Genre: Historical Fiction / Adventure
Synopsis: Bee is an orphan who lives with a traveling carnival. Every day she endures taunts for the birthmark on her cheek – though her beloved Pauline, the only person who has ever cared for her, tells her it is a precious diamond. When Pauline is sent to work for another carnival, Bee is lost.
Then a scruffy dog shows up, as unwanted as she, and Bee realizes that she must find a home for them both. She runs away to a house with gingerbread trim where two mysterious women, Mrs Swift and Mrs Potter, take her in. They clothe her, though their clothes are strangely out of date. They feed her, though there is nothing in their house to eat. They help her go to school, though they won’t enter the building themselves. And only Bee seems able to see them…
Whoever these women are, they matter. They matter to Bee. And they are helping Bee realize that she, too, matters to the world – if only she will let herself be a part of it.
200words (or less) review: The story is narrated by Bee, who at the beginning of the book is only 11. She’s grown up with a travelling carnival and works at the hot dog stand with Pauline, a young woman who has been Bee’s family since her parents died when Bee was 4.
The story starts with Bee’s life at the carnival. One of the things that I loved so much about Kimberly Newton Fusco writing was that everything is so vivid. Bee is an amazing little girl that I can’t imagine anyone not loving.
When Pauline is sent to another carnival Bee has escapes in search of a home, taking her dog (Peabody) and piglet (Cordelia) with her. She finds a house “the colour of buttercups with blueberry shutters and a front porch with rocking chairs still rocking”. Inside she is welcomed by Mrs Swift and Mrs Potter, two elderly ladies.
I could quite happily tell you about how fantastic and touching the story is but I don’t want to spoil the joy of reading it. I loved the language, the imagery, the characters and of course the names. The Daring Escape of Beatrice and Peabody is magical – enjoy!