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Missing May (Scholastic Gold) PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Missing May (Scholastic Gold)
Author: Cynthia Rylant
Publisher: Published June 1st 2004 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 1992)
ISBN: 9780439613835
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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This critically acclaimed winner of the Newbery Medal joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content! Ever since May, Summer's aunt and good-as-a-mother for the past six years, died in the garden among her pole beans and carrots, life for Summer and her Uncle Ob has been as bleak as winter. Ob doesn't want t This critically acclaimed winner of the Newbery Medal joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content! Ever since May, Summer's aunt and good-as-a-mother for the past six years, died in the garden among her pole beans and carrots, life for Summer and her Uncle Ob has been as bleak as winter. Ob doesn't want to create his beautiful whirligigs anymore, and he and Summer have slipped into a sadness that they can't shake off. They need May in whatever form they can have her -- a message, a whisper, a sign that will tell them what to do next. When that sign comes, Summer with discover that she and Ob can keep missing May but still go on with their lives.

30 review for Missing May (Scholastic Gold)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Missing May, Cynthia Rylant Missing May is a children's book, the recipient of the 1993 Newbery Medal. It was written by Cynthia Rylant, who has written over 100 children's books such as The Islander. The novel is set in present-day West Virginia. The protagonist is Summer, an orphaned child who has been passed from one apathetic relative to another. At age six, she meets her Aunt May and Uncle Ob. The kindly old couple notices that, although Summer is not mistreated, she is virtually ignored by Missing May, Cynthia Rylant Missing May is a children's book, the recipient of the 1993 Newbery Medal. It was written by Cynthia Rylant, who has written over 100 children's books such as The Islander. The novel is set in present-day West Virginia. The protagonist is Summer, an orphaned child who has been passed from one apathetic relative to another. At age six, she meets her Aunt May and Uncle Ob. The kindly old couple notices that, although Summer is not mistreated, she is virtually ignored by her caretakers and decide to take Summer home to their rickety trailer home in the hills of the Appalachian mountains. Summer thrives under their care, feeling that she finally has a home. Six years after Summer moves in, Aunt May dies suddenly in the garden. Summer must cope with her own grief while worrying about Uncle Ob, who is overwhelmed by the thought of living without his beloved wife. Uncle Ob decides to try contacting May's spirit, after he experiences the sensation that she has tried to communicate with him. He is assisted in this endeavor by Cletus Underwood, a classmate of Summer's, who provides information on a supposed spirit medium of some renown. Summer views his ideas with some skepticism, but is willing to try anything that might alleviate her uncle's sorrow. The three take a roadtrip to meet with the medium, only to discover that she had recently died. Uncle Ob is initially crushed by this news, and Summer fears that this disappointment was the last blow to his will to live. However, on the return trip, Uncle Ob suddenly snaps out of his depression, deciding to continue living on for Summer's sake. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و دوم ماه اکتبر سال 2005 میلادی عنوان: جای خالی می؛ نویسنده: سینتیا رایلنت؛ مترجم: نسرین وکیلی؛ تهران، چشمه، ونوشه، 1383؛ در 96 ص؛ شابک: 9643621790؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی برای نوجوانان - قرن 20 م ماجرای نوجوانی به نام «سامر» پس از درگدشت عمه‌ ی محبوبش: «مِی» کنار تریلی ظاهر شد؛ «می» که دریایی از محبت بود و بس، «می» که شش سال گذشته مادر سامر بود - شش سال پر از شادی - «می» که دیگر در این دنیا نبود. اما فقط «اُبِ» پیر، شوهر غمگین او هر از گاهی، حضور او را حس می‌کرد و حرف‌های اُب در اینباره ابدا مایه ی خوشحالی سامر نشد. برای او همین کافی نبود که «می» را چنین وحشتناک از دست بدهد، کافی نبود که یکه و تنها، همه ی سعی خود را به کار بندد تا اُب را که آگاهانه می‌خواست خود را به دست مرگ بسپارد، زنده نگه دارد؟ او باید خود مستقیم از «می» پیامی دریافت می‌کرد. بدتر از همه اینکه همکلاسی او «کلتوس آندروود» دیوانه هم، خود را وارد ماجرا کرده بود. کلتوس نیز مانند اُب دنیای ارواح را باور داشت. او از اینکه با اُب و سامر در باغچه «می» به انتظار بنشیند به شدت خوشحال بود...؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Read this, my friends. It's good medicine. Heartwarming, realistic, subtle, and funny in a subdued style. Winner of 1993 Newbery Medal. Set in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, present day, this is one of the better depictions of grieving, despair, and eventual renewal. It's also a story about adoption, and loving relationships between young people and old folks. Summer's parents died when she was a baby, leaving her orphaned. After being passed from one reluctant relative to another, s Read this, my friends. It's good medicine. Heartwarming, realistic, subtle, and funny in a subdued style. Winner of 1993 Newbery Medal. Set in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, present day, this is one of the better depictions of grieving, despair, and eventual renewal. It's also a story about adoption, and loving relationships between young people and old folks. Summer's parents died when she was a baby, leaving her orphaned. After being passed from one reluctant relative to another, she finally finds a home at age six, moving in with her kindly but quite elderly relatives, Aunt May and Uncle Ob. Summer finds a serene happiness in their kitschy old trailer, surrounded by pinwheel wind spinners -- the colorful whirligigs they create and sell. Happy, that is, until Aunt May suddenly dies, six years later. Now, with his beloved wife gone, Ob must step up to the plate as primary caregiver, but he misses May so much, it's plain hard to get up in the morning. The days turn gray and bleak. In a sense, old Ob has become the orphan. Summer, now 12 years old, is there for him. She forms an initially reluctant friendship with Cletus, because this oddball classmate -- bizarre suitcase always in tow -- has a positive affect on Uncle Ob. Cletus understands the grieving old guy, perhaps because he had a near-death experience himself. Eventually, they all go for a drive, pulling up at a sign labeled "small medium at large" (chuckle). They are hoping to commune with May's spirit. In time, as grief waxes its way in an accepting environment, Ob decides to "turn that buggy around" -- a pivotal moment, reflecting his decision to shake it off and start living again. A sleeper type of story that seemed almost negligible when I read it, but -- surprisingly enough -- it has stayed with me for two decades. Must have burrowed into my heart.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ALPHAreader

