A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Entertainment, Opinion

New to the library: A review of Beeline

I’m back! Last month, I dove into the world of literature that is graphic novels. This month, I have discovered Beeline by Shalini Shankar whilst browsing the ‘New to the Library’ bookshelf. Mrs. Hoffman has really been doing a great job putting new books out more frequently this year.  I usually stick to the same four young adult reads, so I was excited to give the non-fiction genre a try.

Beeline is a collection of stories from real life spelling bee participants and winners. Shankar dives deep into the world of competitive spellers and offers a fresh perspective on the rise of Generation Z. She starts off by showing all of the work and dedication that goes into being good enough at spelling to make it to the National Spelling Bee. 

As the book progresses, Shankar tells of her experience studying these kids and watching them grow and develop as human beings. She also answers thought provoking questions, such as: Which parenting styles are best suited for childhood now and how is American society responding to these dramatic changes in childhood?

If I’m being honest, I picked this book up because I thought the spine looked cool. I did not expect the bomb of knowledge that I was about to absorb in only 287 pages. My favorite part of this book was how Shankar documented six years of these children’s lives, both in the public eye through the spelling bees, and privately through their families and study habits. 

Before I give my overall rating, I must stress the importance of reading the introduction. READ THE INTRODUCTION! Shankar gives so much background about what she is going to be covering and breaks down the basis of each chapter. 

If you are looking to find a thought provoking book that addresses many topics relevant today in a unique way, I would recommend this book to you. I loved reading Beeline, and will be looking out for Shalini Shankar’s name to pop up on a different cover. If you are someone who does not enjoy nonfiction, however, I would suggest that you keep looking. There are billions of books out there, I’m sure you’ll find one!

Rating: 4.4/5 stars

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