Book: The Education Of Bet
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Published: July 12, 2010 from Houghton Mifflin
My edition/number of pages: ARC/192
Age group: Young adult
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 Education Of Bet did not live up to my expectations. It was good but I didn’t enjoy it very much. It had more to do with my expectations being too high than the actual book though. It was a cute story and I would still recommend it to historical fiction fans.
Bet wants an education. She has always been just the maid’s daughter and she knows that is all she will ever be but she wants to learn. She knows though that there is no way for a girl to get a proper education. So she decides to be a boy. With the help of her best friend, Will, she becomes him and takes his place at school while he goes off to join the military. It’s exactly what they both wanted but it turns out that everything they expected is not necessarily how it is.
Bet had a lot of ideas about how school should be and they were very wrong. I found her very naive when it came to boys and trying to be one. She acted like it was super easy and nothing to worry about. She was brave, I will give her that though. I just wish she was more realistic. I knew what was coming a lot with her and it took a lot of the fun out of the book. Although there were some parts that just made me laugh. I liked that about the book. Will was more fun than Bet but he wasn’t actually a big part of the book. James was important too but I didn’t like him. I felt like I didn’t know him and I just wondered why he did the things he did sometimes. The characters were okay but I would have loved a little more insight into what went on in their heads.
Overall, The Education Of Bet just didn’t appeal to me. I know other people have enjoyed it but this was not one for me. If it looks like something you would enjoy though, definitely check it out.
First line: “William, I am so disappointed in you!”