    It seems to Summer that everybody in her life leaves too soon. Her mother died when she was young, and after that she was passed around to live with relatives, to be “treated like a homework assignment somebody was always having to do,” and never staying with any relative for very long. And then Ob and May came along when Summer was six. Her aunt and uncle were elderly by the time Summer went to live with them in their Deep Water trailer, but she didn’t mind. For the first time since her mother’ It seems to Summer that everybody in her life leaves too soon. Her mother died when she was young, and after that she was passed around to live with relatives, to be “treated like a homework assignment somebody was always having to do,” and never staying with any relative for very long. And then Ob and May came along when Summer was six. Her aunt and uncle were elderly by the time Summer went to live with them in their Deep Water trailer, but she didn’t mind. For the first time since her mother’s death, Summer felt loved and safe. She had found a home with Ob and May, and not a moment too soon; their trailer was filled to the brim with love – May cooked big breakfasts and used to tell Summer she was the best little girl she ever did know. Ob makes whirligigs – but not the typical cartoon ones most people stick in their gardens to frighten away birds. Ob’s whirligigs are works of art – he makes fire whirligigs and storm whirligigs, and spirit ones too. But if there’s one thing Summer knows, it’s that everything good will eventually come to an end. May has just died – keeled over while tending to her beloved garden. Now there’s just Ob and Summer left behind, and Summer can already feel her uncle pulling away . . . he doesn’t wait with her for the bus anymore, doesn’t cook big breakfasts like May used to and he has gotten to sitting around in his pajamas all day long. In the midst of their grief, Summer’s classmate (and resident oddball) Cletus takes to popping round for a visit. Cletus used to collect chip wrappers, now he is obsessed with photos. He and Ob get along like a house on fire; Summer just wishes she wasn’t so jealous about seeing Ob light up when Cletus comes round with his suitcase of pictures, like he’s helping to ease Ob’s grief when Summer can’t seem to do anything. And then Ob gets a visit from May’s spirit, and Summer knows what she must do to keep Ob here with the living, where she needs him. ‘Missing May’ was the 1992 highly-acclaimed middle-grade novel from Cynthia Rylant. The book won the coveted Newbery Medal and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. I've become a little bit obsessed with reading Newberry and Printz books. These are two of the biggest children’s book awards in the US, and lately I have been gorging on winning and honour books recognized by these prestigious organizations. It started with ‘Vera Dietz’, progressed with ‘Frankie Landau-Banks’ and hit a high-point with ‘The First Part Last’. I especially love perusing past and recent nominee lists because I find they are full of books I would have otherwise never heard of. Take Cynthia Rylant’s incredible ‘Missing May’, for example. An old book, first published in 1992, and very short (89 pages). But ‘Missing May’ caught my eye when I perused an old list of Newberry winners, and I am so glad I went hunting for a copy to purchase online. . . because in just 89-pages, Rylant has written a heartbreakingly beautiful book that is exquisite for its honesty and simplicity. ‘Missing May’ is a book about grief. We meet Summer shortly after her aunt May has died, leaving behind Summer and her old uncle Ob in their trailer on a hill which now feels filled to the brim with grief. As Ob sinks further and further into his grief and loneliness, Summer becomes concerned that she won’t be enough to keep Ob on this earth. Summer becomes particularly worried when Ob claims to have received a visit from May’s spirit, and becomes hell-bent on tracking down her wayward soul. Helping in the spiritual mission is Summer’s classmate Cletus; a strange young boy who touts around a suitcase full of photos, and does not find Ob’s obsession with May’s spirit the least bit strange; Cletus never once asked why I wasn’t at school that day. Never once commented on Ob being in his pajamas. He sure had some gifts. May would have liked him. She would have said he was “full of wonders”, same as Ob. May always liked the weird ones best, the ones you couldn’t peg right off. She must be loving it up in heaven, where I figure everybody must just let loose. That’s got to be at least one of the benefits of heaven – never having to act normal again. But while Summer tries to help Ob find May’s spirit, and gets to know Cletus better, she seems to be forgetting about her own grief. . . Rylant’s novel is beautiful. I read this on the train, and I got a few odd looks from people when they saw how thin the book was (with clearly a children’s front cover). I bet those same commuters found it especially odd when tears welled up in my eyes and I quietly sniffled through the last pages. That’s the thing about ‘Missing May’ – it may be only 89-pages, but Rylant has filled her book with such achingly precise observations of grief and missing, that 89 pages is all she needed to move me. I felt the same way about Angela Johnson’s (Printz-winning) novel ‘The First Part Last’ – “it takes a true maestro to move a reader to tears with a word-count that some authors spend on first chapters alone.” Summer’s story is told with the utmost patience and care by Rylant, who has written a wise young narrator in Summer. She is a young girl who has had more than her fair share of heartache – from losing her mother to feeling rejected by nearly all her relatives . . . all, except Ob and May. Summer’s aunt and uncle were the best kind of people – they didn’t have much, but what they did have they gave to Summer – all their love, care and attention was heaped on her, until it almost felt like all the pain she had previously gone through was worth it, to end up in that trailer on the hill with May’s big hugs and Ob’s whirligigs. Everybody should read Cynthia Rylant’s ‘Missing May’ – it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, this is a book which beautifully and painfully communicates the ache of missing and the hopelessness of grief. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aj Sterkel

