Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Pub. Date: July 12th, 2010
Age Level: 13+
Synopsis via Goodreads
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've both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she's a girl, Bet's world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Will's world is much larger. He is allowed, forced, in his case, to go to school. Neither is happy.
So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: They'll switch places. She’ll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. But once Bet gets to school, she soon realizes living as a boy is going to be much more difficult than she imagined.
After reading, and loving, Crazy Beautiful by Baratz-Logsted, I couldn't wait to read another one of her books. The Education of Bet was like a historical fiction version of the movie She's the Man (Amanda Bynes), and I really liked that!
Bet was a strong, and brave protagonist with a great sense of humor. I loved watching her fumble through all of the aspects of pretending to be a boy. Though he wasn't there much, I really liked her relationship with Will. Then there was James, Bet's roommate at school. Oh ho ho...did things get interesting there. That's all I'm sayin' on that. There was an array of secondary characters, none of which were very developed, but at under 200 pages, that's to be expected. Mrs. Smithers was probably my favorite.
Even though this is a historical fiction, it was pretty light and not overly dedicated to historical detail. This is one of those books you grab when you want something quick, relaxing, and fun. Though there are a couple of slightly more serious moments, in general it's humorous and light. There was one 'big plot twist' that was at the end, but unfortunately it was a very obvious one that I'd seen coming since shortly after I had started reading. I wasn't all that bothered by it though. The writing was good but nothing really stood out about it for me.
The ending was tied up into this pretty little package with a bow stuck on top and that worked great for this book.
Characters: Cute and fun variety of characters with a great heroine.
Writing: Nothing spectacular but good.
Plot: Predictable but adorable and quick historical fiction story.
Ending: Tied everything up nicely.
Enjoyment/Likability: A relaxing light read that I really enjoyed.
Recommendable: Yes. Great for MG and YA readers.
Overall: Nothing too heavy in the historical department so good for anyone who likes a quick and fun story. Could have benefited significantly from being longer.
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