The Trouble with May Amelia (May Amelia, #2)
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The Trouble with May Amelia (May Amelia #2)

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,202 ratings  ·  196 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
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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 166 books — 642 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 41 books — 32 voters


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Community Reviews

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Sparrow
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
Kirby
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
Valerie
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...more
katsok
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
Katy
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
Wendy
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...more
Betsy
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
Latricia
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...more
Christopher
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
Emily
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...more
Donalyn
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...more
Kristin
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.
~Megan~
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.
John
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.
Andrea
Delightful! Love the dialogue and relationships.
Longer review at ICPL Staff Picks blog.
Kellee
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.
Josiah
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...more
Shazzer
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,...more
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
Jenny
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...more
Heidi
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
Tiffany
After reading an especially good book, I am often left wanting more...a sequel. However, more often than not, the sequel is disappointing- it doesn't hold the same magic as the first book. That is not the case with The Trouble with May Amelia- the sequel to Our Only May Amelia.

Amelia is a character easy to feel for- you sense her longing to be loved by her Pappa- to be good in his eyes. You feel her jealousy that the boys can do things that she can't. The compassion she has for Lonny, the desir...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Jennifer Holm's 1999 novel Our Only May Amelia (which received a Newbery Honor in 2000) is one of my all-time favorite historical novels for kids, and I was eager to read the sequel which has just been released this spring. If you haven't read the first book, May Amelia is the only girl in a large family of Finn immigrants living in a remote area of Washington State around 1900. Amelia fits into the tradition of feisty tomboy frontier girls like Laura Ingalls, and her first story both made me la...more
Ellie
I read the first May Amelia book when it first came out in 2001, and while I remember liking it, I don't actually remember too many details about the book other than it was about a girl named May Amelia who had a lot of brothers and was growing up during one of my favorite time periods - late pioneer days (the same time setting as Rose Wilder Lane, Laura's daughter). While I was able to read The Trouble With May Amelia without being too confused, I could definitely tell that it was a sequel/seco...more
Susie
I had several epiphanies while reading this book (after all, it is January 6). Just knowing that I would write a review for it changed the way I read a bit. I take a few notes, but really do reflect more on what I've read if I plan to share it with others. My recent experiences with "The Nerdy Book Club" have had such an inspiring effect on my reading. I keep wanting to try to duplicate the experience for the students at my schools. Too often we bog them down with vocabulary, insignificant detai...more
Mrs. Severson
Oh my.... I loved this book. May Amelia's voice was so strong, the characters so well-defined. I love the conflict in this book and the resolution. And even though I was really upset with Pappa on how he talked to and about his daughter -- I do think it was historically accurate. A friend of mine has a letter that her grandmother wrote to her mother on the occasion of her visiting when she was four. Never once in that letter is Nancy's name mentioned. The grandmother referred to her as "your gir...more
Melissa Mcavoy
Fantastic historical fiction set in the Pacific Northwest in 1900. May Amelia is an inspiring and gritty 12 year old girl who deals with the dramatic and wearing vagaries and hardships of farming life and living with seven brothers. The story is based on real events, some from the author's ancestors and some historical. The grueling work wresting a living in that place and time is humbling and inspiring, but what really sings is the character of May Amelia and the poignant and genuine quality Ho...more
Joella www.cinjoella.com
May Amelia still has many of the same troubles as she did in Our Only May Amelia. She still has to use a rowboat to get to school. She still has to work on a muddy, rainy farm in Western Washington. She still has seven brothers. And she still gets into quite a load of scrapes. Which often result in her beloved Pappa exclaiming that “girls are useless.” When Pappa finally asks May Amelia for help in translating a gentleman’s business venture proposition from English into his native Finnish langua...more
Treasure
By two-time Newbery Honor author (and the author of the Babymouse series!), this sequel to Our Only May Amelia continues to follow the story of the Finnish family Jackson as they farm on the Nasel River in Washington State in the year 1900. An excellent work of historical fiction, readers do not need to read the first book to enjoy this one. It is easy to fall in love with narrator May Amelia, who does not use quotation marks when dialoguing and liberally uses Capitalizations When Necessary for...more
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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
More about Jennifer L. Holm...
Turtle in Paradise Queen of the World! (Babymouse, #1) Penny from Heaven Our Only May Amelia (May Amelia, #1) Super Amoeba (Squish, #1)

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“Mr.Clayton?
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.”
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