Reader Reviewed Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

Hour of the Bees

Written by Lindsay Eagar

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2016 | March 2016 Julia Eccleshare's Debut of the Month Twelve year old Carol’s emotional journey of discovery about her past makes a powerful story that will touch many readers. Carol’s summer is spent with her family on her grandfather’s ranch in the baking hot Mexican desert. The visit is not exactly a social one; Carol has hardly ever met her grandfather before. Her parents have brought her to help tidy the place up and to prepare her grandfather for a move to a home as he is suffering from dementia. But Carol is deeply drawn to Grandpa Serge and the dried out ranch that has always been his life. From him she learns of the importance of roots – in land and in families – and, through his magical tales, she learns something of her grandmother and the hidden truth behind her father’s long-ago quarrel with him. ~ Julia Eccleshare

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for March 2016

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Beetle Boy by M. G. Leonard
What the Ladybird Heard Next by Julia Donaldson

Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews here.

  • Maisie Sadler, age 14 - ', I couldn't stop reading...The author has created an amazing, unforgettable story which I know for a fact I will never forget.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'Amazing story! Blew me away, loved it all.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'Thought-provoking and heartbreaking we learn about Serge's past and how much his home and roots meant to him.'
  • Megan Chambers, age 14 - 'Whatever you are doing right now, stop, and order this book. You will not regret it at all.'
  • Traviss Chaytors, age 12 - 'Powerful...Most of all I loved the character of Carol and her relationship with her Grandad Serge. As my Grandma suffered with dementia I could really relate to this book and I'm sure many other readers will be able to as well.'
  • Emily Passmore, age 14 - 'A lovely book about family relationships, with a great plot and a fantastic ending. I loved it.'
  • Mariam Ahmed - 'The story is quite slow paced at the beginning but becomes more exciting and suspenseful near the end.'
  • Olivia Armstrong, age 12 - ' Her Grandad lives in a run-down ranch, in a desert where there hasn’t been rain for hundreds of years.... According to Grandad Serge, the bees will bring back the rain.'
  • Amelie Chatham, age 13 - 'I liked this book a lot because I enjoyed how it is two different stories put together to make one plot.'
  • Alice East, age 11 - 'When Carol and her family travel to the desert to visit her grandad, who has dementia, they are caught up in a magical adventure...I really liked the fact that this book was really different from other books that I have read.'
  • Aaliyah Mohammed, age 12 - 'I loved this book especially the stories that the grandfather tells. You will not be able to put this incredible book down.'
  • Maddie - 'Hour of the Bees was a fantastic book which I have already recommended to friends. It’s unexpected and original tale had me hooked the whole way through.'
  • Mansi Singh, Year 8 - 'This book made me really emotional and I found it really inspiring.'
  • Jessica Lund, age 14 - 'The thing I liked about this book was when it talked about how you measure time and how you find your own way to work out how time passes.
  • Olivia Dally-Fitzsimons, age 13 - 'A magical story about a young girl and her grandfather.  I would definitely recommend you read this... I really loved it.'

Win the Skulduggery Pleasant series, SIGNED by the author!

The 11 instalment in the best-selling Skulduggery Pleasant series, Midnight, is out in hardback on 31 May. To celebrate this we are giving away THREE prizes of all 11 books in the series, SIGNED by the author Derek Landy and delivered in a special Skulduggery Pleasant tote bag!

To have a chance of winning one of these great prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. Draw closes on 28 June 2018. The winners will be notified by 12 July 2018.

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Enter prize draw Draw closes: 28/06/2018


Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

This powerful debut novel delicately blurs the line between truth and fiction as Carol unravels the fantastical stories of her mentally ill grandfather. When she and her family move to his deserted ranch in order to transfer him to a care home, Carol struggles to cope with the suffocating heat and the effects of her grandfather's dementia. Bees seem to be following her around, but the drought means this is impossible. She must be imagining things. Yet when her grandfather chooses her as the subject for his stories - tales of a magical healing tree, a lake, and the grandmother she never knew - Carol sees glimmers of something special in what her parents dismiss as Serge's madness. As she rethinks her roots and what she thought she knew about her family, Carol comes to the realization that Serge's past is quickly catching up with her present. A stunning coming-of-age story.


Acquisition noted * Publishers Lunch * Mentioned in sneak previews * Publishers Weekly * Whatever you are doing right now, stop, and order this book. You will not regret it at all. * Review Reader, Lovereading 4 Kids * A powerful coming-of-age debut * Bookseller * Magic blends with reality in a stunning coming-of-age novel about a girl and her grandfather. * The Bookseller * A contemporary fable in which two worlds collide. The young and the old joust with modern day and myth. [...] An inspiring book with a powerful message. Don't be afraid to live your life. There will be a real 'buzz

. * South Wales Evening Post * An inspiring book with a powerful message. There will be a real buzz about this book. * South Wales Evening Post * Hour of the Bees is a very powerful YA novel- that really was very refreshing to read. Filled with magic, love, memories and family roots: you can't help but to warm to this book. Edgar writes beautifully: making her readers imagine the stunning sunsets of the desert and trees bursting with blossoms. [...]A very different, but very appealing read- Hour of the Bees is a 4/5 for me, it is absolutely perfect for an introduction into YA. * Teen Book Hoots blog * [Hour of the Bees] transforms when it shifts a gear into magical realism. [...] Eagar takes a while to find her stride in this debut novel, but perhaps this is only a reflection of Carol's journey. Like her, we could take it or leave it when she arrives at the ranch, but gradually we are drawn in to the arid beauty of the dessert landscape [...] And when you are wiping away the tears, you can take comfort in Serge's words: `Stories don't end... they just turn into new beginnings.' * The Daily Telegraph * Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar is an absorbing story and the final pages [...] will keep readers of 10-plus riveted to the last page. An excellent debut novel. * Newbury Weekly News * This highly original debut novel is a mesmerising story of the power of roots and family history. * IBW Children's Book Guide, The Bookseller * For a unique and heart warming read, Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager is a searing story about family love and finding your roots. * Irish Times, Children's Books of the Year recommended by ER Murrary * [...] a spellbinding tale that deserves a chance to become a modern classic. Tightly plotted and elegantly written, this is an exceptional debut novel that manages to be both inspirational yet authentic at the same time. * Young Post *

About the Author

Lindsay Eagar

Hour of the Bees is Lindsay Eager's first novel. A classically trained pianist and un-classically trained rock guitarist, Lindsay lives in Utah with her young daughter.

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Book Info


368 pages
Interest Age: From 11 years


Lindsay Eagar
More books by Lindsay Eagar


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

3rd March 2016




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