    My mission to read all the Newbery winners continues with Missing May, the winner from 1993. This book is tiny—only 89 pages—but it has a lot of depth. The Newbery winners I’ve read so far have been hit or miss (mostly miss) with me. Sometimes, I have no idea what the award committee is thinking. Luckily, I didn’t have that problem with Missing May. This little book deserves its Newbery. When Summer’s Aunt May dies suddenly, her Uncle Ob changes. He no longer wants to build whirligigs, or work in My mission to read all the Newbery winners continues with Missing May, the winner from 1993. This book is tiny—only 89 pages—but it has a lot of depth. The Newbery winners I’ve read so far have been hit or miss (mostly miss) with me. Sometimes, I have no idea what the award committee is thinking. Luckily, I didn’t have that problem with Missing May. This little book deserves its Newbery. When Summer’s Aunt May dies suddenly, her Uncle Ob changes. He no longer wants to build whirligigs, or work in the garden, or leave the house. Some days, he won’t even get out of bed. Summer doesn’t know what to do. Then, her neighbor, Cletus, suggests that Ob should visit a psychic medium and try to contact May. At first, Summer is skeptical. She doesn’t believe in psychics. But, she’ll try anything to help Ob. “What is it that makes a person want to stay here on this earth anyway, and go on suffering the most awful pain just for the sake of getting to stay? I used to think it was because people fear death. But now I think it is because people can't bear saying goodbye.” – Missing May This book is quirky enough to be entertaining and real enough to be meaningful. It talks about depression in a way that’s realistic but not too overwhelming for kids. Summer is confused by Ob’s drastic change in personality. She’s upset that her love isn’t enough to make him better. Eventually, she learns that Ob will always miss May, and he needs time to get better on his own. She can’t cure him by herself. The story is set in a small town in West Virginia. Even though the book is tiny, the reader gets a good sense of the culture of Appalachia. The characters don’t have much money, and they’re used to being self-sufficient. Summer doesn’t have many people she can rely on to help her with Ob. She starts the story by trying to avoid her weird neighbor, Cletus, but by the end of the book, she learns that Cletus is exactly the friend she needs. “We wanted a family so bad, all of us. And we just grabbed each another and made us one. Simple as that.” – Missing May I actually think Missing May could have been longer. Ob snaps out of his depression quite suddenly at the end. That works well for the plot, but I don’t know how realistic it is. If the book was longer, the reader could have learned more about Summer and Cletus. I feel like the reader knows more about the adult characters than the child characters. For a kids’ book, that’s weird. It might be a turn-off for some young readers. Still, this is one of the better Newbery books I’ve read. Some of them are very disappointing. TL;DR: The book could have benefitted from being longer, but I still think it’s a good resource for kids whose caregivers are dealing with grief or depression.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    "Missing May" is a short book that can be read in one sitting. Even though it is short there is nothing lacking in the story. All the characters are developed wonderfully and they all end up feeling like old friends. It is a poignant novel about death and the depression that follows the loss of a loved one. Summer loses her mother and goes to live with various kin, but never feels unconditionally loved by any of them, she is even afraid to ask for more milk. Then Ob and May come visiting and they "Missing May" is a short book that can be read in one sitting. Even though it is short there is nothing lacking in the story. All the characters are developed wonderfully and they all end up feeling like old friends. It is a poignant novel about death and the depression that follows the loss of a loved one. Summer loses her mother and goes to live with various kin, but never feels unconditionally loved by any of them, she is even afraid to ask for more milk. Then Ob and May come visiting and they take her home with them that very day. Summer belongs heart and soul to them from that day on. Summer's joy is turned to sorrow when May passes on and Ob has a hard time dealing with the depression of losing his wife. Together along with a neighbor boy named Cletus, Summer and Ob are able to work through their grief and find hope during a trip to the Capitol. One bad thing about finishing this book so quickly is that you feel the loss of new found friends.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku

