The Queen Bee and Me (Paperback)
From the highly acclaimed author of Caterpillar Summer comes a heartfelt story about the sweetness and stings of middle-school friendship.
Meg has always found comfort in her best friend Beatrix's shadow. Self-assured Beatrix is the one who makes decisions, and the girls have been a pair since kindergarten. But middle school has brought some changes in Beatrix, especially when Meg tries to step outside her role as sidekick.
A special science elective is Meg's first step away, but when she's paired with quirky new girl Hazel, Beatrix steps in to stake her claim on Meg. Meg is taken aback at how mean Beatrix can be--and how difficult it is to stand up to her friend. But as Meg gets to know Hazel while working on their backyard beehive project, she starts to wonder: Is being Beatrix's friend worth turning down the possibility of finding her own voice?
This pitch-perfect exploration of middle-school friendship dynamics brims with heart and hope, and will resonate with readers of all ages.
Acclaim for Caterpillar Summer
An Indies Introduce Pick
A Texas Bluebonnet Selection
A Parents Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
An Amazon Best Book of the Year
About the Author
Gillian McDunn is the author of These Unlucky Stars, The Queen Bee and Me, and Caterpillar Summer. She has lived in California, Missouri, and North Carolina, and is a fan of both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. She currently lives near Raleigh, NC, with her family.
“McDunn portrays the intertwined emotional lives of middle-school kids with sensitivity and precision. . . . An insightful story of friendship and change.” —Booklist, starred review
“Meg's first-person narration is emotive and candid. . . . Refreshingly genuine.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The dynamics of shifting middle school friendships ring true, and readers will recognize themselves and their friends in Meg's struggle with her loyalty to Beatrix, her budding friendship with Hazel, and her need to be true to herself.” —School Library Connection
“McDunn deftly sketches Meg's struggles amid seventh grade's unspoken social order. . . . Readers will identify with the pitch-perfect middle school dynamics.” —Publishers Weekly
“Fully realized characters and high-stakes yet realistic middle school dilemmas with real-world applications make this a royal addition to shelves.” —School Library Journal
“An engaging, honest book--I love Cat, and you will, too!” —Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Newbery Honor-winning author of THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE on CATERPILLAR SUMMER
“I could almost smell the ocean air as I read Gillian McDunn's Caterpillar Summer. What a beautiful story of family, forgiveness, life on an island, and growing up.” —Kate Messner, author of BREAKOUT and THE SEVENTH WISH on CATERPILLAR SUMMER
“An engrossing, heartwarming, beautifully written debut about building and rebuilding family ties.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on CATERPILLAR SUMMER
“McDunn's poignant, gratifying debut about friendship and family encourages both empathy and hope.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review, on CATERPILLAR SUMMER
“Fans of the books Rules by Cynthia Lord and Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine will enjoy this well-written book about the struggles of a fractured family.” —School Library Connection on CATERPILLAR SUMMER
“A sweet summer story that middle grade readers will appreciate.” —School Library Journal on CATERPILLAR SUMMER
“Readers will find Cat to be an admirable and fully credible heroine . . . and the idyllic island setting makes for a wistful summer escape.” —BCCB on CATERPILLAR SUMMER
“Paints an intricate and heart-wrenching portrait of middle school . . . Fans of Celia C. Pérez and Kate DiCamillo will gobble up this novel.” —BCCB