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Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel is a companion novel to Black Bird of the Gallow, but it can be read as a stand-alone. The novel returns to Ms. Kassel’s world of harbingers, beekeepers, and strawmen. Keeper of the Bees is a story about a centuries old beekeeper who was cursed when he was eighteen and the girl who actually sees him, not just the monster he’s become.
Dresden is a beekeeper who has a hive of bees living within his chest that sting people with weak minds and make them crazy. He’s followed by the harbingers of death, also known as a murder of crows, to Concordia where the town is marked for death. As he awaits the event that will bring death to those in Concordia, Dresden’s bees find people to sting, but when his bees want to sting seventeen-year old Essie Wickerton, Dresden finds that he can’t let them, especially when she sees what he really is and is not afraid.
The Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel meets the criteria for Quick Reads for Reluctant readers because of its intense plot, world-building, likeable characters, and moments of mystery, action, and suspense.
Fans of fantasy novels like Holly Black’s Cruel Prince and Wicked King, A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, and The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw will enjoy The Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki/ illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Freddy finds herself in an on-again/off-again relationship with Laura Dean, the most popular girl in school. Laura Dean is a cheater and manipulator, but Freddy keeps taking her back. Freddy’s best friend Doodle is always there to support her, but when Doodle has her own issue to deal with, Freddy isn’t the friend she needs to be.
This beautifully illustrated graphic novel deals with the issue of dating someone that is bad for you in a way that is very relatable. It portrays the effects that a toxic romantic relationship can have on a person and the other relationships in their life with humor and sincerity. Teens will be able to see themselves in the well-developed characters.
This is a wonderfully honest story of coming of age and figuring out first relationships that will be perfect for fans of realistic graphic novels such as Kiss Number 8 by Colleen Venable, Spinning by Tillie Walden, or any of Mariko Tamaki’s other works.
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