The Secret Life of Bees
I told my facebook friends that I was reading this book and a response from a friend was that her son was encouraged to read this book as a ninth or tenth grader for summer reading. Her observation that it was not a book designed for young teen boys. I have to agree with her on that. This book is heavily laden with woman's thought, woman's love, loss, grief, gain and power. I would never expect a young teen boy to connect with this book in a meaningful way….I wouldn't expect my forty-something husband who's been trying to figure out "girl stuff" for fifteen years of marriage now to really connect with this book. The Secret Life of Bees, in my opinion, is also the secret life of women. If a young man reads it and enjoys it, more power to him…..but I'd never force it. That being said, I would definitely include The Secret Life of Bees in a high school collection. My favorite line from the book is one that would do all the world good to understand: "And when you get down to it, Lily, that's the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love—but to persist in love."(p. 289).
Add Secret Life of Bees to your summer reading, girls. It's a book to be enjoyed in hot weather with a teaspoon of honey mixed into your tea.
Kidd, S. (2002). The Secret Life of Bees. New York: Penguin.