily’s view allowed me to be able to see the character develop, and I really enjoyed that.

Lily lived a troubling life, but even though it was less than pleasant, her determination and courage helps her overcome it. The plot line had many twists and turns that I was definitely not expecting. An example of one of these twists that surprised me was when her father kept accusing her of murdering her own mother when she was a mere child.(26) The way he “says” it leads you to think he is holding something back. (27) This book has also been made into a major motion picture movie, and I found that after reading the book it was great to watch the movie and compare the events. Some scenes in the movie were not exactly the same. For example in the movie Zach is beaten for sneaking Lily, who is white, into the colored movie theater. In the book he is just thrown in jail for being suspected of assaulting a white man.

Overall, there weren’t many things I did not like about this book; I found it a charming book of lessons about family, and love and friendship that will make you laugh and reach for a tissue box!



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