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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Can you imagine a life without fresh strawberries? Or even a life without honey? I can’t. The mere thought is very disturbing. But, then again, so is the thought of life without honeybees. If we lose our pollinators, and honeybees are very significant pollinators, then we will also lose a lot of the foods we love and take for granted.
Melissa lives in 2036. Her parents are academics. Divorced, her mother is far away working on archaeological digs in ancient Crete. Her father is an entomologist who specializes in honeybees. He searches for the last remaining hives and tries to rescue them, to help the dying honeybee population to rejuvenate itself. Melissa helps her father on his last honeybee rescue; she also helps him by making tiny origami bees in the hopes that her creations will assist in the re-population of honeybees. An epileptic child, Melissa suddenly experiences jumps back in time to the very archaeological site where her mother is excavating. The origami bees follow her and the events that follow in both time frames are astounding.
Mobi Warren’s The Bee Maker is astoundingly brilliant. In an era where we continue to take our planet for granted and we choose to avoid the warning signs of over-pesticide use and its effects on our much-needed pollinators, it takes a story such as this to make us take notice and put plans into action before it really is too late. Melissa’s story is less than fifty years in the future. It could very well be our story as well. The plot is well developed, in both time frames, and the jump between times is cleverly articulated. The characters are realistic and well developed. This is a powerful story with a very profound message: save the honeybees!