The premise: Mavis Elizabeth Betterly, May B., lives in 1870's Kansas. She has a brother she adores and a loving family too, but she has trouble in school--particularly with reading. When May's family needs some extra money, May is sent fifteen miles away to be a helper on the Oblinger's homestead. In a twist of circumstance, May ends up alone on the homestead. Winter is approaching, supplies are running low, and no one knows she is alone.
What keeps readers reading: Finding out what happens to May, of course! But there's more to it than that. While May is alone, she decides who she is and who she wants to be. It is this journey that compels the reader further and further into this novel told in verse. A girl in pioneer times didn't have many choices about who she should be, but readers of May B. get to witness one girl who does.
What I loved: Caroline Starr Rose's word choices are perfect (PERFECT I tell you), but so is May's fighting spirit. The "I'm going to be better than who people say I am" aspect of this book swept me away.
Travel the links located in my Middle Grade Monday tab for more recommendations.
Happy middle grade reading!