Bumbling Bea

What's a Girl to Do?

Children - Preteen
154 Pages
Reviewed on 05/06/2016
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Author Biography

Deborah Baldwin is an award winning drama teacher, professional actress and youth theatre administrator. She graduated from Stephens with a BFA in theatre performance and a MED from Lesley College certified to teach drama, speech and English/language arts in Colorado and Missouri. Deborah has created seven youth theatre programs and serves as a consultant to several theatre companies in the mid-west. Many years ago she co-developed a national playwriting contest for youth theatre plays which is still in existence today. Deborah has directed over 200 full length productions, plays and musicals alike and has inspired many of her students to become professional actors, dancers, directors, playwrights and teachers. She and her husband, an instrumental music teacher, reside in their dream home in Colorado.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite

Bumbling Bea is a story that will echo the experiences of many youngsters. Beatrice regrets that her parents live apart and she often blames her father. However, Beatrice attributes disasters, resulting mostly from activities aimed at being popular at school, to Bumbling Bea, her alter ego. Bumbling Bea ignores Beatrice’s own opinion that she has no talent for acting and goes ahead to audition for the leading role in the annual play. She reckons without Michiko, a Japanese girl new to the school, but Bumbling Bea conceives a diabolical plan to defeat the stranger. When Beatrice’s alter ego takes over, any skulduggery goes.

Bumbling Bea by Deborah Baldwin cannot fail to become a favourite with pre-teen readers, and very likely teenagers too, because the mixture of pathos and humour is so realistic. Ms Baldwin establishes Beatrice’s character before the subject of playing Pocahontas arises. When it does, Beatrice finds that the play is a modern rewrite of the one she had used to rehearse, immersing herself in the part of Pocahontas. How can she do a good audition? Alter ego Bumbling Bea’s muddles and misguided remarks already had me laughing aloud; I couldn’t wait to find out how far she would go to stop her new Japanese classmate, Michiko, from stealing the limelight. There is a subtle message behind the fun and the brilliant descriptions of amateurs staging a performance of a well-known musical film. Bumbling Bea is a story about friendship, and why it matters more than popularity "bought" by attempting to be the best at everything.