Beatrix Lee’s life has changed.
She used to be the girl who had friends in elementary school, now she is wondering the hallways of her new middle school alone.
She used to be the apple of her parent’s eye, now she is about to have a new baby come into her once perfect trio of her family.
She used to share her poetry with the world, now she discretely taps the words against her heart as if she is protecting them from the cruelties of the world.
She used to be proud of who she was, now she is keenly aware of the stares in the hallways as everyone whispers about that “weird” girl as she walks by.
Bea finds refuge from all the whispers and stares of her new school at the secret brick wall in the woods near her school. Bea sneaks to this wall often, and many times during the school day.
One day, she decides to hide her words in a crack in the wall. She writes her words in invisible ink to protect them further before she leaves them safely behind in the wall.
But things change when Bea returns to her secret hiding place. Her words are gone. But, in their place, there is a note. A note from someone who wrote her back.
Bea's world flips upside down once she reads the response to her secret words. Who is this mysterious person? What could they possibly want from her? Maybe, just maybe, could they be the friend she has been wishing for?
The Way to Bea, by Kat Yeh, is a great novel that depicts the challenges of transitioning from the innocence of childhood to the harsher realities of becoming a teenager. Bea’s struggles are so relatable. Every preteen knows how hard it is to figure yourself out and find true friends that love you for you, weirdness and all.
I know that when I remember my middle school years, the feelings of awkwardness and unsureness instantly flow back into my mind. I look forward to adding The Way to Bea to my classroom library because it will offer a similar story to those of my students that are struggling to figure themselves out as they too are heading towards the transitioning years of middle school.