Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Education of Bet

Title: The Education of Bet

Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Copyright Date: 2010

Print Date: July 2010

ISBN:  9780547223087

Pages: 186 

Book Description (from dust jacket):

When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they appear content with the life fate has bestowed upon them.

But appearances can be deceiving. Bet can experience only what society allows for a girl. Will is afforded much more freedom, but still only as society dictates. Neither is happy.

So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: She'll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses.

But when she arrives at school, the reality doesn't match what Bet imagined. Boys act very differently when they don't think there's a girl in their midst. In fact, they can be rather brutish. But brutish Bet can deal with. It's the stirrings of attraction for her roommate that get Bet into real trouble.

This is not the education Bet expected.

I've wanted to read this since I read Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted.  First, I had to wait for it to actually be published.  And then other things came up.  Yet another incidence of me waiting too long to long to read a good book.  But all's well.  Because I picked up a copy on hold for me at the local library this morning, and now I've read it.

It was as good as I hoped.  I thought Bet was a great character.  She's strong and has integrity.  While she can be naive about some things, she's also intelligent.  And her letters to Will among other parts had me chuckling (I hate that word, but it's the best description).  Her best friend at school was a great character as well.  It was fun to see her come across the unexpected difficulties of hiding who she really was.  And underneath it all was the reminder that females haven't always had the opportunities of education ... leaving me thankful for what I've had despite my troubles.

I'm glad I finally read The Education of Bet.

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