    Narrated by Summer, we observe the grief of those around her while processing Summer's own pains. Her voice is appropriately young and is peppered with easy to understand analogies. As a reader, you can easily identify with Summer's experiences. She is both selfish and self-less at different moments. Rylant's writing, however, makes it easy for the reader to identify how Summer and those around her are processing their emotions. Everyone deals with grief and pain differently. RThe writing explor Narrated by Summer, we observe the grief of those around her while processing Summer's own pains. Her voice is appropriately young and is peppered with easy to understand analogies. As a reader, you can easily identify with Summer's experiences. She is both selfish and self-less at different moments. Rylant's writing, however, makes it easy for the reader to identify how Summer and those around her are processing their emotions. Everyone deals with grief and pain differently. RThe writing explores the complexity of grief with the different styles of grieving so clearly. I also love how clearly Rylant paints a picture of Appalachia. I've read quite a few books set here in the last few months and I believe Rylant does the best job setting the stage. That said, I struggled with the details of the story and plot. Or the lack of details. Ob attempts to cope with the death of his wife by seeking to make contact with her in the spirit world. There is a classmate of Summer's, Cletus, who somehow gets mixed up with Ob, and the three of them seek May's spirit while seeking their own release from the pain they are experiencing. There's nothing wrong with this plot. It just didn't do anything for me. And a little thing for me: So much time was spent exploring May and Ob that I felt I knew those characters better than the children. There's nothing wrong with this, as we're exploring the world from Summer's grieving perspective. But I wanted to know more about Summer and Cletus! I highly recommend it to middle-grade readers coping with loss and grief. But, perhaps not to adults coping with similar emotions.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda Lipko

    Be sure to have a box of tissues by your side if/when you read this poignantly wonderful book of loss that wounds and love that transcends the sadness of death, enabling the spirit to keep living through the pain. Cynthia Rylant, the author of this 1993 Newbery Medal award winning book, is rightfully deserving of the honor. While small in the number of pages, it is large in depth and meaning. It packs a soft wallop as each and every word is used with such powerful poetry that I marveled as I turne Be sure to have a box of tissues by your side if/when you read this poignantly wonderful book of loss that wounds and love that transcends the sadness of death, enabling the spirit to keep living through the pain. Cynthia Rylant, the author of this 1993 Newbery Medal award winning book, is rightfully deserving of the honor. While small in the number of pages, it is large in depth and meaning. It packs a soft wallop as each and every word is used with such powerful poetry that I marveled as I turned the pages. Narrated by Summer, we learn of the difficult early years after her mother died and she was complacently passed along to a series of family members. "Every house I had ever lived in was so particular about its food, and especially when the food involved me. I felt like one of those little mice who has to figure out the right button to push before its food will drop down into the cup. Caged and begging. That's how I felt sometimes." Rescued by elderly Aunt May and Uncle Ob, Summer finally finds a secure, stable home as she lives with these two wonderful people who, while lacking in financial resources, have an abundance of love. When Aunt May dies, in deep grief, Summer's fears of abandonment and insecurity arise as she watches Uncle Ob slip into depression. Enter anything but ordinary, highly eccentric, classmate Cletus Underwood who brings a unique joy and unconventionality to the two deeply hurting souls. I liked everything about this book. Rich in symbolism, the words gentle power come to mind. Highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Summer and Uncle Obe recently lost their beloved May. Summer is coping, not only with her own grief, but also with the fact that Uncle Obe is dying inside. The unique character, Cletus Underwood, enters their lives and the three go on a quest for a spiritual connection to May. Of Missing May, Cynthia Rylant says, "I'm not sure where this story came from. But I was raised in rural West Virginia and I knew a lot of characters like Ob and Cletus and May. I just felt I was writing about my own people Summer and Uncle Obe recently lost their beloved May. Summer is coping, not only with her own grief, but also with the fact that Uncle Obe is dying inside. The unique character, Cletus Underwood, enters their lives and the three go on a quest for a spiritual connection to May. Of Missing May, Cynthia Rylant says, "I'm not sure where this story came from. But I was raised in rural West Virginia and I knew a lot of characters like Ob and Cletus and May. I just felt I was writing about my own people." Newbery Winner----1993

  9. 5 out of 5

    Falina

    What a sad little book. I experienced two big losses in my life within the last year and a half, and this book does resonate with my grieving process. I fell into a sort of depressed hibernation, and then one day I started to come out of it, too, for no obvious reason. I can't say whether that is standard or even common when it comes to death and loss, but Missing May feels authentic to me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    I did not like this book. I read it as a fifth grader, and I have had no desire to read it since. I didn't like the characters and I didn't feel like they were very real. Sometimes I wonder what the Newbery committee is thinking. I've always thought that the books they choose to honor should be ones that kids can enjoy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rana Heshmati

