Bumbling Bea by Deborah Baldwin, fiction e-book, 124 pages, published in 2014.
In a last attempt to get in with the popular kids before high school starts, Beatrice auditions for the lead in the school play. She’s sure she’s a shoe-in, until a new Japanese student interrupts her plans. Michiko is actually a good actor, and suddenly Beatrice finds herself backstage instead of being the centre of the show. Her mean alter ego comes to the fore, with snarky and sarcastic comments, cruel pranks, and behaviour that just isn’t her. Can she overcome Bumbling Bea, befriend Michiko and keep Jerri and Peter on her side?
I liked this story. It reminded me of how awkward it can be growing up and it made me laugh! The theatre can be lots of fun for kids to get involved in, but sometimes it’s taken too seriously ending up with some rather crazy antics.
Bumbling Bea was a humourous story about the awkwardness of growing up. I think every child goes through a period of something similar to Beatrice as they try to discover themselves and their place in the world. Unfortunately for Beatrice, she has a hard time keeping her inner thoughts to herself, which results in her getting herself in all sorts of funny trouble.
The production of the play was very amusing, especially the inclusion of the red balls and the principal. I also laughed when Peter tried to help Bea with her prank against Michiko and it backfired, and when Beatrice tried to give her teacher a nice leaving present. Beatrice’s mum’s cooking sounded pretty atrocious too, but it amused me that her brother would name the meals according to which country’s flag it resembled.
There were a few areas in the story that didn’t flow neatly. I even thought I might have read a chapter out of order at one point, it was a little fragmented at times. I re-read a few bits, which helped me get things clearer. Otherwise, I thought the plot was interesting, and the characters realistic. Bea’s outbursts definitely reminded me of some snarky kids from my own school days! I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Jerri in the story, she is supposed to be Beatrice’s best friend, but it didn’t read quite that way.
Bumbling Bea is suitable for middle and upper primary school children to lower high school students. It is a good book for independent readers, especially those that like to laugh!
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.