From Inside 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 fat 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.
My Rating: 4 stars
Thoughts on the Novel: The Education of Bet is the first of Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s novels that I’ve read, and it was a short but humorous read.
Bet has a very engaging voice, and I loved how determined she was to fulfill her dream of getting an education. It just made me realize how lucky I am to be living in a time period and country where being a girl and having the ability to get an education is sometimes taken for granted. This wasn’t always the case however and still isn’t in many places around the world.
It’s when Bet begins masquerading as a boy though that I enjoyed reading the most because she was so naïve, as any proper girl in 19th century would be. She gets excited about traveling and seeing cows on the road, and her reaction to going to a pub and being approached by women is hilarious! Then, there are all the obstacles that Bet must deal with that she doesn’t take into account when pretending to be a boy such as getting her period and rooming with a boy …
All in all, The Education of Bet was a good introduction to Baratz-Logsted’s writing and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
The Education of Bet was released by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children in July 2010.
Comments About the Cover: It’s attractive; but I wish it related more to a scene in the novel, or at least had the model’s head on it. I’m not a fan of covers where the entire body can be present but the head disappears!