‘The Beatryce Prophecy’ takes reader on fun ride

Illustrations enrich storytelling

Fair use from Penguin Random House

Fair use from Penguin Random House

Sophia Curran-Moore

I appreciate reading childrens’ books as a young adult because I gain deep insights into seemingly simple stories. I’ve enjoyed many of Kate DiCamillo’s books, such as “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “The Tale of Despereaux”, due to her original approach to storytelling. I was excited when DiCamillo released a new book, “The Beatryce Prophecy”. My high expectations were met, for the most part.

At the center of the story is Beatryce, a young girl who appears in a monastery and remembers very little about her identity. She embarks on a perilous journey to dethrone the king, and makes many friends along the way. As the story unfolds, the secrets of Beatryce’s past, as well as the prophecy surrounding her, are revealed.

Sophie Blackall’s beautiful illustrations elevate the story. The detailed drawings allowed me to imagine the characters more clearly.

I was impressed by the complexity of the characters. Beatryce is a strong, intelligent girl who has lost her sense of identity and belonging. Her remarkable ability to read and write shows both the power of words and the oppression of women in society. Brother Edik is a gentle and kind monk who struggles to please his father. Cannoc is a wise old man that gave up his power to be free.

However, the king’s character lacked depth. He is portrayed simply as selfish and power-hungry. It would be interesting to learn more about his motivation and his backstory.

DiCamillo is known for including tragedy in her books. The book is fun to read, but I was also shocked by the plethora of trauma the characters endure, such as the murder of Jack’s parents.

Although it was intense, I applaud DiCamillo for incorporating sadness into the book. The characters’ capabilities to overcome their difficult circumstances show their resiliency. It made me feel hopeful that I can also overcome the problems I face.

DiCamillo’s unapologetically accurate depiction of the world normalizes struggle. My sympathy for the characters reminded me that we all face challenges, so we must all help one another.

At times, “The Beatryce Prophecy” was strange. For instance, the goat named Answelica was unusual, to say the least. In terms of weirdness, I would place this book between “Louisiana’s Way Home” and “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”.

Overall, I enjoyed reading “The Beatryce Prophecy”, and I recommend it for a person of any age who wants to be reminded of the power of love, friendship, and hope.

‘The Beatryce Prophecy’: ★★★★☆