Monday, December 5, 2011

May B.: January 2012

May B., due out next month, is another title I was able to receive via Net Galley. (Really, if you are a book blogger and have an e-reader, this is a great way to receive ARCs. And even though my TBR piles are totally out of control, I can't pass up a good title).

Written by Caroline Starr Rose, May B., is a novel in verse, set on the lonely Kansas Prairie. May is asked by her parents to work for another family - fifteen miles away from home- until Christmas. Already dreading being separated from her parents and brother, things get worse when the couple May is working for abandon their prairie home. May is left to fend for herself and with winter approaching on the prairie there is a lot to deal with. Wanting desperately to find her home, May must decide if she can try to find her way, or wait for help to come.

This is a fast read, yet there is much within this book. May, in addition to dealing with her work situation and seperation from her family, is also dealing with not being able to attend school, and the way she was treated by her teacher, who publicly announced May's shortcomings in her reading lessons. Although dyslexia was not diagnosed in pioneer days, Rose brings to light what school may have been like for struggling students who had teachers ill-equipped to assist them with their special learning needs.

I am also always amazed by novels in verse- how writers can convey so much through so few words. May B. is a nice addition to this growing list of novels in verse, as well as a quality selection about pioneer life and schooling in pioneer times. I raced to the end of this novel last night, worried for May, hoping that she would be able to survive the harsh prairie blizzards and find her family again.

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