Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Winter Reading 2019 Bee the Change: The Big Idea Gang #3


Friends Deon, Kym, Lizzy, and Connor formed the Big Idea Gang to work on getting a new school mascot back in the first book of the series. Now, in this third outing, Kym and Lizzy visit beekeeper Ozzie and learn about what bees contribute to the world. They would really like to share their knowledge with everyone else at school, but how? As they talk it over with their teacher, she helps them shift their focus to what the students can do to help the bees.

There is plenty of humor, making this a good choice for a class read-aloud, as well as appealing to readers who enjoy school-based stories. For instance, Lizzy jokes about the smoke pot Ozzie uses to calm the bee colony. "It looks like something the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz would wear on his head," she says. "That's me, the wizard of Ozzie!" the beekeeper replies.

As with other titles in this series, this story shows the kids talking things out and coming up with a plan to meet their goals. It also portrays the adults they encounter as helpful and supportive. The kids have a mix of interests and abilities, as well as representing boys and girls and several racial/ethnic backgrounds. Author James Preller (of Jigsaw Jones fame, as well as other titles), has created a fun new series for readers in lower elementary.

I picked up an advance copy at NCTE. This title will be coming out in July 2019.

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