The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh

The Way to Bea

With a charming voice, winning characters, and a perfectly-woven plot, Kat Yeh delivers a powerful story of friendship and finding a path towards embracing yourself.Everything in Bea's world has changed. She's starting seventh grade newly friendless and facing big changes at home, where she is about to go from only child to big sister. Feeling alone and adrift, and like he...

Title:The Way to Bea
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Way to Bea Reviews

  • Luke Reynolds

    ARC Review (6/20/17, received from a local bookstore)

    Actual rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    When I first heard about this novel, I was absolutely ecstatic. Kat Yeh's middle grade novel debut,

    , was one of my favorite novels last year. She did an impeccable job crafting a relatable protagonist with a phenomenal voice and capturing all the emotions of what's it like to be a kid like she's truly been in those same places. However, what I loved about that book was its sincerity.

    ARC Review (6/20/17, received from a local bookstore)

    Actual rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    When I first heard about this novel, I was absolutely ecstatic. Kat Yeh's middle grade novel debut,

    , was one of my favorite novels last year. She did an impeccable job crafting a relatable protagonist with a phenomenal voice and capturing all the emotions of what's it like to be a kid like she's truly been in those same places. However, what I loved about that book was its sincerity. Yeh's writing is earnest and heartrending in all the right ways. Her casts of characters feel real and are always entertaining, and following their journeys is fun. Nothing feels forced. Everything feels 100% authentic. So when I saw it at a local bookstore on their kids ARC pile, I snatched it as fast as I could.

    Needless to say, I was pleased to see Yeh's strengths carry over in

    . Bea, the protagonist here, is another lovable protagonist that feels real, and her journey with trying to find her best self was fun. Additionally, the characters represent all walks of life once more, and everyone will be able to see pieces of themselves in them. However, the wandering plot and some lack of development for other characters aside from the leads still remain. I did notice these more with the follow-up, but it doesn't detract from yet another fantastic story with a big heart.

    Beatrix "Bea" Lee is the titular character here (or, I realized, the former acronym of Book Expo), and once again, Yeh's crafting shines here. Bea's journey itself was wonderful, but her emotions are tapped into incredibly well. The loneliness without a best friend she can only refer to by the first letter of her name (which was an excellent touch to me, especially since this changes later so we learn her name

    and those of the friend group), the anxiety that swelled up when she had to confront her past, the realization of how fun making haiku was and of making new friends so she could let them in, and even her sass as she's opening up felt genuine and achingly human. To see her grapple with these things made me realize just how much Yeh has experienced pain and joy, and Bea was that sponge soaking up those prior moments on her way to find her best self, planning a labyrinth (we also got the official definition of mazes and labyrinths, thank goodness; now I know the difference) conquering adventure with a new friend, and realizing she's best when she's creative.

    But that's not all. All the characters in

    were diverse and interesting to read. Seeing the differences in how they interacted with Bea made me invested in the world of this book. Whether it was Will, a striped-shirt wearing boy interested in labyrinths who eventually became Bea's friend (and who was also a very respectful handling of Aspergers), Ms. Rodriguez, the librarian who always knew which book to recommend to a student who needed it, Briggs, the fedora-clad eighth grader with his heart on his sleeve, the few interactions we saw with S

    in the past, and Jaime, the girl with the Afro who drew a comic about a turtle looking for a band in the school newspaper who wanted to be Bea's friend, they all captured my attention equally. Most of them treated each other with respect and approached things in their own way, and I was really rooting for them to succeed in whatever they were working on. I do wish that there had been more development with some of the kids on the

    (school newspaper) team, but sometimes, you get what you get, and they definitely felt like individuals, which is a plus.

    I also enjoyed the heck out of the love for art in this book. Both of Bea's parents (aside from still being absolutely head over heels with each other with another baby coming on the way that Bea gets to middle name) are artists: the father is a comic book artist with a Taiwanese superhero (since Bea'a family is from there), while the mother works on blue paintings. This got passed down to Bea's haiku and poetry writing, and I loved how the novel spent time showing Bea's creative process and how it guided her to make the decisions she wanted to make. It took time as well to explore the relationship between Bea and her parents, one with more independence than most kids her age.

