Skip to main content

Tween Tuesday: May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and add your link below.


Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Historical

Release Date: 1/10/2012

Add to Goodreads


About the Book: May has been sent to a neighbor's homestead to help out. It's only for a few months and it's a way her family can earn some extra money. Plus, it's not like she's doing much in school anyway-she's having trouble reading, so why does she need school? The neighbor's new bride isn't liking life on the Kansas prairie and she needs help cooking and cleaning. But when a tragedy leaves May alone as winter approaches, May must rely on her wits to survive.


GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: May B is a book that appeals to my tween self. If I had read this as a tween, I would have devoured and loved. I was obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder and living on the frontier (of course it was much more glamorous in my mind!) so this book was right up my ally.


May's story is told in verse which packs a powerful punch to May's journey. It works well because for most of the novel, May is alone, trapped in a snowstorm and trying to survive. I tend to not like books with little dialogue and with May on her own for most of the story, there's not a lot of dialogue happening in this book. But the verse format worked well for the story. It shows the seriousness of May's situation-she is alone and trying her best to survive.
I felt May's emotions and related to her more with the verse poetry. Each poem was like a glimpse into her thoughts instead of reading one long passage of her internal narration. I'm probably not describing it very well, but it worked wonderfully to help tell this story!

There's also a storyline that deals with May's dyslexia. May dreams of growing up and becoming a teacher, but she can't read. She's always had trouble in school and she had one teacher who has encouraged her dreams and one who has not. May has a difficult time trying to figure out who to believe and if she should hang onto her dreams of teaching. The nice thing is that her struggle with dyslexia isn't laid out all at once and told to us. We're shown slowly throughout the novel that May is struggling in school. This works well because we come to discover May's dyslexia by it being shown to us instead of being told.

The frontier aspect of the story will have lots of appeal to fans of historical fiction. May describes the household, the landscape and her struggle to survive in beautiful historical detail. Seriously, my frontier loving tween self would have loved this. I would have finished this book and immediately started planning what I would do if I were trapped in the snow! I would hand this book over to readers of Little House on the Prairie who I'm sure would love it. 

Book Pairings: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Unsigned Valentine by Johanna Hurwitz, Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from galley copy recieved via Netgalley

Comments

  1. I can't wait to read this! Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've seen this one around, but for some reason didn't know it was a frontier book. Now I really want to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Juju - can't wait to read this one! I'm excited for the similarities with the Wilder books - I did love historical children's lit as a kid. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great review! Makes me more interested in picking it up now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ok, there are some obvious differences, but whenever I see a review of May B it makes me think of Revolver! And the title makes me think of So B. It! I need to just read it so it can remind me only of itself... especially since you enjoyed it so much!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This was only my second book in verse to read. I loved it. So excited for Caroline. She did such a great job in telling May's story.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Absolutely adorable and amazing book! Loved May soooo much.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aww, I really liked this one, too! I love that she includes May's dyslexia and that May was determined to work hard no matter what. And I agree, I would have eaten this up when I went through my Little House phase. ;)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I love hearing from other readers! Share your thoughts and chime in!

Popular posts from this blog

Bedtime Books for the Weary

Today I'm over at the ALSC Blog talking about some of my new favorite bedtime-themed books!

Suite Scarlett Giveaway!!!

How would you like to win a paperback copy of Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson ? I have FIVE copies up for grabs!! When Scarlett Martin turns fifteen she is put in charge of the Empire Suite, one of the rooms in her family’s hotel. Enter Mrs. Amberson, an aging C-list starlet who decides to employ Scarlett. Soon, she is taking dictation, running around New York City, and getting caught up in Mrs. Amberson’s crazy adventures. In the midst of it all, Scarlett falls in love–or so she thinks–and it takes Mrs. Amberson to help her see the light. Now in paperback from top-selling author Maureen Johnson! Here's the deal: -Contest ends July 20, 2009 -For U.S. Addresses only, sorry! -Comment on this post to enter. -Come back and comment again on this post for another entry-you may enter as many times as you want!! -Blog/Twitter/Facebook/E-mail this contest to others for +1 extra entries -Link me to your review of Suite Scarlett (or any other Maureen Johnson book) in the comments for +2

Dear Books: Please Update Your Libraries

There is nothing worse than coming across a book you are really enjoying only to be pulled out of it because of some outdated and incorrect library reference. I know that authors and illustrators will not always get everything 100% accurate, but I when I read books that show a very dated stereotype, or something that is just so incorrect, I always wonder why. I feel like authors and illustrators should know better! And it's not just older books-it happens in new books too! I recently read A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Anna Raff.  I absolutely loved this book! It's a creative look at libraries through the eyes of a library card. It's perfect for my outreach visits and storytimes about the library and promoting what value there is in a library card. Anna Raff gets major points for illustrating a very cool and hip librarian as well! But the librarian tells card to shush and is a bit annoyed when he shows up. And then l