Book Buzz: The Beatryce Prophecy

Read this book. Soon.

My intention here is to Book Buzz professional literature to give you an idea what it’s about and if it’s worth the read. Today’s Book Buzz is not a professional text, but I cannot stop thinking about it. The universe wants this book to be spoken about.

Last Saturday, I attended the 100th anniversary of TCRWP’s Saturday Reunion, like thousands of you did, too. Kate DiCamillo gave the closing and it is such a shame that her talk was not recorded. I completely understand why Teachers College does not record their sessions for later viewing; part of the magic is the in-the-moment synergy that is created by the presenters and attendees and there’s no way that would exist in a recording. But, Kate DiCamillo’s closing was a master class in storytelling, and I wish I could linger in her words again and again.

She told several personal stories that wove together with her latest book, The Beatryce Prophecy. Before she was even done speaking, I had purchased the book on my Kindle. That night I began a journey with Beatryce that still haunts me though I’ve long finished the book.

If you are looking for another DiCamillo story like Mercy Watson or Because of Winn Dixie, this book is not that. A few years ago, I read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane aloud to my daughter who was probably 8 years old at the time. It was a miraculous and magical experience for us both. Beatryce is on another level than Edward. Where Edward is a tale that spanned a lifetime, Beatryce is a tale that unfolds much more quickly and urgently. Edward is tender and touching; Beatryce is mysterious, murky, dark.

The Beatryce Prophecy feels like a new era for DiCamillo, a new genre which she has mastered on the first go. If you personally love Kate DiCamillo’s work, read this book. You will inhale it. Her storytelling and diction is the finest it’s ever been. Then, think about the young people in your life. Would you recommend it to them?

I paused many times throughout the book to consider whether or not I would recommend it to my now-11-year-old daughter. Beatryce is heavy, full of death. A lot of DiCamillo’s books have sadnesses in them; often a parent is a dead and it’s the story of their child searching for something. This is true for Beatryce, too, but in a new and different way.

At the conclusion of the book, I told my daughter a little about the storyline and asked her if she was interested in reading it. She said she was. Perhaps there will be a Part 2 of this Book Buzz with her reflections.

Beatryce has stayed with me as have words from the book. I’ll leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the book as well as implore you to read The Beatryce Prophecy. Come back and tell me what you think. I can’t wait to find out.

“Because we must act to make our fate come true.”

“What world is this I now inhabit, and how shall I live in it?”

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