Meg and Beatrix have been best friends since kindergarten but Meg doesn’t always like Beatrix. She can be intolerant, bossy and selfish. She ignores Meg’s interest in science and insists she takes dance classes, even though Meg has no aptitude for it.

Meg is 12-years-old. She lives with her Mum, Dad, older brother, Conrad and younger sister, Elsie. At school, Meg is offered a place in the advanced science elective, but her joy is dampened by the knowledge she will have to tell Beatrix that she can’t continue with the dance class.

A new girl, Hazel, moves to town and will also be doing the advanced science elective. Hazel appears confident and assertive, with no intention of conforming to the status quo. She dresses in bold colours and unusual combinations. Beatrix immediately takes a dislike to her, even more so when she finds out that Hazel keeps bees.

Meg learns from her experiences with Beatrix and through the story learns to express her own opinions as she and Hazel work together on their science project.

The story concludes with Meg and Hazel having grown in social skills and emotional maturity. Gillian McDunn does a good job of exploring pre-teen friendships.

Thanks to Novel Insights for providing a free book for review.

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