    اینقدر دوستش داشتم.... اینقدر دوستش داشتم.... «مِی اگر الان اینجا بود به من و کلتوس میگفت کار درست هم این است. که آدم قدر هرکس و هرچیزی را که دارد بداند و محکم نگهش دارد. میگفت که ما آدمها باید دو دستی به یکدیگر بچسبیم چون مقدر این است که با همدیگر باشیم.مقدر این است که به هم نیاز داشته باشیم.» ص31 ممنون از خانوم توکلی و بشری :) اینقدر دوستش داشتم.... اینقدر دوستش داشتم.... «مِی اگر الان اینجا بود به من و کلتوس می‌گفت کار درست هم این است. که آدم قدر هرکس و هرچیزی را که دارد بداند و محکم نگهش دارد. می‌گفت که ما آدم‌ها باید دو دستی به یکدیگر بچسبیم چون مقدر این است که با همدیگر باشیم.مقدر این است که به هم نیاز داشته باشیم.» ص31 ممنون از خانوم توکلی و بشری :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    This book was sort of an Audrey Rose for younger readers; it was an interesting idea with loveable characters but the choppy sentences got on my nerves.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Poignant and sometimes funny story about a girl who is finding her way in the world after her beloved Aunt May dies, and her relationship with her uncle and her friend. Takes place in the mountains of West Virginia. Loved it. Highly recommended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Terris

    This is a wonderful book about a young girl and a loss in her family, and how they deal with it. It is written for 8-12 year old children, but I laughed and I cried, and I read it in one sitting! Absolutely loved it and the way it was written. Recommended to Everyone!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Short children's novel about coping with loss and moving on. Shallow at times and very focused on finding spiritual relief for physical pain. Not my favorite Newbery at all.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Wonderful, heart warming book. I am re-naming it to "missing Mary" cuz all I could do was think about my mom as I read the book. Now to pull myself back together!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: When May died, Ob came back to the trailer, got out of his good suit and into his regular clothes, then went and sat in the Chevy for the rest of the night. Premise/plot: Missing May won the Newbery Medal in 1993. This novel for young readers explores grief. Summer and Ob are the central characters; they are the ones most 'missing' May. All the happiness Summer has known has been in the home of her aunt and uncle. May and Ob took her in and adopted her; times were good, love aboun First sentence: When May died, Ob came back to the trailer, got out of his good suit and into his regular clothes, then went and sat in the Chevy for the rest of the night. Premise/plot: Missing May won the Newbery Medal in 1993. This novel for young readers explores grief. Summer and Ob are the central characters; they are the ones most 'missing' May. All the happiness Summer has known has been in the home of her aunt and uncle. May and Ob took her in and adopted her; times were good, love abounded. But May died in her garden, and life hasn't been the same since she's left. Ob wants more than anything to make contact with May's spirit. Summer isn't sure that that is even possible, but she hopes it is for Ob's sake. Cletus is relatively new friend of the family. He's around Summer's age. But he has a way--a knack--with Ob that is healing and comforting. Together these three set out on a road trip. The destination? A spiritualist church that Cletus read about with a medium as a pastor. Will May reach out from beyond the grave with a message for Ob? for May? My thoughts: Did I like it? No. Yes. No. Maybe. I'll start with what I did like. Rylant is a strong writer. She did a great job with the setting. It's set in West Virginia a place where she herself grew up. She captures a specific place--if not a specific time. Which brings me to her characterization. Her characters were human--there's a rawness to them, a take-me-like-I-am rawness. I think Cletus may just be my favorite among them. Her writing was GREAT. Here is one of her descriptions of May: She understood people and she let them be whatever way they needed to be. She had faith in every single person she ever met, and this never failed her, for nobody ever disappointed May. Seems people knew she saw the very best of them, and they'd turn that side to her to give her a better look. (15-16) And one of Cletus: Cletus had some gifts--I was learning this bit by bit--and knowing when to talk and when not to was turning out to be one of them. (37) I can certainly see why it was honored with the Newbery award. So what didn't I like? I didn't like the content, the story. Specifically, I did not like the ongoing quest to make contact with the dead--either through Cletus (that attempt failed) or through a professional medium (that one failed as well). In a way, it is thought-provoking. When someone you love dies--where is your hope? Is your hope in making contact with them again in the here and now? Is your hope in finding messages in feelings, signs, visions, dreams? Is your hope in mediums and psychics? Or is your hope found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Is your hope in heaven? That you will spend eternity with them in heaven because you both believed that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life--the only way to the Father? Is your comfort found in the Word of God? Can you find peace and comfort through the Spirit and the fellowship of believers? Summer and Ob are both searching for peace and comfort. Specifically Summer wants Ob to come to a place of peace so that he will start living again. She fears that he has lost all the will to live. And if he's lost the will to live, then who will take care of her? who will love her? As a Christian, I saw the lost-ness, the despair of Summer and Ob. Ob is in need of answers, in need of peace, in need of comfort. But he's seeking in the wrong places in the wrong ways. Summer is young and confused. She doesn't believe strongly--one way or the other--about the after life. I pitied them both. I'm not sure readers are supposed to pity them. I'm not sure readers are not supposed to pity them either. Grief wears many faces. There isn't one right way to grieve. Each person is different. Christian or not--every person grieves in his or her unique way. And it's not like anyone--insider or outsider--can say a handful of phrases to 'snap someone out of their grief' to 'fix them' or 'heal them.' There are plenty of WRONG things to say that hurt whether than help. I think everyone could learn from Cletus--a bit--in just BEING there and listening. (But to be fair, Cletus is far from perfect, it is Cletus who suggests going to a professional medium.) Would I have liked Missing May as a child? I probably would not have read it. a) I was still AVOIDING all books that had the potential for sadness. b) I was certainly reading in 1992/1993, but probably not books for this age group. c) I attended a Christian school with a small library budget and high standards of what was appropriate and inappropriate. I don't think a book with talk of mediums and contacting the dead would have made the cut. But I could be wrong. It DID win the Newbery. And I honestly can't say if the librarian was reading every book before it was ordered and placed within the collection. Christian families shouldn't necessarily avoid the book at all costs. But if you do read it, you may want to read it together and use it as a discussion opportunity. As I said, it is thought-provoking.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)

