Farms needed people to pollinate crops because there weren't enough bees. Homeless families moved to the country on the promise of food and shelter in exchange for work.
So began a new world where children could win the honour of becoming a 'bee'.
Peony and her sister are 'pests'. It's their job to kill insects that threaten the fruit. Chooks wait below their trees to eat the fallout of their good work. Peony is happy enough, but she's busting to become a 'bee'.
Then everything changes. Peony's mother wants to take her to the city so she can work and earn money. Peony doesn't want to leave the place she loves but more than that, she can't bear to leave Mags and Gramps. She fights with all her might to stay with her family on the farm.
Then Peony is kidnapped.
How to Bee took me to a world that might really be in the near future. There are farms in China right now where people pollinate trees by hand.
Apart from that, though, How to Bee introduced me to a tough girl struggling to survive in a tough world. She showed me how her stubborn, determined, loyal nature can mean anything is possible.
With danger waiting over the wall, a frenemy who could become a friend and bad guys who are too close for comfort, Peony takes us on a fast-moving adventure.
Can she find her way home? You'll have to read How to Bee to find out.
Title: How to Bee
Author: Bren McDibble
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $16.99
Publication Date: 26 April 2017
For ages: 8 – 12
Type: Middle Grade Fiction