Saturday, December 10, 2011

Darius Bell and the Crystal Bees by Odo Hirsch

Mrs Simpson was making walnut cakes … Darius counted ten cooling on the kitchen bench and suspected there were more in the oven. Mrs Simpson was icing one of them. She slapped the thick white cream on with a spatula and then rapidly spread and smoothed it with the skill that came from having iced thousands of cakes over the years…. ‘I don’t suppose any of you would like a piece,’ she said. Darius smiled. He didn’t suppose any of them needed to answer. Mrs Simpson cut three large pieces from the cake.”

When you pick up a book by Odo Hirsch you can be sure of several things. There will be delicious cakes, you will be in the hands of a master storyteller and at its heart any book by Odo Hirsch will ultimately be a celebration of community. Darius Bell and the Crystal Bees fulfills all these promises.

Darius Bell and the Crystal Bees is the sequel to Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool but it can stand alone. In this installment the bees have all mysteriously died throughout the district and this will have disastrous consequences for fruit and vegetable production for the coming year especially on the Bell estate. Mr Fisher, the gardener, has an enviable reputation as a master grower but with no bees his crops will not be pollinated and so the fruits will not form. His family will have to find work elsewhere. The Deavers, who are the estate bee keepers, can offer no solution so Darius attends a meeting of apiarists at the town hall. They suggest bringing in bee hives from other areas and it seems all will be well but the mayor George Podcock sabotages this plan. He loathes the Bell family. What can Darius do to save the crops and stop his friends Mr Fisher and his daughter Marguerite from leaving?

The answer comes unexpectedly from several sources involving his classmates, his mother and brother, his ambitious and hideous school principal, Mrs Lightman and his dedicated science teacher, Mr Beale.

I read this book in one sitting. Just like those cakes, I cannot help but devour books by Odo Hirsch. Look for this one in your library today and be prepared to cheer as our hero wins the day once again!

Read more about Odo Hirsch here.

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