Jill's Reviews > Missing May

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
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Oct 17, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: newbery-medal
Recommended for: 10+
Read from October 14 to 16, 2010

1993 Newbery winner. Short and sweet. Exactly as long as it needed to be. I liked this story.

"Before she died, I know my mother must have loved to comb my shiny hair and rub that Jonhson's baby lotion up and down my arms and wrap me up and hold and hold me all night long. She must have known she wasn't going to live and she must have held me longer than any other mother might, so I'd have enough love in me to know what love was when I saw it or felt it again."

"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."

"Every house I ever lived in was so particular about its food, and especially when the food involved me. There's no good way to explain this. But 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."

"It's what they call surreal," he went on. "Taking something real and sort of stretching it out like a piece of taffy into a thing that's true but distorted. You know. Like old lady Henley's face-lift."

"All Ob and me wanted to do when we lost May was hold on to each other and wail in that trailer for days and days. But we never got the chance, because just like there are certain ways people expect you to get married, or go to church, or raise kids, there are certain ways people expect you to grieve."

"I had no reason to fear bats, and as I grew and discovered how many people are deathly afraid of them, it made me wonder about fear. Whether it all just starts with the people who raise us."

"Best reading I ever done was in my daddy's old johhnyhouse. And I don't mean dirty stuff, neither. He kept him some books on auto mechanics, fishing, Civil War--you name it. I used to love to get the diarrhea."

"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."
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Quotes Jill Liked

Cynthia Rylant
“[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.”
Cynthia Rylant, Missing May

Cynthia Rylant
“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.”
Cynthia Rylant, Missing May


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