Study Guide

Beatrice Cranston in Secrets at Sea

By Richard Peck

Beatrice Cranston

Meet sister number three of the Cranston mice. Beatrice is the youngest gal of the bunch, and Louise and Helena won't let her forget it—these older sisters like to tell Beatrice what's what whenever they can. And lots of the time, Beatrice is pretty timid. As Helena says of her little sis: she's "meek to a fault" (4.13). At the start of the book, Beatrice doesn't stand up for herself, and she's afraid of water like nobody's business.

But over time Beatrice finds her voice—and when she does, she finds it big time. Just think about how bold Beatrice gets during the ship's lifeboat drill. She wants to hop on Mrs. Cranston and get in on the action, but Helena doesn't agree. And does Beatrice bow down to her older sis? Nope, not this time. Despite being super afraid of the ocean, Beatrice stands up for her own wishes and hops on Mrs. C's fur cape—plus she gives her sis a piece of her mind: "You don't know everything, Helena" (8.26), she says.

Whoa—now that's some defiance, right? Beatrice isn't just speaking up for herself and conquering her fear of water, though—she's also ready to stay on the ship and marry Nigel, the mouse of her dreams. Looks like this little sister has found her voice, and she's not giving it back.