    There were also plenty of music and literary references, which I loved to guess and figure out where they were going (all the songs mentioned in the book are in a playlist at the end, which I will definitely be listening to).

    While I do think this book's plot had a lot going for it (Bea dealing with her anxiety, haiku, the newspaper crew, finding a labyrinth, giving a middle name to a baby sister, best friend drama),

    is still an enjoyable book. With realistic characters, engaging writing, fun adventures, and enough sincerity to replicate even the warmest of apple pies, Kat Yeh proves to be one of the sweetest middle grade authors around.

    One last thing: Peyton Elizabeth Lee from Disney Channel's

    (which is the best show the company has worked on in

    thanks to Terri Minsky, please check it out) would make an awesome Bea in an adaptation of this. Not only would she capture the spunk of the lead incredibly well, but the show actually reminds me a lot of Yeh's writing (and not just the plot twist of the debut). It's engaging, authentic, heartwarming, and subverts pretty much all the typical things you see in shows like this. Lee's also too darn cute.

    I need a moment to process my thoughts because I'm in an emotional and allergy-suffering state where my eyes sting. All I know is the ending was excellent, Kat Yeh is one of the most sincere writers I've ever read, and I just need more beautiful stories like this one from her.

    More Kat Yeh? Sounds great to me!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Alisha Marie

    I'm weird with Middle Grade books. There are a few that I have really liked and there are some that I found underwhelming. This one falls right in the middle of these two categories. While I did like The Way to Bea, I wasn't in love with it.

    The Good: The best thing about The Way to Bea is the way that Yeh captures the loneliness that Bea felt so wonderfully. I felt like I could feel her pain. I also loved the resolution between Bea and S. I thought that it was so realistic.

    The Eh: Plot-wise, I f

    I'm weird with Middle Grade books. There are a few that I have really liked and there are some that I found underwhelming. This one falls right in the middle of these two categories. While I did like The Way to Bea, I wasn't in love with it.

    The Good: The best thing about The Way to Bea is the way that Yeh captures the loneliness that Bea felt so wonderfully. I felt like I could feel her pain. I also loved the resolution between Bea and S. I thought that it was so realistic.

    The Eh: Plot-wise, I found The Way to Bea to be a little thin. It seems to be more about Bea discovering herself. The labyrinth/maze aspect of it wasn't in the book all that much and most of it was towards the end. I did find the middle to be a bit of a slog (however, I'm an adult reading a middle grade novel so take that with a grain of salt) and it did feel a bit long.

    In the end, I liked The Way to Bea. This book shined the brightest when it was getting into Bea's loneliness and her angsty inner most thoughts. If you're looking for something with adventure, though, I'd skip this one.

  • Shenwei

    A Bea-utiful book about finding new friends when your old ones have abandoned you and learning to be true to yourself. 😭💜

    note: the main character is Taiwanese American and one of the supporting characters is autistic.

  • Joanne Kelleher

    Any book that has labyrinth in it is a winner by me.

    And that's not all it has!

    Middle school is the time where kids start to decide who they are going to be, and whether or not their old friends still fit. Kat Yeh has done a beautiful job of recreating the sense of loss and isolation when you lose your friendship group, when you have to make these decisions before you were ready. I love how she referred to these now inaccessible friends by initials only.

    I enjoyed watching the friendship blossom

    Any book that has labyrinth in it is a winner by me.

    And that's not all it has!

    Middle school is the time where kids start to decide who they are going to be, and whether or not their old friends still fit. Kat Yeh has done a beautiful job of recreating the sense of loss and isolation when you lose your friendship group, when you have to make these decisions before you were ready. I love how she referred to these now inaccessible friends by initials only.

    I enjoyed watching the friendship blossom between Bea and Will; Bea was patient and kind (mostly) with Will as she figured out how to communicate with him.

    I also enjoyed the hidden haikus written in invisible ink. Who is the mystery pen-pal?

    This is a sweet story of finding yourself and making new friends.

