May B.

May B.

by Caroline Starr Rose


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I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return.
Something's happened.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582463933
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 01/10/2012
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.59(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.85(d)
Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

CAROLINE STARR ROSE spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. As a girl she danced ballet, raced through books by Laura Ingalls, and put on magic shows in a homemade cape. She graduated from the University of New Mexico and went on to teach both social studies and English in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. In her classroom, she worked to instill in her students a passion for books, the freedom to experiment with words, and a curiosity about the past. Visit her at

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May B 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and was expecting an interesting novel. Instead of becoming one with the story, I yawned and silently booed. The ending was predictable and not fulfilling
VeraciousRose More than 1 year ago
Mavis Elizabeth Betterly (May B. for short) lives on the Kansas prairie where there are not enough trees to provide wood to build a house, so chunks of sod is cut from the ground and piled up like bricks to make walls. After her family hires her out to help a young couple until Christmas, May B. finds herself stranded alone in their remote soddy with nothing but her own strength and determination to get home somehow. Caroline Starr Rose is a master at making every word count – I could smell the mud dripping from the ceiling when it rained, hear the wolves scrabbling at the ice, felt my stomach grumbled when that last apple was gone. In today’s busy, cluttered world, it’s hard for children to imagine what our pioneering ancestors went through, but Caroline Starr Rose captures the harsh reality of life on the prairie and the courage needed to survive. May B. would be an important addition to any middle grade class curriculum, and as its starred Kirkus review already suggests, it belongs in every school and public library
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has made history even better. I skyped the author and she told me all about her inspiration for all of it. She thinks it is great to write a book,but you need to have a year to write and publish it.
Kimmiepoppins More than 1 year ago
May B is the perfect mix of Laurie Halse Anderson's historical fiction, Ellen Hopkins' seamless and moving poetry and the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I instantly connected with the character of May, but I fell in love with the book when I realized that May was dyslexic. As a mom of a child with dyslexia, I have to say that Caroline Starr Rose got it right. This book, in conjunction with Rose's additional information available for teachers, should easily make this book a fixture on teacher's lesson plans and on classroom book shelves. May B is a quiet book that is an exciting read--an amazing combination. Don't miss this one
JoanneLevy More than 1 year ago
Like Ellen Hopkins's or Lisa Schroeder's books in verse, each word in MAY B. is obviously carefully chosen and placed in such a way that not one is wasted and each means so much. Although this is a fast read, it's still a substantial one, full of tension and moving scenes, and I felt like my heart had been both pulled through the wringer and filled with joy in the afternoon it took me to read. MAY B. is about a very determined girl whose heartbreaking story is one of survival, self-discovery and great fortitude. May is faced with the almost impossible task of keeping herself alive when abandoned in a sod house on the harsh prairie. May lives in a simpler, yet often harsher era in history, but her pluck and determination are timeless, and I think anyone will find much to love in this beautiful book.
BornBookish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely debut novel told in free verse by Catherine Starr Rose and hopefully just the beginning of what is to come.The story is about a young girl named May who is shipped off to a neighbor¿s house to take care of the homestead and earn her family some extra money. After some unexpected events, May is left all alone in the house fighting to survive on her own.We learn at the beginning about May¿s dreams to become a schoolteacher, we also learn about the difficulties she has in reading. This struggle is something that haunts May and makes her feel like less than she is. While she is left alone for months on end, May spends a lot of that time dwelling on the past, on her mean old teacher who humiliated her in front of her classmates and told her she wasn¿t smart enough, and the taunting voices of her schoolmates making fun of her after she messed up her reading. You can see how much these things have hurt and discouraged her. Until one day she decides to leave the past in the past.This is not only a journey of survival but also a journey of self-discovery as May learns the very important lesson that other people don¿t define her. The only one that can define her is she herself. A beautiful story of a young girl who finds herself, her voice, and her dreams in the most unlikely of circumstances. A definite must read of 2012!
elissajanine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quick read that reminds me of the Little House books! I'll buy a copy for my younger sister, who lives on a farm in Kansas.
WilowRaven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My thoughts:To say that May is courageous would be an understatement. As a young girl living on the frontier in 1870 her life is sure to be a hard one. After having to leave school because of her dyslexia, which is unknown of in the 18th century, her family heirs her out to her neighbor and his new wife. And then things really take a turn for the worst.Written in prose, May B. tells the story of an amazing young woman struggling to survive. Her family is a loving one but after she is forced to leave school, they really have no other choice but to send her away. Her neighbors aren't mean people but May never was and never becomes a priority in their lives. The events that unfold are strange and scary and if I were in May's shoes, I'm not sure I would have survived. Final verdict:I was left with a strong respect for young May and the hardships she faced and I absolutely loved the prose style writing - it just made it that much more enjoyable. I really think May B. would do well in the hands of young reluctant or non-readers. The easy flow of the words, the engaging story, the memorable characters all in all I think would appeal to younger readers.May B. is a book I hope to share with my little one as soon as she's old enough. It's the type of book I would have read in middle school and one that I'm sure I would still remember vividly to this day. Caroline Starr Rose's debut made huge impression with me and I know I'll be reading more of her books in the future.
