The Beatryce Prophecy

The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Well, when I hear that Kate DiCamillo has written a new book, I'm interested. She has been writing amazing books for a long time. Maybe her most famous is Because of Winn-Dixie? The first book of hers that I read was The Tale of Despereaux, for which she won a Newbery Medal. 

The Beatryce Prophecy is her newest book, and it was illustrated by Sophie Blackall, who recently won two Caldecott Medals. 

The Beatryce Prophecy is beautifully written and illustrated. Much like the other novels by DiCamillo that I have read, there's quite a bit of danger and suspense! However, I wouldn't call the book fast-paced. Like its protagonists, who walk through the woods, this story takes its time. Each one of our favorite characters has a tragic backstory. 

In the medieval countryside we meet Answelica, an ill-tempered goat, and Beatryce, a girl who can't remember much but can read, which is forbidden. We meet Brother Edik, a monk who doesn't quite fit in at the monastery, and Jack Dory who lost his parents to highwaymen. As their stories begin to intertwine and weave around one another's, they become happier. 

This is a realistic fiction book marketed to 8-12 year olds -- what is called a middle grade book. It seems to me that with its meaty plot and foreshadowing, combined with the simple writing style (which doesn't skimp on big vocabulary) and beautiful illustrations, it has a lot of the qualities that are loved by kids who love graphic novels. My kids read and enjoyed it, as did I. I received an advance reading copy of the book.

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