  • Lola  Reviewer

    I knew I would love this book before I even turned the first page. The Truth About Twinkie Pie was wonderful—of the emotional sort—and so surprisingly creative. I had a feeling I would love this one too. And although this is only the second book I read from Kat Yeh, she’s one middle grade author I have on auto-buy.

    The beauty of this novel is that it can be enjoyed by adults also. I’m reading another middle grade novel right now, and contrary to this one, there’s a youngish vibe and I can’t see

    I knew I would love this book before I even turned the first page. The Truth About Twinkie Pie was wonderful—of the emotional sort—and so surprisingly creative. I had a feeling I would love this one too. And although this is only the second book I read from Kat Yeh, she’s one middle grade author I have on auto-buy.

    The beauty of this novel is that it can be enjoyed by adults also. I’m reading another middle grade novel right now, and contrary to this one, there’s a youngish vibe and I can’t see myself recommending it to older readers. But The Way to Bea explores universal themes and is masterfully written.

    Like, what do you do when you’ve become estranged from your best friend? Who do you turn to? How do you react? Beatrix Lee is very much into Haiku poems so she pours all of her thoughts and emotions into them. She even starts to converse anonymously with a classmate in invisible ink, sometimes sharing her poetry. This helps. But so do the new friends she makes.

    I loved how the heroine found patterns in her life. How she found links between things, especially when talking about people—both kids and adults—finding it hard to approach other people. The friends she makes accept her as she is, whereas her former best friend has joined a new group that find her weird.

    I’m sure it has happened to all of us, especially in middle school, where we make ‘‘friends’’ just by talking to someone and lose them just by arguing for a second. If it has never happened to you, then you’re super lucky. This is also what I mean by universal themes. We’ve all been that age once. We can all connect. Bea makes it even easy to relate to her, the lovely girl that she is.

    Heart-warming. A winner.

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

  • Patty

    What an absolutely beautiful, emotional, and realistic read!!

    What an absolutely beautiful, emotional, and realistic read!!

  • Wendi Lee

    This is a tender, wonderfully written book about losing your friends, and finding the courage to stand strong and be yourself.

    Bea has high hopes for seventh grade, but when she comes back from a summer vacation in Taiwan, nothing is as it was before. Her best friends have turned their backs on her, and while a kind-hearted teacher immediately tries to engage Bea into different groups of kids, Bea isn't sure she wants to have anything to do with anyone. To make matters more complicated, her arti

    This is a tender, wonderfully written book about losing your friends, and finding the courage to stand strong and be yourself.

    Bea has high hopes for seventh grade, but when she comes back from a summer vacation in Taiwan, nothing is as it was before. Her best friends have turned their backs on her, and while a kind-hearted teacher immediately tries to engage Bea into different groups of kids, Bea isn't sure she wants to have anything to do with anyone. To make matters more complicated, her artist parents are busy with different projects and don't notice how things have changed for Bea.

    She finds a kindred spirit in Will, a member of the school literary magazine. Will is different in ways that Bea is not, but he's unafraid to be himself. There's also Briggs, a year older than Bea, who embraces individuality and creativity, and is a big fan of Bea's poetry.

    It's hard to be different, especially in middle school. There is a LOT of pressure to conform to what everyone else is doing, and tamp down the quirks and talents that make you special. I love how this book embraces who Bea is - from her artistic, heart-feeling parents, to lovely Mrs. Rodriguez, and all the school literary magazine kids. It's a fantastic message with a robust, organically diverse cast of characters. I can't recommend this book enough.

    *I was a Goodreads Giveaway winner for this book!*

  • Audrey Webster

    Review can be found on my blog. Linked here:

  • Aeicha

    Twelve year old Bea Lee and her BFF had big plans for seventh grade, but now Bea’s friends are ignoring her, Bea’s super busy artist mother and graphic novelist father are focused on the arrival of Bea’s little sister, and Bea feels utterly lost and invisible. She takes comfort in the poems she feels in her heart and writes in invisible ink, then hides in a special place...and one day someone writes back! Who is the mystery writer and friend? Could it be Bea’s former BFF, one of the interesting

    Twelve year old Bea Lee and her BFF had big plans for seventh grade, but now Bea’s friends are ignoring her, Bea’s super busy artist mother and graphic novelist father are focused on the arrival of Bea’s little sister, and Bea feels utterly lost and invisible. She takes comfort in the poems she feels in her heart and writes in invisible ink, then hides in a special place...and one day someone writes back! Who is the mystery writer and friend? Could it be Bea’s former BFF, one of the interesting boys Bea meets working on the school newspaper, or someone else? Navigating seventh grade turns out to be as complex as the world of labyrinths Bea finds herself immersed in...and just maybe along the way, Bea simply finds herself.

