cover image Honey


Sarah Weeks. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-545-46557-1

In spite of never having known her mother, 10-year-old Melody Bishop leads a pleasant small-town life in Royal, Ind., playing word games with her good-natured father (a humanities teacher) and hanging around with her best friend, Nick Woo. When Melody begins to suspect her father has fallen in love, she determines to find out who it is. Interwoven with Melody's story are two others: that of Bee-Bee Churchill, the owner of the town's new beauty salon, the Bee Hive, and Bee-Bee's 10-year-old French bulldog, Mo, who has his own significant backstory; the three threads eventually intersect in predictable but pleasing ways. Minor intrigue and misunderstandings drive the slender plot, but Weeks (Pie) succeeds in creating an emotionally credible and moving resolution, as well as a small cast of realistic and engaging characters to flesh out the town of Royal. Readers who like words will enjoy the list of 100 nail-polish names Melody creates for the Bee Hive, which concludes this straightforward, affecting read. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Jan.)