Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Trouble with May Amelia (May Amelia, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Trouble with May Amelia (May Amelia, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Trouble with May Amelia (May Amelia #2)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,017 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
May Amelia Jackson captured readers' hearts in the Newbery Honor Book Our Only May Amelia. Now, after over ten years, Jennifer Holm is bringing this beloved character back in a beautiful way. The Trouble with May Amelia is a gorgeously written story that's as heartbreaking as it is funny. May Amelia lives in pioneer Washingon State in 1900, and she just can't act the part ...more
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Trouble with May Amelia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Trouble with May Amelia

Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtA Monster Calls by Patrick NessWonderstruck by Brian SelznickDivergent by Veronica RothInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Newbery 2012
9th out of 141 books — 717 voters
Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtTrue by Katherine HanniganDivergent by Veronica RothBreadcrumbs by Anne UrsuWonderstruck by Brian Selznick
DCL Mock Newbery 2012
11th out of 42 books — 35 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 30, 2011 Sparrow rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sparrow by: a book fairy
I’m one of those annoying people who, when someone else waxes nostalgic about a previous decade or century, is always like, “sexist, racist, no hot running water, cobble stones are annoying, smelly, wild animals, Hitler, and no zippers.” I dig simplicity, but that’s pretty much in the eye of the beholder, you know? For example, I could run around town, trying to find somebody who wanted to listen to my opinion about this book, or I could just post it on the internet, and see if anyone cares. The ...more
Mar 13, 2011 Kirby rated it it was amazing
If this book does not win a Newbery Medal, I will be shocked. Nevermind that I would then have to cross Jennifer Holm off my Christmas card list -- after all, she already has three Newbery honors! But this compelling and powerful story is perfect in my mind. There is not one missed step in this historical novel set in southwestern Washington state, revisiting a beloved character, May Amelia. Even though her father thinks girls are a nuisance, underneath his crusty exterior, there is still a modi ...more
Aug 15, 2011 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Can I just say my 11 year old self would not like this book as much because it was so sad? There are of course more precocious kids than me (I've seen kids read classic Jane Austen stuff) but I was never okay with too sad of stuff as a kid, and I don't think I'm alone in this. This is not to deter anyone from reading it because the book is not exceedingly sad, just kind of.

The book is similar to the first if I remember correctly in that it starts out innocent enough. First, there are day to day
Dec 02, 2011 katsok rated it it was amazing
So let me just get this off my chest. I have not read Our Only May Amelia. *ducks head in shame* In my defense it was released in my first year of teaching in my current school. I was trying desperately to stay afloat. Somehow that beautiful book passed me by. Fast forward to the present. After attending NCTE with all of my friends telling me I HAD to read this, I quickly purchased it. Add that to the wonderful opportunity to meet the amazing Jenni Holm, and this book moved to the top of my to r ...more
May 31, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
I liked this, as I like all of Jennifer Holm's books, because she's an excellent writer who just doesn't seem to make missteps. But (as usual) I didn't feel a strong connection to her main character here.

The book almost seems to be written with the Newbery criteria in mind, because there's excellence in the delineation of setting (sneaks up on you, rather than knocks you over the head), and development of plot (early themes all get explored, even if you think they're just one-off comments at the
Nov 25, 2011 John rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Holm is the master of historical fiction. Do yourself a favor and add this must-read title to your to-read list. The cover would look better with a shiny sticker. I know which one I want to place above the title.
Dec 14, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing
In Jennifer L. Holm’s sequel to Our Only May Amelia, our heroine is back and causing as much trouble for her family as she ever has. Fending for herself with 6 older brothers and a mean old Papa in rural Washington state during the turn of the century, has never been fun for the precocious tomboy. This causes her to question their approval and love. When a family investment turns sour, all eyes and blame turn to May Amelia. Yet, she charms us with her candid child-like understanding from the per ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Betsy rated it really liked it
Reviewing a Jennifer L. Holm book is a bit redundant. Telling anyone that the woman can write is like pointing out that the sky is blue. It's self-evident. Using that logic, the only reason to ever write a review of a Holm title would be to do so when she writes a dud. Yet thus far Ms. Holm has remained fairly dud-resistant. There's a level of quality to her writing that pleases consistently. In fact she's so consistently good that I put off even reading her latest novel The Trouble with May Ame ...more
Oct 24, 2010 Latricia rated it really liked it
I was very lucky to get an advance copy of this for review. I loved My Only May Amelia and was delighted to see a sequel. May Amelia's voice is still very unique and takes some getting used to, but personally I like it. She sounds a lot like many of the kids I work with who have recently learned english and like May serve as translators for their parents.

