Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our Only May Amelia

Our Only May Amelia
Author: Jennifer Holm
Publisher: New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, c1999

Plot Description:
            May Amelia is the only girl in a family of seven brothers.  Sure having seven brothers can be ok, though she’s always expected to be a ‘proper young lady,’ even when she’d rather be out climbing trees or swimming in the Nasel River. But she doesn’t let that stop her.  She’s just hoping that her pregnant mother has a girl this time, so that she isn’t all alone anymore.   

            Our Only May Amelia is a great story about growing up in the West in the late 1800’s.  It vividly illustrates the life of a Finnish American community, as well as the prevailing attitudes of the time.  Its description of life in Astoria is also interesting, especially when seen through the eyes of May who has never seen a city before.  May is a spunky girl who deals with the antics of her brothers, but also suffers from a terrible tragedy during the course of the novel which helps her grow up and mature.  A great book, though it will appeal mostly to girls.

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Reading Level: 4-5th Grade

Similar Titles: Rifles for Watie, Higher Power of Lucky

Reader’s Advisory:
Personal Thoughts: May is a great character for young girls
Subjects/Themes: Frontier, Family
Awards: 2000 Newberry Honor
Character Names:
            May Amelia: spunky 13 year old
            Wilbert: the only brother she likes
            Grandmother Patience: May’s horrible grandmother who does terrible things to
Annotation: Sometimes boys have all the fun.

Sequel: The Trouble with May Amelia

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