May B.

21 May

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose is a sparsely written story in verse that conjures pictures of the rolling prairies and the vast emptiness that they used to be.  May B. is a 12-year old girl sent to a neighboring homestead 15 miles away “just until Christmas” as her Pa promises her.  Sadly, she must leave school in order to help out the family.  But when things go wrong and May B. is abandoned, she must learn how to run a household by herself and be prepared for the winter blizzards that are soon to strike.

This is a beautifully written coming of age story that is reminiscent of the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Another aspect of the story is May B.’s struggle with her school work and when the book is over the author provides a short note about dyslexia, which was unknown in the 19th century.  It was a very quick read because it is written in verse with 151 short poems that truly paint pictures in your mind as you read.  This would make a great discussion book for middle school students with themes such as dyslexia, responsibility, and history.

The author’s website has a teacher’s discussion guide as well as a book trailer that can be helpful in a classroom or at home.  Visit Caroline Starr Rose’s website.

Title: May B.
Author: Caroline Starr Rose
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Page Number: 225 pgs.

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