Author: Cynthia Rylant
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Orchard Books/Scholastic
Awards: Newberry Medal 1993
Why Did I Choose It? It's a Newberry Medal for one reason. Actually, this one doesn't help me reach my goals so much as I've already read it...but I like this one in particular as it deals with the loss of a loved one. I haven't dealt with a recent loss but was feeling a bit melancholy remembering someone special and felt the need to reread this delightful book.
A Bit From The Back Cover: 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 will discover that she and Ob can keep missing May but still go on with their lives.
Review: I was delighted with Missing May quite a few years ago when I read it to my children and I am equally delighted this time. The characters are charming. The story is told from Summer's perspective and deals with her overwhelming emotions --distraught over the loss of her aunt who acted as a mother, worried over her Uncle Ob's ability to deal with his loss, and skeptic over the strange thoughts and behaviors of the neighbor boy -- in a rather insightful manner. Sorrow and loss are experiences held by all of the characters throughout the book but the author has added just the right touch of humor and just a hint of mysticism to make it a pleasurable tale. I would highly recommend this book for all children in the recommended age group, especially if they have experienced a similar loss.
Other Books By This Author: The Poppleton Series, Mr. Putter and Tabby series, When I Was Young In The Mountains, Henry and Mudge, The Islander and many many more!