Honeybees and Frenemies by Kristi Wientge
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Length: 256 pages
Acquired through Netgalley
Genre: Middle Grade/Contemporary
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Twelve-year-old Flor faces a bittersweet summer with a pageant, a frenemy, and a hive full of honey.
It’s the summer before eighth grade and Flor is stuck at home and working at her family’s mattress store, while her best friend goes off to band camp (probably to make new friends). It becomes even worse when she’s asked to compete in the local honey pageant. This means Flor has to spend the summer practicing her talent (recorder) and volunteering (helping a recluse bee-keeper) with Candice, her former friend who’s still bitter about losing the pageant crown to Flor when they were in second grade. And she can’t say no.
Then there’s the possibility that Flor and her family are leaving to move in with her mom’s family in New Jersey. And with how much her mom and dad have been fighting lately, is it possible that her dad may not join them? Flor can’t let that happen. She has a lot of work to do.
**I received Honeybees and Frenemies through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review**
I received Honeybees and Frenemies a few months ago, and I’m excited to finally have the chance to talk about this book! It covers the tale of two middle school girls, Flor and Candace, learning to work together after their friendship falls apart years earlier. Along with navigating the shaky ground of ‘fair-weather’ friendships, Flor is also enduring the fear of relocating due to a breakdown of family communication. These issues can be very stressful for any young person to handle, especially during summer vacation, when stress should be at an extreme low. I loved the constant ‘back and forth’ between Flor and Candace, how a foolish comment or action can change the landscape of a bond.
Honeybees and Frenemies also carries plenty of knowledge about bees and their vital role in keeping agriculture thriving. There are many fun facts pertaining to bees throughout the book, and also learning about the fragile state of bee colonies in the present day. Flor and Candace encounters someone who shares extensive knowledge about bee handling, and this creates a possible gateway in Flor’s quest in finding a solution to her troubles.
Children will enjoy Honeybees and Frenemies, as it speaks about the strength of teamwork and friendship!
Rating: 5/5 Stars