Wendy's Reviews > The Trouble with May Amelia

The Trouble with May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm
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May 31, 11

bookshelves: 2011-award-possibilities
Read in May, 2011

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 time), and characters (so many effective brief character studies here--most of the brothers, the two teachers, the parents, the neighbor children and cousins).

So, basically, I can't GET EXCITED about this book--I don't think there's anything new and different here; I don't feel like I need to recommend it to all my friends because they've all read similar things of equal or near excellence in the past--there's no reason it SHOULDN'T get a medal this year, and it would definitely be a worthy addition.

HATE the cover, though. The cover model looks more like a modern 30-year-old in a catalog than a 1900s 12-year-old. And I thought both this book and the first one gave the appearance of books that were more light-hearted and geared toward younger children than they really are.

And I did think too many sad things happened, one after another. (The thing about the brother's accident, though? Beautifully handled from start to finish. With HUMOR, even, amid the sadness. Which is exactly how I've seen similar accidents/recoveries go in the hospital. How did she do it?) Even in real life, as briefly sketched in the author's note, all those bad things didn't happen to the same family in one year. Especially there were too many dramatically sad/awful things. This isn't the Oregon Trail computer game, yo.
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Destinee Sutton Worst Cover of the Year award!


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