Raise your hand if you are too scared to try a book in verse, but are still curious. May B by debut author Caroline Starr Rose is a great primer for free verse. May B is a middle grade book and only 240 pages, comprised of an incredibly compelling survival story.
May B, short for Mavis Betterley, is sent by her parents to live as a servant in a soddy (sod house) owned by the Oblingers. May B is overcome by homesickness and is missing her brother Hirim. She is knocked down a peg or two by cruel Mrs. Oblinger who calls May an idiot basically, because of May’s trouble reading (what we know as dyslexia today). Anyways, May finds herself alone and having to survive the winder by herself in the soddy.
I thought May B’s responses to being left alone and surviving through the winter were realistic. She spends a lot of time remembering and wishing for better times, but also thinking about food. What person wouldn’t in May B’s position? We don’t really hear or read anything about May B’s friends, but as this is set during Westward Expansion – I think people back then were more focused on their families and surviving on the prairie. May has realistic skills that I think were essential to her time period.
If you like an imperfect heroine, stories of courage and survival – of persistence when everyone says you can’t – May B by Caroline Starr Rose may be the right book for you.
Disclosure: Review copy received via Netgalley.