    Well, this is a sad book. It's just all sad right from beginning to end. I don't know how many kids would actually enjoy reading this, I think I might have as a kid, but, not necessarily. I really love the writing style and I got attached to the characters right away. It's one of those books good for any kind of crying you'd like to do.. lol I'm glad it won the Newbery, otherwise I might not have come across it. Note for parents: I didn't pick up on any problematic content, but the spiritual the Well, this is a sad book. It's just all sad right from beginning to end. I don't know how many kids would actually enjoy reading this, I think I might have as a kid, but, not necessarily. I really love the writing style and I got attached to the characters right away. It's one of those books good for any kind of crying you'd like to do.. lol I'm glad it won the Newbery, otherwise I might not have come across it. Note for parents: I didn't pick up on any problematic content, but the spiritual themes may conflict with some people's beliefs. The description for the book though contains enough information in that regard.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Juli Anna

    I remember being moved by this small and quiet novel as a child, and it is still just as moving as an adult. This is a slight book--hardly more than a short story--but it is anything but insubstantial. Rylant masterfully describes the complexity of grief and the reality of different styles of grieving with characters so dear they are not easily forgotten. A lovely and tender story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    Wow. I had never even heard of this book, and read it for a requirement in an upcoming class. It really surprised me. Such a great book about grief and emotion. Very glad I stumbled upon it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rain Misoa

    Ah, nostalgia! I love this book! Ever since my friend introduced me to this book a few months back and I read it, it always stood with me as a very moving, beautiful story. I enjoyed reading this again for the second time and for many more times to come, I'm sure! Everything about the novel from the characters to the plot to the writing itself was simply amazing and I cannot say enough of how great this book is. I truly do not regret picking this up! Cynthia Rylant is such a good author. Her writ Ah, nostalgia! I love this book! Ever since my friend introduced me to this book a few months back and I read it, it always stood with me as a very moving, beautiful story. I enjoyed reading this again for the second time and for many more times to come, I'm sure! Everything about the novel from the characters to the plot to the writing itself was simply amazing and I cannot say enough of how great this book is. I truly do not regret picking this up! Cynthia Rylant is such a good author. Her writing style is simple but effective. It's perfect for children to understand, seeing as how this is a middle-grade book. My favorite part of Rylant's writing style is her use of analogies. She uses things we know, things children can pick up on easily through their schooling, and inputs those analogies in the situation of the main character herself. It was very amusing and well-executed. The story she conjured up in this novel is one many of us can relate to. Whenever we lose a love one, it's very difficult to let go but the fact that we are able to move on and keep fighting... that's what makes living in this world worthwhile. The message is a great message for children to learn and I feel with this book, they could do that. I loved how she kept things consistent. This consistence helped the story flow more smoothly and effectively! Truly beautiful! The characters were amazing! Summer, main character, was great! At first, you see she is quite pessimistic. However, this is through no fault of her own. She's been through so much at her young age that it effected her in such a negative way that she doesn't expect any good to come her way. She even takes out a lot of her frustration with Cletus, a boy from school. But, by the end of the novel, you witness her grow into something more strong and capable that you have no fear about her not being able to cope anymore about what may befall her. Ob, her father-figure, was a sweet man who cared for his wife dearly and was suffering from her lost. He was caring and, in his own right, strong with what happend. You see him rise from defeat and become something much more as the novel progresses! Cletus was just a bundle of joy. He helped both Ob and Summer cope with the lost of May. His outlook on life and his quirkiness was definitely something to admire. I really wished I knew someone like him when I was in seventh grade! Things would have gome much more better for me! >_< May... ah... such a sweet lady. Though never really seeing her alive throughout the novel, you get to know her through other characters and let me tell you, she is one of the nicest ladies I have ever seen in literature! Much love to her! This book was just great for me. It had such wonderful characters, a great plot, and a meangingful message. I cannot even begin to tell you how glad I am that my friend told me about this book. It was right up there with all the good books I have been reading. This book is great for kids to read in order to get a better understanding of life. I highly recommend this book to all who love children's literature and who just want a beautifully told story with a very good message. This novel contains something for all ages to enjoy! The only reason why this doesn't get five stars is because I felt that it was a bit lacking in detail in some areas where it could have been expanded upon. But other than that, a great read! Go out there, find yourself a copy, and read it! You will not regret it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andy Lee

