The Bean King's Daughter by Jennifer J. Stewart, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Bean King's Daughter

The Bean King's Daughter

5.0 1
by Jennifer J. Stewart
     
 
Phoebe Marchant is not your average poor little orphan. In fact, heiress to the Bean King’s fortune, she may be the richest twelve-year-old in America. But life isn’t always easy for Phoebe. Along with Poppy’s estate, she’s also inherited a big problem—Vicki-with-two-i’s—last and luckiest of her stepmothers. Luckily,

Overview

Phoebe Marchant is not your average poor little orphan. In fact, heiress to the Bean King’s fortune, she may be the richest twelve-year-old in America. But life isn’t always easy for Phoebe. Along with Poppy’s estate, she’s also inherited a big problem—Vicki-with-two-i’s—last and luckiest of her stepmothers. Luckily, Phoebe is a professional at ousting stepmothers with things such as spiders. She’s also used to getting her way. But Vicki seems to know her own fair share of tricks and has a different idea about what it should mean to be the Bean King’s Daughter. Do this wicked stepmother and her conniving orphan charge have more to learn from each other than they realize?

Editorial Reviews

Library Talk
Phoebe's journey is much more than a change of scenery-it's a change of heart. Recommended.
September/October, 2002
Booklist
Phoebe's first-person narrative carries the farce of the Cinderella-in-reverse scenario.
September 1, 2002
Arizona Daily Star
Phoebe is good at getting rid of wicked stepmothers.
November 3, 2002
Publishers Weekly
At 12, Phoebe Marchant finds herself an orphan a very wealthy orphan. Her octogenarian father's will stipulates that Phoebe live with Vicki, "last and luckiest in [a] long string of stepmothers," who will receive $10 million for her efforts. The ensuing tension among the spoiled but mostly likable child, her devoted butler and her apparently gold-digging stepmother propels the initially compelling story line. To escape the Chicago paparazzi, the trio hides out at Vicki's childhood home in Arizona, where Vicki's nobler motivations emerge and Phoebe learns some hard lessons about herself. Stewart (If That Breathes Fire, We're Toast!) touches upon the dark side of wealth and the falsity of first impressions with humor and geniality. But halfway through, her plot loses steam, the characters' motivations become fuzzy and the writing turns slipshod. Readers who plug away at this increasingly farfetched tale will find only a maudlin ending. Ages 8-12. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Phoebe, the twelve-year-old heiress to the Bean King's fortune, loves to wallow in the romanticized tragedies of literary orphans to mask her own fears and grief, but real life intrudes when the latest in the line of stepmothers shows up shortly after the death of Phoebe's aged and remote, yet beloved, Poppy, the man who parleyed a hill of beans into a king's treasure. Phoebe is understandably upset when Poppy's lawyer tells her that Vicki, the young blonde stepmother and one other anonymous person are to be the trustees of her father's will and Phoebe is to live with Vicki. Phoebe depends upon the butler, Henry, and would like to retain him as her caretaker, but first she must plot to rid herself of the "evil stepmother." Vicki takes Phoebe to a ranch where the young heiress has to learn how to adjust to a completely different style of living and she also learns that you can't judge people too hastily. Young readers will enjoy Phoebe's antics and her unusual turn of mind. 2002, Holiday House,
— Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 Readers ready for a dose of escapism are the audience for this lightweight piece. Phoebe, an incredibly wealthy orphan who has been raised in a mansion by a butler, sets out to rid herself of a new stepmother but ends up appreciating the newfound relationship. The bulk of the story is set on a dusty Arizona ranch, a location chosen to elude the ever-present photographers staking out the family's luxurious Chicago home. The fun premise and engaging opening chapter lose steam when followed by characterization that includes an unrelentingly stereotypical butler and Phoebe, who at 12 years old jumps up and down when happy. The lessons she learns about the natural outcome of poor behavior are overshadowed by the extremely bratty nature of the incidents themselves, events readers might find off-putting. The resolution also comes much too quickly, with the butler doing a complete turnaround in his assessment of the stepmother in less than 20 pages. All in all, an interesting idea with humorous moments but flawed execution; it's fluff where budgets allow. -Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Phoebe is 12 when her octogenarian father dies, leaving her with the latest in a long string of stepmothers and Henry, the butler who has cared for her since she was a baby. Poppy was the Bean King, unimaginably wealthy, and she hadn't even met his last wife, Vicki who is very blonde and very brash. Phoebe is convinced Vicki's only after the money she'll get if she sticks it out with Phoebe for six months. But when Phoebe, Vicki, and Henry slip away to the ranch in Arizona where Vicki grew up, Phoebe learns about life outside of Chicago, and that Vicki wants money for some very interesting reasons. This brief, lighter-than-air tale is both amusing and engaging: there is way more to Vicki than meets the eye; Phoebe genuinely loved and misses her father; and the pleasures of being rich are not denied, but displayed right along with the less savory aspects. The thirtysomething Henry is a lovely character: made of equal parts Batman's Alfred, Lord Peter's Bunter, and Hugh Grant. He genuinely loves Phoebe, and is looking out for her interests in all the right ways. Fluffy and fun, with just the right touch of message. (Fiction. 8-12)
Kirkus - Kirkus Reviews
Phoebe is 12 when her octogenarian father dies, leaving her with the latest in a long string of stepmothers and Henry, the butler who has cared for her since she was a baby...The thirtysomething Henry is a lovely character: made of equal parts Batman’s Alfred, Lord Peter’s Bunter, and Hugh Grant. He genuinely loves Phoebe, and is looking out for her interests in all the right ways. Fluffy and fun, with just the right touch of message. (Fiction. 8-12)
Booklist - Booklist Reviews
Gr. 5-7. With the death of her 81-year-old billionaire father, Phoebe may be the richest 12-year-old in the world. The press won't leave her alone, so she and Vicki, her latest, greedy, young stepmother, hide out in Vicki's Arizona hometown until the hullabaloo dies down...The personal story behind the screaming headlines will intrigue readers (What's it like for the kid in those tabloid families?), and the revelations are handled with a light touch.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823416448
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/2002
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Award winning author Jennifer J. Stewart writes seriously funny books for children. She enjoys speaking in schools and volunteers with MAKE WAY FOR BOOKS, a non-profit organization giving young children the chance to fall in love with books and reading. www.jenniferjstewart.com

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The Bean King's Daughter 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very funny book about the family you make, as opposed to the one you were born with. Twelve year old Phoebe inherits a huge pile of money and a young stepmother she's never met. Definitely worth the read!