Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

December 23rd, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: July 12, 2010

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars

Description from Bet is sixteen, very intelligent, but only knows as much as her limited education will allow. In Victorian England, girls aren’t allowed to go to school.
Will is also 16, and though not related by blood, he and Bet act like brother and sister. In fact, they even look like brother and sister. And though they’re both raised under the same roof, by the same kind uncle, Will has one big advantage over Bet: He’s a boy, and being a boy means he isn’t stuck in the grand house they call home. He gets to go out into the world–to school.
But that’s not what Will wishes. He wants to join the military and learn about real life, not what’s written in books.
So one night, Bet comes up with a plan. She’ll go to school as Will. Will can join the military. And though it seems impossible, they actually manage to pull it off.
But once Bet gets to the school, she begins to realize the education she’s going to get isn’t exactly the one she was expecting.

The story is predictable but still enjoyable as we see the surprise Bet receives when she sees what living with a group of other young men is really like.  It was actually amazing that she got away with her masquerade as long as she did despite the lack of real planning for how to live as a boy.

Bet’s spirit makes her likeable but it would have been nice to see more of the growth of the relationships among Bet, Will and Will’s uncle.   The reader gets hints that there is something more to Bet’s relationship with Will’s uncle rather than being some poor orphan that he took in.  You find out in the end what their real relationship is but more of a build up to the revelation would have been nice.

The book is a short read so I think there could have been more to it without feeling bogged down.  It was also a little disappointing as the story began to focus more on Bet’s romantic interest rather than her adventures in trying to gain an education in an all boy school.  What is there is well written and this is a nice, quick read for those who are fans of Baratz-Logsted.

Posted in Books, Young Adult

3 Responses

  1. blodeuedd

    It does sound interesting, and I would not mind the book going more romantic

  2. Michelle

    I liked this one too but, like you, I fell in the middle. I’m a fan of Logsted’s work in general and thought this one was enjoyable but there was definitely some predictability.

  3. dsuzuki

    I think it’s interesting how most YA books now seem to have to have romance (or maybe just the ones I pick up). I think there are several books that could have done just as well or better without the romance.

    Michelle-I enjoy her books too but not madly in love with them.

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