Interactive Historical Fiction e-books

Behave Yourself, Bethany Brant Bee by Patricia Beatty 

Behave yourself

Bethany Brant is the daughter of a preacher, but she finds it hard to live up to her fathers high expectations for her, especially with her natural bent for finding trouble.

When Bethany and her younger brother, Abel, are sent to live with relatives after their mother dies in childbirth, the plucky eleven-year-old tries to act like a minister’s child is expected to—she helps around the farmhouse with the endless chores; uncomplainingly tutors her tomboy cousin, Mattywill, in reading; and agrees to be the angel in the Christmas pageant to help raise money for her father’s church, even though she hates the thought of flying across the stage on ropes. But sometimes being truly good just is not possible. Wouldn’t even the best-behaved preacher’s daughter be sorely tried if her resentful cousin put frogs in her bed, or if she found out that the man in charge of raising the church money ended each of his fund-raising campaigns in the nearby saloon?

Set in turn-of-the-century rural Texas, Behave Yourself, Bethany Brant is by turns hilarious and touching, and always entertaining. Bethany is one of Patricia Beatty’s spunkiest and most human heroines, and her story will long be remembered by readers.



Beatty is noted for feisty heroines in carefully researched novels set in frontier America. Here, Bethany, doing her best to conform to her preacher father’s expectations, may seem at first like a new departure; but the way she follows her conscience demands a special, courageous independence, much in Beatty’s usual vein.

When Mama dies in childbirth, Pa takes Bethany and Abel to stay with relatives on a Texas ranch while he becomes a circuit rider. Since tomboy cousin Mattywill prefers outdoor work, Bethany is left to help Aunt Revs with housework and the baby. Uncomplaining but pining for the outdoors, she is repeatedly cast by adults as the good gift and, inevitably, is resented by Mattywill and the other children in school.

But because Bethany is also fundamentally kind, honest, and (when driven to it) outspoken, she eventually wins their respect… Bethany’s story is briskly told and vividly evokes turn-of-the-century Texas.
— Kirkus Reviews