GUEST WRITER SARA BELONG RECOMMENDS THE WAY TO BEA BY KAT YEH
Middle schoolers have one thing in common: they all want to belong and find their “people.” Who doesn’t? I think it’s safe to say adults also crave this security.
The Way to Bea is a fiction novel that explores important themes, such as belonging, self-confidence, and acceptance. Beatrix Lee is questioning who her true friends are when she returns to school after summer break and is devastated that her best friend isn’t speaking to her.
Bea has a passion for poetry and this passion is woven throughout the story. She writes poems in invisible ink and leaves them in a special portal in the woods, hoping to get a response. Despite the snickers from others, poetry is Bea’s one true thing. She can count on it to bring her joy.
Throughout the story, Bea spends much of her time waiting for others to bring her happiness. She eventually finds her own way and realizes that she is the author of her own happiness. By helping a new friend out of a “dead end”, Bea discovers her true self. The author, Kat Yeh, captures the beautiful “give and take” of friendships.
Bea’s journey will speak to many middle school students about true friendship. She reminds us to be true to ourselves. I hope our students set off on a journey of self- discovery and feel proud of who they are after reading this book.
Sara BeLong teaches grade six at George Street Middle School. Her favourite genres are memoirs and realistic fiction.