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Zinnia and the Bees
Zinnia and the Bees
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Award Winners Reviewed Titles

Zinnia and the Bees

Talk about having a lousy day. While Zinnia's seventh grade classmates are celebrating the last day of school, she's cooped up in the vice principal's office, serving detention. Her offense? Yarn bombing a statue of the school mascot. And when Zinnia rushes home to commiserate with her older brother, Adam, who also happens to be her best friend, she's devastated to discover that he's left home with no explanation. Just when it looks like Zinnia's day can't possibly get any worse, a colony of frantic honeybees mistakes her hair for a hive and lands on her head! Told from the alternating perspectives of Zinnia  a humorous young loner and knitter and an unintentionally comical hive of honeybees, this quirky, heartfelt novel will strike a chord with anyone who has ever felt alone, betrayed, or misunderstood as it explores the challenges that come with learning to trust yourself and the often messy process of discovering the true meaning to home.

PublisherCapstone Young Readers
Age Level9-12 Years
Reading LevelGrades 4-7
Trim Size5 1/4 x 7 1/2
Page Count240
Paper Over Board



School Library Journal - Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA

"Despite the outlandish premise, Davis does an excellent job crafting human characters who are varied in their emotions and grow in awareness. The solution to Zinnia’s problems is believable and clever yet still leaves room for change. A good fit for a larger collection looking for unusual books on friendship and growing up." - School Library Journal

June 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews

"Davis' debut demands that readers check their disbelief at the door. . . .But she manages to keep it together, embedding readers in Zinnia's believable, often funny perspective with occasional cutaways to the bees, who narrate their side of the misadventure in a wry collective voice that combines snippets of bee biology with fancy (they break dance to "combat despair"). Bee cognoscenti will scoff at the sheer ridiculousness of the premise, but its extreme silliness works its own magic to mitigate this. . . .decidedly offbeat and emotionally true." - Kirkus Reviews

June 15, 2017


Publishers Weekly, "Buzzworthy Books About Bees" - Natasha Gilmore

"This middle grade novel dabbles in magical realism, as a girl’s troubles are made worse when a honeybee hive makes a home in her hair." - Publishers Weekly, "Buzzworthy Books About Bees"

May 31, 2016

Booklist - J.B. Petty

"Adding a dollop of magic realism, Davis alternates between Zinnia’s story and the bees’ predicament, both atop their disappointingly pollen-free host and as a species struggling in the world at large. Readers will empathize with Zinnia as she wonders about her missing brother, deals with her mother, and renews fractured friendships. As they follow the bees’ activities, they’ll learn apian facts and gain insight into what is happening to bees in the U.S. This fascinating and unusual look at family, friendships, and insects is a good match for Robin Stevenson’s The Summer We Saved the Bees (2015)." - Booklist

June 1, 2016


Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - KQG

"Bee-infested hair makes a strange premise, but it works reasonably well, with chapters narrated by Bee providing absurd humor but also speaking to Zinnia’s feelings of confusion and powerlessness, feelings that she can’t always articulate in her own narration. Her frustration comes through loud and clear, though, until she realizes that it might be her own anger and selfishness that is driving people away. . . .it’s pleasing there’s a happy ending for Zinnia, and it’s an added bonus that the bees relocate to a more fruitful home." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

July 1, 2017


Book Riot

Children's Book Gift Giving Guide: Middle Grade

December 1, 2017

Powell's Books

Best Kids' Books of 2017

December 1, 2017

Southern California Independent Booksellers

2018 SCIBA Book Award Finalist

July 1, 2018

Danielle Davis

Danielle Davis

Danielle Davis grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong and now lives in Los Angeles where she reads, writes, and roller skates. She's earned an M.A. in Literature and Creative Writing and her short stories have been published in literary magazines. She's had the privilege of teaching English to middle school and community college students and currently volunteers with literary orgainzations in L.A. Zinnia and the Bees is her first novel.

Go to the Author’s Page →