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Furious that Ma and Pa have sent her out to work for the money they need, May Betts, 11, finds herself in a small, sod homestead on the western Kansas prairie in the late 1870s, 15 miles away from home, caring for a new, unsettled young bride, who is just a few years older than May. When the bride takes off, her husband leaves to find her, and May is all alone—frightened, furious, abandoned. Can she survive the five months until her parents come to collect her at Christmas? Told in very short lines, the spare free verse in spacious type is a fast read, poetic and immediate. The daily physical details are the heart of the survival story of finding food and keeping warm and safe as the snow comes, all against the dramatic backdrop of the prairie. The vast landscape is home to May, but to the new bride, the quiet is “thunderous as a storm, the way / it hounds you / inside / outside / nighttime / day.” Of course, Little House fans will grab this. Grades 3-7. --Hazel Rochman
Heroes come in all sizes; my newest hero is a pint-sized girl named May B. Caroline Starr Rose tells May's story in simple, moving verse that captures the joy of family, the gloomy isolation of a dirt soddy, and the determination of one scared but indomitable young person. May B. is a girl you'll be proud to know.
- Karen Cushman, Newbery winner
I had never read a YA novel that was completely writen in poetry before, but I *loved* reading this one. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Mast
This book is well crafted. The writing is crisp and original, and the main character is a model of strength and independence. A great book for young girls. And boys.Published 1 month ago by Burleigh Muten
Mavis Betterly (May) is a 12-year old girl living in 1870's Kansas. In order to contribute financially she is sent out to work at the home of a new settler and his wife. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Julie
Great novel to read along with our children or share in a classroomPublished 2 months ago by Sheila Good
I LOVE this book! The beginning kind of confused me but then I completely understood.Published 3 months ago by Georgia Calley
I am only half way through and cannot wait to read the rest. I am reading it with my 7 YO son who is also loving it. It is so beautiful to read aloud. Read morePublished 4 months ago by L. Zucker
Without giving too much away, I love May. She had a hard life, made almost impossible by circumstances way beyond her control. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lisa Emma Kilgariff