The Beatryce Prophecy

­Candlewick. Sept. 2021. 256p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781536213614.
Gr 3-6–The prophecy speaks of a girl who will unseat a king and change the world. It doesn’t exactly mention a goat, but true prophecy will find a way to be fulfilled...especially if the hard-headed, and hard-butting, Answelica has anything to do with it. Brother Edik, a monk who illuminates manuscripts and pronounces the occasional prophecy (including the one about Beatryce), is startled to find a very sick girl curled up in the straw next to the monastery’s irascible goat. He doesn’t realize that the king is looking to capture this very girl; he takes her in and nurses her back to health. The goat refuses to leave Beatryce’s side as she is eventually forced to leave the monastery and earn her way by writing (in a world where girls are not allowed to read and write), and ultimately by befriending others who help demonstrate that Beatryce is, in fact, the girl foretold to change everything. Hand to fans of Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale (although there are no farting dragons here).
VERDICT DiCamillo’s fantasy has no magic, but is a gentle tale of the power of love and the determination to do the right thing, even when that thing comes at great personal cost. Recommended for tweens in all library settings, both independent and read-alouds.

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