May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
I’ve known it since last night:
It’s been too long to expect them to return.
May is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose’s fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.
What an interesting story! I have to say that I was not a fan of reading in verse. I freely admit that I usually do not get it. Is there a special way I should be reading them? I was a little ways from the beginning when I decided to put it aside for another book. After I was done with the other book, I came back to this one and I am sooo glad I did! I even feel bad that I put it hold for even a little bit. I couldn’t even remember why I had a problem with reading in verse in the first place. Really, it’s a great way to introduce people to this style of writing – mainly because!
I loved May. She was likable and faced her problems head on. She struggles with a learning disability, (though it isn’t crucial to the story) but even so she still continues to try to read. I wanted to hug her and tell her I believed in her!
I did think she was a little mature for a twelve year old. I had to keep reminding myself that she wasn’t at least 15. I get that it’s historical and not of this day and age, so 12 is very likely pretty accurate for her age and behavior.
It was easy to imagine the dwelling surrounded by nothing but fields of the nothing and bleakness. You get a real sense of just how alone May is. Her “relationship” with her host family was well put together and very believable.
It’s a short read so I’d recommend it to historical fiction fans, as well as those looking to get their feet wet in the genre. Or, even those looking for a young and brave girl character. It’s also good for the younger kids.
May B. is an excellent choice for showing kids a main character who keeps trying no matter that all the cards are stacked against her. Girl power! (The book doesn’t have anything to do with girl power, I just like to randomly throw that out at times.)
P.S. I LOVE the cover! It reminds me of Laurie Halse Andersons’ covers.