Discussion Guide: Zinnia and the Bees

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Book Summary Zinnia and the Bees:

Zinnia and the Bees is a unique story about a girl named Zinnia trying to cope without her older brother and best friend Adam, who has moved away while a hive of bees has decided to find refuge in her hair, and they refuse to leave. Not to mention, a new boy named Birch has decided he wants to be friends and also refuses to leave?

For children ages 8 - 12 years old and who love: Pippa Park Raises Her Game, All's Faire in Middle School, Gordon Korman’s Restart, and The Fourteenth Goldfish.

  • Danielle is concerned about bee colonies dying off. You can visit your local library to learn more about bees and why they are essential to our world. A great book to check out is Bees: A Honeyed History by Piotr Socha.

  • Danielle mentions that one of her inspirations for writing about Zinnia was picturing a girl with bees around her head. Can you develop a story by first imagining an image in your mind or drawing a picture of your character or scene?

  • Birch's character needs a friend, and Zinnia doesn't want any friends but eventually accepts Birch's help and friendship. Can you think of a friend who has helped you and write them a thank you card?

  • Danielle enjoys yarn bombing, which is the art of covering objects or structures in public places with decorative knitted or crocheted material. You do need permission to yarn bomb in public areas, but you can start by covering an object in your room with yarn and pom-poms or suggesting the idea as an art activity to your classroom teacher or art teacher.

—Thank you to author Danielle Davis.

“I think that the point of the story really is that Zinnia really finds a home in herself and learns that she can handle things even when they're not perfect. And Birch helps her feel that way. Because I think, we all at one point or another need a friend who can help us believe that.”

—Danielle Davis

Book cover for Zinnia and the Bees
Zinnia and the Bees
Davis, Danielle