- Age Range: 10 and up
- Lexile Measure: 980L (What's this?)
- Series: Yearling Newbery
- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Yearling (September 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440408652
- ISBN-13: 978-0440408659
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.3 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 103 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,975,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Missing May (Yearling Newbery) Paperback – September 1, 1993
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
This wonderful book revolves around a few delightfully named characters: Summer, Uncle Ob, Aunt May and Cletus Underwood. After being passed among relatives, Summer joins her aunt and uncle and marvels at the couple's deep love for one another. But after Aunt May dies, Summer and Uncle Ob are brought together in their struggles to come to terms with the death. Cletus, a neighbor boy, comes along to help provide an answer. This simple and sweet story, which won the Newbery Medal in 1993, is injected with just the right touches of humor and mysticism.
A marvelous story of loving and caring . . . Rylant keeps all the sweetness and goodness under control. -- English Journal
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
What I disliked: The ending. I didn't get it. It just ended.
We used this as part of our fifth grade book club. We trudged through it about halfway before quitting to find a different book. Five of the six girls were not fans of it. I finished it after club and didn't like it either. Sorry. I think the author put a lot of work into it so I feel bad, but it wasn't our cup of tea.
What I liked: I liked the tender way the author explained our need for each other on a human level. I liked the use of a few of the literary devices.
But if there's one thing Summer knows, it's that everything good will eventually come to an end.
May has just died - keeled over while tending to her beloved garden. Now there's just Ob and Summer left behind, and Summer can already feel her uncle pulling away . . . he doesn't wait with her for the bus anymore, doesn't cook big breakfasts like May used to and he has gotten to sitting around in his pajamas all day long.
In the midst of their grief, Summer's classmate (and resident oddball) Cletus takes to popping round for a visit. Cletus used to collect chip wrappers, now he is obsessed with photos. He and Ob get along like a house on fire; Summer just wishes she wasn't so jealous about seeing Ob light up when Cletus comes round with his suitcase of pictures, like he's helping to ease Ob's grief when Summer can't seem to do anything.
And then Ob gets a visit from May's spirit, and Summer knows what she must do to keep Ob here with the living, where she needs him.
`Missing May' was the 1992 highly-acclaimed middle-grade novel from Cynthia Rylant. The book won the coveted Newbery Medal and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.
I've become a little bit obsessed with reading Newberry and Printz books. These are two of the biggest children's book awards in the US, and lately I have been gorging on winning and honour books recognized by these prestigious organizations. It started with `Vera Dietz', progressed with `Frankie Landau-Banks' and hit a high-point with `The First Part Last'. I especially love perusing past and recent nominee lists because I find they are full of books I would have otherwise never heard of. Take Cynthia Rylant's incredible `Missing May', for example. An old book, first published in 1992, and very short (89 pages). But `Missing May' caught my eye when I perused an old list of Newberry winners, and I am so glad I went hunting for a copy to purchase online. . . because in just 89-pages, Rylant has written a heartbreakingly beautiful book that is exquisite for its honesty and simplicity.
`Missing May' is a book about grief. We meet Summer shortly after her aunt May has died, leaving behind Summer and her old uncle Ob in their trailer on a hill which now feels filled to the brim with grief. As Ob sinks further and further into his grief and loneliness, Summer becomes concerned that she won't be enough to keep Ob on this earth. Summer becomes particularly worried when Ob claims to have received a visit from May's spirit, and becomes hell-bent on tracking down her wayward soul. Helping in the spiritual mission is Summer's classmate Cletus; a strange young boy who touts around a suitcase full of photos, and does not find Ob's obsession with May's spirit the least bit strange.
But while Summer tries to help Ob find May's spirit, and gets to know Cletus better, she seems to be forgetting about her own grief. . .
Rylant's novel is beautiful. I read this on the train, and I got a few odd looks from people when they saw how thin the book was (with clearly a children's front cover). I bet those same commuters found it especially odd when tears welled up in my eyes and I quietly sniffled through the last pages. That's the thing about `Missing May' - it may be only 89-pages, but Rylant has filled her book with such achingly precise observations of grief and missing, that 89 pages is all she needed to move me. I felt the same way about Angela Johnson's (Printz-winning) novel `The First Part Last' - "it takes a true maestro to move a reader to tears with a word-count that some authors spend on first chapters alone."
Summer's story is told with the utmost patience and care by Rylant, who has written a wise young narrator in Summer. She is a young girl who has had more than her fair share of heartache - from losing her mother to feeling rejected by nearly all her relatives . . . all, except Ob and May. Summer's aunt and uncle were the best kind of people - they didn't have much, but what they did have they gave to Summer - all their love, care and attention was heaped on her, until it almost felt like all the pain she had previously gone through was worth it, to end up in that trailer on the hill with May's big hugs and Ob's whirligigs.
Everybody should read Cynthia Rylant's `Missing May' - it doesn't matter if you're young or old, this is a book which beautifully and painfully communicates the ache of missing and the hopelessness of grief. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
It quickly became a family favorite.
My daughter's is inscribed..."From the Easter Bunny" so I decided to buy this one for her 8 year old daughter.
This--along with Rylant's "The Relatives Came" are among my favorite.