ChristianR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written in prose, this is a story of May B., a young girl living in a Kansas prairie homestead. Because she struggles in school with reading, her parents decide to pull her out of school and hire her out to a newlywed couple several miles away. There, the young wife is so miserable about having left her home in Ohio that she sneaks away one day to go back home. Her husband takes off after her, leaving May B. alone in the tiny soddy (the home made of dirt), and he never makes it back. May B. has to fend for herself, terrified of the wolves and other wild animals and with few provisions. It's an absorbing and quick read. There is a secondary story about May's reading difficulties (she has dyslexia) that is intended to show how children in those times who had troubles in school might have been treated.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
May didn't want to go, but her family had no choice but to send her away to keep house for a new young couple on the prairie. They needed the money and it was one less mouth to feed. Why not, after all, when they know May has no chance of getting her teaching certificate since she can't learn to read no matter how hard she tries? But May is determined. She studies her reader every chance she gets. And when her employers the Oblingers disappear into the Kansas prairie one day, May does what she has to do to survive until her father comes for her. This novel in verse is rather quiet, but I was drawn in immediately by May's perseverance. Nothing comes easy to her, but she's willing to work hard and she refuses to stop dreaming of the future. The details of homestead life will appeal to fans of the Little House on the Prairie books. The sparse verse format reflects the sparseness of the prairie in winter and keeps the pages turning quickly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didnot rread but want to
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most book is so amazing that's why I put three statlrs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If abraham lincoln came back to life the first thing he would do is read this amazing book
LyndaMH More than 1 year ago
I won't give a synopsis because others have done that already. What I will say is that this is one amazing book. Seriously. The language is so sparse, yet the visuals are so great. The emotion palatable. The character fully developed. I very much enjoyed MAY B. Will recommend highly to others—including reluctant readers.
ReadingCorner More than 1 year ago
In her debut novel, Caroline Starr Rose bring to life the struggles of living on the early American prairie--the isolation, the poverty, and the unknown. Life for May B. and her family has never been particularly easy, so when the opportunity for May to earn a little on a neighboring farm is presented, her parents would be crazy to pass it up. So May is sent to live with the Oblingers until Christmas to help the new missus get on her feet. However, things go all wrong when Mrs. Oblinger up and leaves and Mr. Oblinger goes after her...leaving May B. to fend for herself as winter rapidly approaches. May B. is a fierce and resourceful young woman. I really enjoyed watching her develop as a character. She refuses to be ruled by her learning disability--continuing to dream of someday being a teacher despite her struggles with reading. Her determination to learn to read was also just one example of how strong she was. When she's left alone by the Oblingers, she proves incredibly resourceful when it comes to survival, despite her initial elation at not having to answer to anyone else's demands. When she finally leave the cottage in an attempt to get home, the reader senses that she truly feels that she has no choice. As someone who has always been a bit leery of novels in verse, I have to say that Ms. Rose was immensely successful in telling her story with this method. The novel lends itself to quick reading and an easy-to-imagine story. What really caught my attention is that this would be a fantastic novel to give a young person who struggles with reading. The words create vivid imagery and tell a compelling story without an overabundance of words. The simplicity should appeal to struggling readers without making them feel like they're being given an easy book because they can't read well. May B. is a novel that has the potential to appeal to a vast group of readers. Whether you're looking for something to give to a struggling reader or that young fan of historical fiction, Caroline Starr Rose has created a gem that you'll love to share.
ToReadPerchancetoDream More than 1 year ago
May B. by Caroline Starr Rose is an absolutely lovely novel written in verse. I had never read a novel in verse before, but this was done so well, reading it was pure pleasure. The story flowed effortlessly, the scenes described in detail such that I felt the cold of the blizzard. May B. is a strong young girl to whom all young readers can relate. She is mad at her parents for sending her away to help another family, but she loves and misses them anyway. She has trouble reading, so she keeps working hard at it to show her teacher that she can do it. She is left alone and afraid, yet she is able to take care of herself and survive. This book reminded me of the Little House on the Prairie series that I loved reading as I grew up. I found out at the end of May B. that the author was also inspired by the series, leading her to write her own take on life in Kansas in the prairie days. This novel is bound to become a favorite for any child, especially young girls! I received this book from the publisher, through Netgalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whats happenin ppl?. I wanna talk...whos with me?.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was good