    As part of my quest to read all the Newberry Award Winners, I bought and started Missing May. Cynthia Rylant also wrote a short story called "Checkouts" that I thought was genius so I was eager to start this book. I started reading this book and for whatver reason couldn't really catch the rhythm of the author. I had to re-read the first chapter a couple of times to make sure that I knew what was going on. This book is about a young girl name Summer that loses her parents in a flood and ends up As part of my quest to read all the Newberry Award Winners, I bought and started Missing May. Cynthia Rylant also wrote a short story called "Checkouts" that I thought was genius so I was eager to start this book. I started reading this book and for whatver reason couldn't really catch the rhythm of the author. I had to re-read the first chapter a couple of times to make sure that I knew what was going on. This book is about a young girl name Summer that loses her parents in a flood and ends up bouncing around with relatives until she ends with Ob and May. The three of them are a perfect little family until May dies and now Ob in his seventies, and May, a young teenager have to figure out how to get along with her. Luckily a strange and likable boy named Cletus arrives in their lives to begin the healing. Maybe I'm a softy, but this book had some of the most touching and beautiful thoughts about love and family. Consider this, "I never saw two people love each other so much. Sometimes tears would just come over me, looking at the two of them, even six years back when I first got here and was too young to be thinking about love." I think that is the type of love everyone should experience or see, but can't explain in words. May's journal entry about Summer entering her life nearly brought me to tears and certainly would have had I not finished reading it class. A great read that is complex, concise, and a roundhouse kick to the heart.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Holly Persell

    "Missing May" by Cynthia Rylant is a quick read that I would recommend for fifth or sixth grade. There are some deeper topics and more difficult situations that younger children might not fully understand. I did not fall in love with this book while reading it, but I still enjoyed it and thought it was very interesting. I would highly recommend it to a student who is dealing with death in their family or one who has been a part of foster care that has caused them to not feel secure. There are so "Missing May" by Cynthia Rylant is a quick read that I would recommend for fifth or sixth grade. There are some deeper topics and more difficult situations that younger children might not fully understand. I did not fall in love with this book while reading it, but I still enjoyed it and thought it was very interesting. I would highly recommend it to a student who is dealing with death in their family or one who has been a part of foster care that has caused them to not feel secure. There are some controversial topics dealing with interaction between the living and the dead. Therefore, if you are a teacher, I would recommend discussing the topic with your students and their parents before recommending it to them. One lesson that can be learned from this book that is extremely important to learn is that some people are better than you originally think they are. For example, if you have interactions with someone who you originally think is weird, you may need to take a step back and really get to know them before drawing conclusions. Again, "Missing May" would be great for a read-aloud or individual enjoyment primarily in the fifth and sixth grades.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Books about recovering from grief are a mixed lot. Some try too hard to instruct, to show the 'stages of grief,' to give advice. Rylant does not fall into the teaching trap. Instead she tells a story of loss from the voice of a little girl who's been dealt more than her share of grief and loss. May, Summer's unofficial adopted mother dies suddenly and Ob, May's husband is so deep in his own suffering he can't help Summer...May and Summer. But it's winter that nearly does Ob and Summer in...the gr Books about recovering from grief are a mixed lot. Some try too hard to instruct, to show the 'stages of grief,' to give advice. Rylant does not fall into the teaching trap. Instead she tells a story of loss from the voice of a little girl who's been dealt more than her share of grief and loss. May, Summer's unofficial adopted mother dies suddenly and Ob, May's husband is so deep in his own suffering he can't help Summer...May and Summer. But it's winter that nearly does Ob and Summer in...the grief becomes suffocating. Ob is certain he sees May's spirit and that she will return. That is so real to us who've been crippled by loss of loved ones. Summer and Ob, and Cletus, their neighbor, go off in search of a spiritual medium who may have answers...and maybe they do get answers, just not the ones they expected. The storytelling is top-notch here, and Rylant's language is poetic. A new favorite.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    I loved this book the first time I read it in elementary school 20 years ago, and it has stuck with me into adulthood. Reading this was my first introduction to grief, and I still find Rylant's descriptions of love and loss to be profound. One of Summer's first descriptions of May and Ob, for example: "I never saw two people love each other so much. Sometimes the tears would just come over me, looking at the two of them, even six years back when I first got here and was too young to be thinking I loved this book the first time I read it in elementary school 20 years ago, and it has stuck with me into adulthood. Reading this was my first introduction to grief, and I still find Rylant's descriptions of love and loss to be profound. One of Summer's first descriptions of May and Ob, for example: "I never saw two people love each other so much. Sometimes the tears would just come over me, looking at the two of them, even six years back when I first got here and was too young to be thinking about love. But I guess I must have had a deep part of me thinking about it, hoping to see it all along, because the first time I saw Ob help May braid her long yellow hair, sitting in the kitchen one night, it was all I could do not to go to the woods and cry forever from happiness."

