Monday, January 14, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Missing May

In addition to loving picture books, I also love middle grade novels.

This book I am posting about today is an old one, but a good one.
It is winner of the 1993 Newbery Award.

by Cynthia Ryland
published by Dell Publishing 

Here is what is says on the back cover:
Since Summer was six years old she lived with dear Aunt May and Uncle Ob. Now, six years later, Aunt May has died. Summer, who misses May with all her might, is afraid something will happen to Ob. Most days Ob seems like he doesn't want to go on.

But then Ob feels May's spirit around him and he wants to contact her. Cletus Underwood, a strange boy from school, reads about someone who could help him do that. Summer wants to hear from May too.

Ob and Summer don't know what to expect when they set off on their search for some sign from May. They only know they need something to ease their sorrow and give them strength to go on living - always knowing they will never stop missing May.

Click here for a study guide to Missing May.

I love the characters of the story, especially Cletus. Like May, I think you will learn to like him, too. Here is an excerpt from early in the book where May is talking about Cletus.

I swear. When Ob spotted him snooping around the old Chevy last fall, I warned Ob to have nothing to do with him. I'd been riding the school bus with Cletus for a year, since his family moved up from Raleigh County, and I had decided he was insane. Back when he first came, he had going this collection of potato chip bags. He had practically the whole school saving their Wise and Tom's and Ruffles bags for him. Heading home on the bus every day, people would be pulling flat shiny bags out of their history books like crazy and passing them to Cletus in the backseat. I didn't participate. I was certain the boy was a flat-out lunatic.

Ob really liked Cletus and he became a big part of their life.

I think you will  like this book.  It is written in first person, which I like, and it is 17, 509 words.

For more middle grade fun, check the links on

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.


  1. Thank you for featuring an older book. Sometimes with all the new ones coming out, I forget to read those from several years ago.

  2. MISSING MAY sounds like a great Middle School book. I would like to check it out of the library and read it. I'm so glad you're giving us book reviews of children's books. I like to read them very much. I'm glad you told us about this older book. Have a super day.

  3. Wow, 17K words is really short! Glad you featured this because I've never read it and I'm trying this year to catch up on old books.

  4. I haven't read this one, though I've often seen it at the library. Next time I'm going to sign it out!

  5. This does sound like a neat book. I love the voice!

  6. Thanks for reminding me of this one! I read it when it first came out and I enjoyed it. I would love to reread it. Awesome review!


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