In My Only May Amelia, May Amelia and her family dealt with losing her sister. In Trouble, they get on with life and deal with more problems. M
Sep 09, 2011 Christopher rated it liked it
The "sequel" to the Newbery Honor winning "Our Only May Amelia" is an interesting read. Continuing the adventures of May Amelia Jackson, Jennifer Holm finds May Amelia's voice again and it is a pleasurable enough read. As much as I enjoyed this, it all felt incredibly familiar. It felt like I was reading a "Jennifer L. Holm novel". Without giving anything away, someone runs away...again. The family's welfare is put in jeopardy by the actions of the main character...again. Crazy Scandinavian anti ...more
Why I picked it up: I enjoyed Our Only May Amelia.

This book starts not too long after Our Only May Amelia ends. Still the only girl in the household and in the Nasel River community in Washington state, May Amelia continues to get into trouble. The book is fairly day-in-the-life of a certain time period, and while it seems a little episodic, there is an over-all plot.

May Amelia continues to be a really fun character and I was right about her voice being particularly memorable on audio. I was su
Without a doubt, Jenni Holm is a great writer. The characters in The Trouble with May Amelia are well-drawn and readers will sympathize with their circumstances.

I thought the plot pacing was off, though. Dramatic moments seemed rushed and the ending was resolved too neatly. It also bothered me that this is Holm's second novel in a row with plots about con men (Turtle in Paradise).

Many readers I respect have loved this book and put it on their Newbery shortlists, but I just don't see it.

I will sh
May 22, 2016 LobsterQuadrille rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who liked the first book
The Trouble with May Amelia turned out to be just about as satisfying as its predecessor. But at first I wasn't too sure about it; I was having some moments of deja vu, feeling like I'd already seen similar events take place in the first book. But eventually I was able to start enjoying this as an individual story. Jennifer L. Holm was very successful in making the tone and atmosphere consistent with the first book's, and while that was probably partly why I felt like I had seen some of the eve ...more
Brittany Watts
Apr 29, 2014 Brittany Watts rated it it was amazing
This book is a historical fiction book intended for readers I believe of any age over 7. This book is about the life of a girl named May Amelia. While she only has brothers she wants to help do things on the family farm but her dad thinks she is useless. When May Amelia ends up translating to man who wants to invest in a company for logging her family ends up loosing everything they have and blame it all on May Amelia. I rated this book 5 stars because its very touching. I believe this is one of ...more
Jun 21, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: tweens
Once again I was pulled happily back to the Nasel River into May Amelia's world. I was worried that a sequel would feel contrived, but this natural continuation was not that way at all. Holm picked up her voice again with no hiccups or hesitation, no Trouble at all. Recommended for ages 8-12, or anyone with sisu.
Jun 08, 2011 ~Megan~ rated it really liked it
Both this and the first book are quick, entertaining reads. The first-person style is very unique, though sometimes a little hard to follow. One problem I had with it was the cover, though. The cover really doesn't fit the book--that girl on it looks about 18, when the protagonist is 12.
Britomarte Van
Dec 04, 2015 Britomarte Van rated it really liked it
I'm going to give both books about May Amelia the same review, because they feel like two halves of one book.

These are the saddest books ever. Every few pages, some child is being physically or emotionally wounded. Parents dying. Children dying. Permanent maimings. Loss and grief everywhere.

I feel like the author struggled a bit to find the right voice for the age of the protagonist, but she did settle into one. For me, the voice was a little young for a twelve-year-old, but I understood the c
Apr 25, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Delightful! Love the dialogue and relationships.
Longer review at ICPL Staff Picks blog.
Although the first May Amelia book was very good, I found this one to be even better. I love me a female protagonist with sisu.
May 25, 2014 Holly rated it it was amazing
What I think? Jennifer Holm is a fantastic writer. She writes right into the soul of May Amelia and conveys her deepest feelings. She also portrays May Amelia's family in such detail inside and out that you can literally see them and hear their voices. Living on the Nasal isn't easy and May Amelia's family and especially May Amelia, the one and only daughter out of 8 children and the youngest. A wonderful read, even for adults who like children's books, an especially great "read aloud" to your c ...more
Jul 01, 2014 Heather rated it liked it
This deserves more than 3 stars, but I don't think it quite deserves 4 (in my book). It didn't seem to follow the natural progression of the characters from the last book. May Amelia seemed to have grown and matured in the last book, but I felt we were right back at the beginning with how she acted and how her family treated her. Actually, it was worse, if anything. I wanted to just shake her dad through all of the book. Without going into details, I'll just say that it didn't "fit" in my opinio ...more
May 06, 2014 Nikki added it
Shelves: red-317
Interest level: MG 4-8
Book Level: 4.0

Historical Fiction-Historical Fiction (All); Interpersonal Relationships-Family; Recommended Reading-Junior Library Guild-2011 Spring Elementary; Recommended Reading-Junior Library Guild Selection; Social Issues-Gender Issues


A 12 year old with seven brothers and a father who is old fashioned even for the time of the book. She has to help her family in her home in Washington state. After a man comes and takes all the neighbors money she must help the
Michelle  Simpson
This was an excellent book! I listened to the audio version, mostly while I walked, and one morning I walked two extra miles after getting home because I had to know what happened next! May Amelia is a neat character, and I bonded with her quickly. I think readers will be pulling for her immediately as they begin the story!

