Missing May
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Missing May

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  7,930 ratings  ·  423 reviews
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 s...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Scholastic Inc. (first published 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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...more
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’...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Rain Misoa
May 08, 2011 Rain Misoa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Children's Literature and People of All Ages in General!
Recommended to Rain by: Nicole Terazue
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Shaghayegh
چقـــــــــدر دوست داشتنی بود...
و چقـــــــــدر ناراحت کننده... :(
Kathi
A quiet, bittersweet book, "Missing May" is mostly about the grief experienced after May’s sudden death by her devoted, aging husband Ob and by Summer, their beloved adopted daughter.

Summer is six years old when the childless couple rescues her from a joyless existence, and she is 12 when May dies. In remembering May, Summer narrates in sweet detail the beauty that she saw in May and Ob’s impoverished trailer, the obvious love that old May and Ob have for each other, and the care that they lavi...more
Sara
I'll tell you right away that this is a biased and unfair review of this book. It's well written, and the characters are eccentric and engaging. However, I've already had my fill of plucky orphan girls living in trailers. (I'm thinking of The Higher Power of Lucky as I write this.)

The only character's name I remember is May's, and she died before the story began. The story is about how May's husband and their plucky adopted daughter cope with their grief, with the help of the weird neighbor kid....more
Sarah Winkler
i absolutely loved this book. i had never read something that was quite simalar. i could really feel for may and even though i have never been through a situation like that, but because of the way Cynthia Rylant wrote it, it almost felt like i was there. it is wonderful and is doeffinetely for you if you really like to feel for your characters.
Rana Heshmati
Feb 19, 2014 Rana Heshmati rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rana by: Boshra
Shelves: رمان
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 :)
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.
Avalia
Probably one of the absolute worst books I have ever read. i read this two years ago as an assignment for my reading class. It was absolutelty dreadful. This book is depressing, boring, dreary and honestly pointless. I highly warn anyone to not read this book. Terrible.
Mandy
"But 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 good-bye."
Jan Coates
This, to me, is a perfect middle-grade novel. It addresses lots of kid issues, and is so beautifully and thoughtfully written and constructed, and the characters are all wonderfully developed. It's the type of book I hope to one day write:)
Dayna
This book had me in tears by the end. Absolutely beautiful. Rylant brings her poetic talent to this book, and colorfully captures the lives of Ob, May, and Summer in their tiny Appalachian home. One of my new favorites.
Matt
Beautiful and bittersweet ... and I love bittersweet in my YA literature.
This story of grief and grieving follows Summer, her elderly uncle Ob, and her new quasi-friend Cletus as they each try to process grief (in Cletus's case, for a woman -- summer's elderly aunt May -- he never met).
The character turns take turns toward spiritualism and other potential answers to grief, but most of all they are turning toward each other to see what if anything the other characters know about the undiscovered...more
Christina Smith
I thought this was an incredible story life, death and the triumphs of both! I highly recommend the read!
Kristen

Missing May is the story of a girl named Summer who after her parents passed away did not find a real home where she felt loved until her Aunt May and Uncle Ob took her. May was a big woman full of love and at the beginning of the story she has died, leaving Ob and May on their own. With the help of her odd classmate Cletus, May tries to help Ob keep going, as May was his whole life. I really loved the story and the way that May realizes the boy who annoyed her for so long had a huge heart and k...more
Wayne Osborn
I absolutely love this book. This was the third time that I've read "Missing May", but I challenged my students at school to read a book that really touched them in one way or another over winter break, and this book really grabbed my heart and won't let go.

The first time I read this book was in 2004, shortly after my mother died. From the very beginning of the story, I could relate to Summer and her Uncle Ob, and how they missed May so very much.

Every time you read a book, you bring differnt...more
Tricia
I've been reading lots of Cynthia Rylant books aloud to my youngest son (The Lighthouse Family series, and the High-Rise Private Eyes series). She has such a wonderful way to writing - wonderfully expressive vocabulary, caring relationships, success in the face of challenges, etc. You just feel warm inside reading them. The book jacket in one of those series mentions her award-winning books, including Missing May, so I grabbed it off the shelf when looking for audiobooks a few weeks back. I'm so...more
Debbie
I was reading this book when I got word that one of the beautiful little girls in our extended family had been killed in a tragic accident. I don't know if the reason I loved this book is because I more closely related to the protagonist due to my sense of loss or because the story helped me in grieving our family's precious child. Although May was anything but a child, the dual sense of loss Ryland portrays is brilliant. Not having May in her family left Summer with a hole she did not know how...more
Ann Carpenter
When people dismissively say "typical Newbery winner" and it's not a compliment, I think this is exactly the sort of book they are thinking of: an orphaned foster child mourning her dead aunt, a quirky neighbor boy, very little action, lots of introspection, almost no kid-appeal.

That's not to say that it's not also a very well-written, moving account of the grief process as seen through one small family, or that the award wasn't deserved. I haven't read the 1993 honor books yet, and can't remem...more
Connie  Kuntz
Joce read this first, then I read it to Sam. It is a sweet story about the perspective of a poor Southern girl named Summer, and her old Southern Uncle Ob.

Here's what happened: Summer is a 12 year old girl. For the past six years, she was lovingly raised by her old aunt and uncle. Her Aunt May died while gardening, and now Summer and Ob are having a hard time getting by without her. With the help of Cletus, a road trip, , some governmental intrigue, and a couple stabs at spirituality, everyone...more
Tara
I have enjoyed reading Rylant's picture books with my daughter, so I picked up this book, and I enjoyed it as well. Missing May provides a sweet and heartfelt look at the grieving process, but includes some humorous moments to lighten the serious subject. Rylant shows how the death of a family member can leave those remaining adrift. She shows how important it is to let the lost loved one go and adjust the family dynamic after a death occurs so that the family can progress. I appreciated that th...more
Laura
Summer has lived with Aunt May and Uncle Ob since she was six years old and none of her other relatives really wanted her. Not that she’s complaining about that – living with May and Ob is the best thing that ever happened to her and she loves them both. But suddenly May is dead. She just dropped one day while she was outside gardening – they never even got to say goodbye to her. And now they’ve got nothing to do but miss her.

But one Sunday, Ob is certain that he can feel May’s presence, that sh...more
Allison
I actually really liked this book. I liked Cletus because he was extremely eccentric but that was an endearing quality to me. He also helped both Ob and Summer in the least likely ways. I really liked Summer too. She was stoic in the beginning and then her walls came down and you realized she needed to free herself from the grief. I know right now, I never would have read it when I was younger. This book was sad and almost made me tear up but it was also hopeful and uplifting. While I read this,...more
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An author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults as well as an author and author/illustrator of picture books for children, Cynthia Rylant is recognized as a gifted writer who has contributed memorably to several genres of juvenile literature. A prolific author who often bases her works on her own background, especially on her childhood in the West Virginia mountains, she...more
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“[May] 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.” 13 likes
“But 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.” 9 likes
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