  26. 5 out of 5

    ليلي

    فضای خاصی داشت. یعنی یه طور خاصی در طول همه ی داستان، حتی اون جاهایی که حرف می زدن آدماش با هم، بازم یه نوع"سکوت" رو میشد حس کرد، یه سکوت ممتد و بی وقفه که تا آخرش ادامه داشت؛ یه سکوت که ناشی از از دست دادن یه نفر بود، کسی که عزیز بوده خیلی. شخصیت هابه طور عجیبی گنگ بودن، یعنی البته اُب نه ها، ولی خود راوی چرا، خیلی گنگ و دور بود به نظرم. و کلیتوس هم، که هم خوب و دوست داشتنی بود به نظر راوی و هم بد و حرص درآر. و کل کتاب در همین خلاصه میشد که بلخره فهمیدن که باید شرایط رو پذیرفت و کنار اومد و امیدو فضای خاصی داشت. یعنی یه طور خاصی در طول همه ی داستان، حتی اون جاهایی که حرف می زدن آدماش با هم، بازم یه نوع"سکوت" رو میشد حس کرد، یه سکوت ممتد و بی وقفه که تا آخرش ادامه داشت؛ یه سکوت که ناشی از از دست دادن یه نفر بود، کسی که عزیز بوده خیلی. شخصیت هابه طور عجیبی گنگ بودن، یعنی البته اُب نه ها، ولی خود راوی چرا، خیلی گنگ و دور بود به نظرم. و کلیتوس هم، که هم خوب و دوست داشتنی بود به نظر راوی و هم بد و حرص درآر. و کل کتاب در همین خلاصه میشد که بلخره فهمیدن که باید شرایط رو پذیرفت و کنار اومد و امیدوار بود به زندگی. و واقعا آیا برای یک زندگی خوب بعد از یک حادثه ی ناگوار، دونستن تنها همین مسئله کافی نیست؟

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    Awards Won: Newbery Medal (1993) This is a short book about a learning to cope with the loss of a loved on. The main character Summer lives in a run-down trailer with her Aunt May and Uncle Ob. Summer is extremely happy with her current home-life, after previously having to cope with the death of her own mother. When May dies, Summer fears that she will lose Ob to the grief that he can't seem to overcome. But, with the help of an unlikely friend, Summer and Ob begin to learn how to heal. This boo Awards Won: Newbery Medal (1993) This is a short book about a learning to cope with the loss of a loved on. The main character Summer lives in a run-down trailer with her Aunt May and Uncle Ob. Summer is extremely happy with her current home-life, after previously having to cope with the death of her own mother. When May dies, Summer fears that she will lose Ob to the grief that he can't seem to overcome. But, with the help of an unlikely friend, Summer and Ob begin to learn how to heal. This book is short, but extremely powerful. The language of the book is fairly simple, so I would recommend the book for ages 9-12.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I listened to this one while I was jogging, and I think that might be why I liked it so much-- the listening part, not the jogging part. The reader had just the right twang in her voice and at the end of each chapter they had this great fiddle music that helped to set the tone. It's a beautiful story about death and grief and is completely appropriate for any age. If you need a quick moving plot, this might not be your book, but if you love wonderful, down-to-earth characters, this is a great re I listened to this one while I was jogging, and I think that might be why I liked it so much-- the listening part, not the jogging part. The reader had just the right twang in her voice and at the end of each chapter they had this great fiddle music that helped to set the tone. It's a beautiful story about death and grief and is completely appropriate for any age. If you need a quick moving plot, this might not be your book, but if you love wonderful, down-to-earth characters, this is a great read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    MISSING MAY is a wondrous tale of grief and recovery. The author deserves all the recognition she received for this book. I am amazed that, even though it is written for young readers, just how much it appeals to adults. I remember years ago when it was read to one of my college classes by our professor. It literally brought tears to almost everyone's eyes. The book is so skillfully written that it transcends age levels, genres, and labels. Not a single word is wasted in this story. I highly rec MISSING MAY is a wondrous tale of grief and recovery. The author deserves all the recognition she received for this book. I am amazed that, even though it is written for young readers, just how much it appeals to adults. I remember years ago when it was read to one of my college classes by our professor. It literally brought tears to almost everyone's eyes. The book is so skillfully written that it transcends age levels, genres, and labels. Not a single word is wasted in this story. I highly recommend it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Missing may is a book about 12 year old Summer and her uncle Ob. They recently lost May, Ob's wife and May's aunt. Ob was deeply depressed, always trying to connect with May's spirit. One morning he was so pale and sick and broken. This is a story about how Ob and Summer recover after losing someone so important and special. I liked this book. I think it has a really sweet ending. I found this book captivating once I started it. I am not a fan of sad books so that's why I gave this book 3 stars.

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