I will say that I ordered this book based on a recommendation by someone, and I didn't realize at the time there was a book #1, so I haven't read Our Only May Amelia. I plan t
The things that made the first book in this series different and interesting were merely second-verse-same-as-the-first in this book. However it's difficult to criticize historical fiction based on true events, since it's not a fault in the author's imagination, these were really things that happened at different points to her family. So, you know, I try to cut the book some slack.

Likes: I still love dear little May and her precocious and funny voice. I read some of this to my son and found som
Jan 23, 2013 Josiah rated it liked it
Anytime there is a sequel to a book as beloved as Our Only May Amelia, as much an immediate classic as anything published in recent memory upon its arrival on the literary scene in 1999, one has to wonder if the author has bitten off more than he or she can chew. There's always a temptation to return to the scene of one's greatest triumph, as Our Only May Amelia undoubtedly is for Jennifer L. Holm, but attempting to follow in one's own hallowed footsteps can be tricky business, especially when ...more
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here.

I am clearly missing something here. Jennifer Holm has been honored by three different Newbery committees for her novels Our Only May Amelia, Penny from Heaven, and Turtle in Paradise. Despite never getting past the first third of Our Only May Amelia and pretty much detesting every moment I spent reading Turtle in Paradise, I dutifully checked out a copy of her latest novel, The Trouble with May Amelia, as soon as my library received its copies. It is, of course, generatin
Aug 18, 2011 Shazzer rated it really liked it
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

Oh May Amelia. What shall be done with May Amelia Jackson? She won't wear dresses, won't be a proper lady, and drives her family to distraction with all the trouble she manages to get into. I was thrilled to learn that May Amelia, the irrepressible heroine of Jennifer L. Holm's Newbery Honor book Our Only May Amelia would be back for another adventure with The Trouble with May Amelia. Children's lit needs girls like May Amelia, girls who are smart but not too smart,
Mary Ann
When I was a kid, I loved reading about girls who went against the grain and weren't "good little girls," wearing dresses and doing what everyone expected of them. I think that's one of the lasting appeals of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She had spunk and a sparkle in her eye. Jennifer Holm has created a wonderful character May Amelia with this same appeal. Living with a pack of brothers, May Amelia wants to do all the exciting, brave things her brothers do - swimming in the Nasel River, working with t ...more
May 14, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
The Trouble with May Amelia is the sequel to Our Only May Amelia , a Newberry Honor book that was first published in 1999. This second book can be read as a stand alone so if you’re like me and haven’t read the first book you will have no problems with the sequel.

The story takes place in rural Washington state in 1900. May Amelia is from a Finnish family and is the only girl in a family of boys. With seven older brothers, she is constantly teased for her tomboyish ways. Instead of the proper gi
There are quite a few things that I really enjoyed about this book. I enjoyed May Amelia's voice, she comes shining through loud and clear. Within the first chapter I had a pretty good idea of May Amelia's personality, feisty and impetuous, which it was not hard to imagine could be pretty irritating to her family, especially her father who did not know what to do with her. She wasn't like any of the other women that he knew. After reading the first book (Our Only May Amelia) its clear that May A ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bird in a Box
  • The Friendship Doll
  • The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True (Knights' Tales, #3)
  • Emily's Fortune
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama (Gaither Sisters, #3)
  • A Million Miles from Boston
  • Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
  • The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond
  • Junonia
  • Lara's Gift
  • Jefferson's Sons
  • Crow
  • Small Acts of Amazing Courage
  • Sparrow Road
  • The House Baba Built: An Artist's Childhood in China
  • The Luck of the Buttons
  • The Madman of Piney Woods
  • Hound Dog True
Jennifer L. Holm is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling children's author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE.

Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series -- the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series and the bestselling Squish series. She is also the author of several other highly pra
More about Jennifer L. Holm...

Other Books in the Series

May Amelia (2 books)
  • Our Only May Amelia (May Amelia, #1)

Share This Book

Didn't you see her ears?
You mean ears turning bright red means you're in love?
I don't know, he mumbles, and looks down, his ears are bright red.”
More quotes…