    Kat Yeh’s The Way To Bea is a heartfelt delight! With an absolute pitch-perfect voice, endearing characters, and beautiful depth, The Way To Bea will sweetly and smartly charm middle-grade (and grown-up) readers.

    Kat Yeh perfectly captures that angsty, confusing, often heartbreaking, and too big, too muchness time in adolescence (the middle-school years), and does so with clever humor, profound honesty, soul-deep heart, and fantastic poetry. I think every reader, but especially middle-grade readers, will be able to relate to Bea’s story in some way and, more importantly, will find meaning in her journey. Young readers will appreciate Bea’s genuine and authentic POV and voice, and the way Yeh doesn’t underestimate her readers’ ability to ponder life’s big questions and process even bigger emotions.

    The Way To Bea is bursting with a rainbow of wonderfully engaging characters! From Bea to her parents, peers, and teachers, there is such an awesome array of eclectic, quirky, thoughtful, funny, unique characters for readers to love and relate to. With Bea’s new labyrinth obsessed friend, Will, Kat Yeh carefully and deftly gives a voice to young readers on the Autism spectrum, as Will has Asperger Syndrome (this is never stated in the book, but alluded to). And I must mention the character of Briggs, the editor in chief of the middle-school newspaper, because the boy charmed me completely! I’d love to see a 17/18 year old Briggs in a young adult novel someday because that boy is gonna grow up to be a sweetly swoon-worthy fella. (One of my favorite Briggs lines is halfway down on page 338!).

    I just loved everything about this book: it’s captivating storytelling, irresistible voice, wonderful characters, and moving and profound message. The Way To Bea is a thoughtful and timely middle-grade novel that has that magical, marvelous ability to leave readers feeling like they just met a new friend!

  • Amy

    Actual rating: 4.5

    I read this book in one sitting on a Friday night. I really enjoyed Bea and her group of friends that she eventually finds. There were a few things I didn't like that kept it from a 5 star review (her use of initials when talking about her old friend group-it just seemed stilted to me- and how her parents ignored her and then just magically fixed everything in one moment also rang untrue) but the moments with the other kiddos on the newspaper were astounding.

    Bea's start to 7th

    Actual rating: 4.5

    I read this book in one sitting on a Friday night. I really enjoyed Bea and her group of friends that she eventually finds. There were a few things I didn't like that kept it from a 5 star review (her use of initials when talking about her old friend group-it just seemed stilted to me- and how her parents ignored her and then just magically fixed everything in one moment also rang untrue) but the moments with the other kiddos on the newspaper were astounding.

    Bea's start to 7th grade hasn't been great. She spent the summer before 7th grade in Taiwan with her family and decides to surprise her friends when she gets home by showing off her newly found aquatic skills and diving into the pool for their annual back to school party. Only this year, it's an engagement party. And Bea wasn't invited. So now, she sits alone in class and sneaks off campus at lunch to visit the Wall, a cement relic on the paths outside of school. She has reluctantly decided to join Broadsides, the school paper, and there finds Will, Briggs, and Jaime. All kids she isn't sure she has anything in common with or even wants to get to know. Until she realizes that Will is a nice person to spend lunch time with. And Briggs is willing to do anything for his friends. And Jaime is on the search for an epic song, just like Bea. So when Will needs a friend, Bea decides to step up and help him solve the mystery of the Leland labyrinth.

    This was a heartwarming story about being yourself and surrounding yourself with friends who want you to be you. Strong characters and a good storyline. Highly recommend.

Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.