This is a wonderful middle-grade environmental fiction novel that I know I would have enjoyed reading just as much in middle school as I did now. With a focus on colony collapse disorder within honeybee hives, Bees on the Roof brings a current and relevant issue to middle grade readers. With the seventh-grade science project that the team completes, kids are encouraged that they can be influential helpful within the scientific community. There was a lot of great factual information on bees in general, the problems they are facing, Colony Collapse Disorder and how to set up and maintain a hive. I enjoyed that common issues were brought up including cost, stings and potential hive failure. Each of the characters- Sam, Matt, Ella and Tristan are relatable and is going through their own personal issues; the team must overcome a budding romance, cheating, family issues and medical issues while working on their project. It was great to see each character have a different scientific interest as well whether it is engineering, computer science, math or biology and how they made all their specialties work together. My only complaints were that the romance was a little heavy for an environmental fiction book taking place in seventh grade, it didn’t interfere too much, but if I was a seventh-grader reading this I may have felt a little behind the curve; also, I didn’t like the way the cheating scandal was handled, although it worked out fine in the end.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.