The Queen Bee and Me by Gillian McDunn

I am excited to welcome back Gillian McDunn to Watch. Connect. Read. She was here exactly one year ago this week to celebrate her debut novel, Caterpillar Summer. Gillian, thank you for taking over my blog for the day. Congratulations on another WONDERFUL cover illustration! 


Have you ever had a best friend who is sometimes nice ... and sometimes not-so-nice?

At school visits, when kids want to hear about THE QUEEN BEE AND ME, that’s the question I ask the room. And without fail each time--the entire audience starts nodding their heads... boys and girls, kids and adults. The feeling of having a tricky friendship is almost universal!

When THE QUEEN BEE AND ME starts, that’s the position Meg is in. She has been friends with confident, self-assured Beatrix since kindergarten. Meg’s always found comfort in Beatrix’s shadow--even their families call them Beatrix-and-Meg. But middle school has brought some changes in Beatrix, especially when Meg tries to step outside her role as sidekick. Upsetting Beatrix means risking The Freeze--or worse. 

Meg gets into a special science elective and wants to take the class--no matter what Beatrix thinks. When quirky new girl Hazel becomes Meg’s science partner, Beatrix sets her sights on Hazel. At first, 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: What is it really like to be the Queen Bee? And more importantly: Is being Beatrix's friend worth turning down the possibility of finding her own voice?

THE QUEEN BEE AND ME is about science, beekeeping, and the sweetness and stings of middle-school friendship. It will be released April 7, 2020. 


Cover Artist: Isabel Roxas
Cover Design: Jeanette Levy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: April 7, 2020

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